Emergency manager app

The new state personal emergency manager app is available without charge at Google and Apple stores on the phone. Jesse Naranjo/Staff 

That sense of panic when a storm knocks out the power or you have to evacuate?

The state now has an app for that.

The new #SCEMERGENCY personal manager gives alerts during emergencies and guides users through the countless details of building a disaster kit.

It also identifies which roads to take in an evacuation and where shelters or hotels are open.

It even allows the users to keep lists of items, such as what medicines to take.

The mobile app can be downloaded without charge from the Apple or Google Play stores on a smartphone.

The technology has been two years in the making, said Derrec Becker, a spokesman with the S.C. Emergency Management Division. It was developed along with a new website design for $100,000, he said.

By putting information in the palm of residents' hands, the division hopes to stress the importance of people taking more responsibility during disasters.

"It's a life safety issue," said Ken Stenson, the division director.

When evacuations were called for before Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016 and Tropical Storm Irma struck in 2017, only about 50 percent of the people in those areas did evacuate, he said.

  

Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.