What can I do to prepare for a storm?
  • The South Carolina Emergency Management Division Hurricane Guide has details about personal plans, zones, emergency shelters and links to other agencies and information. https://scemd.org/stay-informed/publications/hurricane-guide/
  • Follow the Town of Bluffton and Bluffton Police Department on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
  • Use the Beaufort County Hurricane Hotline for updated information.  The phone number is 1-800-963-5023.  There is a specific mailbox for Bluffton updates, and it is available during a hurricane. This phone number is especially useful if you have evacuated.
  • Remember the 5 P’s:  People (Pets), Prescriptions, Paper (i.e. Important documents), Personal Needs (i.e. medication, etc.), Priceless Items (i.e. pack your photos albums, etc.) and have a plan for each category.
  • Make a paper record of all your contact information for your family and friends in case there is no cell phone service.
  • Take photos of your property and home before and after the storm for insurance documentation.
  • Secure any loose articles (i.e. outdoor furniture, potted plants or décor items) on your property that has the potential to become airborne and cause damage, or block pipes or ditches.
  • Know your evacuations options and pre-plan possible routes and hotels or housing arrangements.
  • If you have a pet, know which hotels accept pets during a hurricane.
  • Have a supply of at least two weeks’ worth of prescribed medications before you travel.
  • Conduct inspections of drainage features around your house and property, including gutters and remove any blockages.
  • Turn off irrigation systems.
  • Remove items which may hold water to deter mosquito breeding after the storm passes.
  • Obtain flood insurance now. Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover flooding.  The federal government administers flood insurance.  More information is available at the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov.  It is predicted more than 75 % of Beaufort County will have the potential to flood with a Category 1 Hurricane.  Please be mindful you live in the Lowcountry; therefore, the entire region is flat and flood prone.
  • Best advice:  Leave PRIOR to an evacuation order.  You can better control your destination and route.  Once an evacuation order is called, SC Highway Patrol Officers and local officers will direct your path of travel which may add to frustration and increase travel time to your intended destination. 
  • Remember, if you decide to stay during an evacuation order, emergency services may be suspended due to unsafe weather conditions.  Each resident who stays during an evacuation has to be prepared to address a health or safety situation alone. 
  • Please be patient and help your neighbor.  The Town is working around the clock to manage the storm; however, everyone has a role in the community’s safety and recovery.

Show All Answers

1. Who has the authority to issue an evacuation order?
2. What local agency leads during hurricane season?
3. What if I need a shelter during a storm?
4. What if I need transportation to a shelter?
5. My neighborhood floods during major storms. What are ways to prevent flooding?
6. What are the best sources of information during a storm?
7. What if Beaufort County is being evacuated but the Savannah area is not?
8. What if I work in Georgia but live in Bluffton?
9. Can I evacuate before an evacuation order?
10. What happens if I stay in town during a mandatory evacuation order?
11. What can I do to prepare for a storm?
12. What can my neighborhood or POA do to prepare for a hurricane?
13. How does the Town of Bluffton prepare for a hurricane?
14. How do local contractors prepare for a hurricane?
15. What is the difference between a hurricane/tropical storm watch vs. warning?
16. What are the categories of storms and what exactly do they mean?
17. What do I do if my house loses power?
18. What are the evacuation routes?
19. What is the CARE program and how do I get added to it?
20. What is the Smart911 Program?
21. How do people who only speak Spanish access information regarding hurricanes?
22. ¿Cómo acceden las personas que solo hablan español a la información sobre huracanes?
23. What is an OPCON level and what do they mean?
24. What are all the social media and digital venues to access information for the Town of Bluffton and Bluffton Police Department?