Emergency Management

To view and download relevant emergency management documents, visit our Emergency Management Library.

(843) 918-2319

Bruce Arnel, Manager

The Emergency Management Department's mission is to provide leadership and assistance to the residents, visitors and city employees alike in an effort to reduce the harmful effects caused by disasters.  The Emergency Management team reports to the City Manager and works alongside all city departments, including Fire, Police, Public Information and Public Works.  The department, which includes the Building Ambassador Program, is dedicated to continuing professional education to best serve the city.  And, the Emergency Management team serves as a vital instrument to develop a "whole community" approach to emergency preparedness and management, working alongside governmental partners and non-governmental partners.  Emergencies include natural and manmade disasters; however, due to the city's coastal location, hurricane efforts are a top priority.

To learn more about how to prepare for hurricanes, see our Hurricane Preparedness webpage.  To learn more about floodplains, visit the Zoning & Flood Protection webpage.


  1. Prevention – Take action to prevent imminent threats.
  2. Protection – Secure the city against manmade and natural disasters.
  3. Mitigation – Reduce impact of hazards.
  4. Reponse – Coordinate disaster-related actions.
  5. Recovery – Restore city to pre-disaster condition.

  • Works to develop and update emergency management policies, plans and materials.
  • Manages and oversees the city's Emergency Operations Plan and the Emergency Operation Center.
  • Develops vital relationships with local municipalities, county organizations and state and federal officials to facilitate communication, response effort coordination, shared equipment/personnel, etc.
  • Consults with local and area officials and leaders (government, schools, hospitals and other important organizations) to determine their needs and capabilities in the event of an emergency.
  • Partners with non-government organizations (NGOs) to gain knowledge and resources needed during times of disaster.
  • Applies for federal funding for emergency management needs; and, administers grants and reports funding progress.
  • Continues professional education by attending relevant meetings, conferences and workshops related to emergency management.
  • Updates emergency response policies and procedures as needed based on regulation changes, technological advancements and/or gained knowledge from other emergencies (local, national and international).
  • Serves as city's primary point-of-contact for all prevention, mitigation, response and recovery related efforts.
  • Utilizes National Response Framework (NRF) and National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Leads coordination of inter-agency response by establishing a unified command.

"Emergency management" refers to the managerial function that creates the necessary framework within a community to help reduce the vulnerability to hazards and help cope with disasters.  The function seeks to promote safety and resilience.  The coordination and integration of all activities to build, sustain and improve the capability to:  mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.


  1. Comprehensive – Considers and takes into account all possible hazards, phases, stakeholders and impacts relevant to disasters.
  2. Progressive – Anticipates future disasters and takes preventive and preparatory measures to help communities become more disaster resistent and resilient.
  3. Risk-Driven – Uses hazard identification, risk analysis and impact analysis to prioritize efforts and resources.
  4. Integrated – Ensures unity of efforts among all levels of government and all elements of the community.
  5. Collaborative – Creates and sustains broad, sincere relationships to encourage trust; advocates for a team atmosphere to facilitate consensus and communication.
  6. Coordinated – Synchronizes activities for all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.
  7. Flexible – Utilizes creative and innovative approaches to solve disaster challenges.
  8. Professional – Implements scientific approach based on education, training, experience and ethical practice.

Horry County Emergency Management Division (HCEMD)
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
National Hurricane Center (NOAA NHC)
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
National Response Framework (NRF)
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


Emergency Alerts 
Emergency Planning Guide
Flood Educational Information
Hurricane Educational Information
Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit
Severe Weather Educational Information
Tsunami Educational Information
Additional Resource Links