Bruce Arnel, Emergency Manager
Hurricane Season is June 1 through November 30. Should a hurricane threaten our coast, the City of Myrtle Beach's Emergency Management Division is well prepared to handle whatever Mother Nature sends our way. It is important that our citizens, business owners and visitors are ready for any possible storms, too. Below, you'll find additional information about hurricanes and how to prepare.
PREPARE NOW - BEFORE THE STORM
Know Your Zone... Ahead of any storm threat, residents and business owners are encouraged to "Know Your Zone." The Know Your Zone tool allows users to learn what evacuation zone they are located within. If you are inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach, you are live or work in Zones A, B or C. To use the Know Your Zone map, simply enter your address or the address of a desired location. Users can zoom in and out of the map. The map's legend located in the upper right corner of the map shows what evacuation area.
Receive National Alerts... To sign up to receive wireless emergency alerts made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), click here.
Receive Local Alerts... The City of Myrtle Beach uses Hyper-Reach for emergency communication with residents. The Myrtle Beach Police and Emergency Management Departments use the tool to send community alerts via text message, phone call or email. To sign up, click here.
Emergency Kits... To download a complete list of emergency kit needs, click here. Include enough supplies for all family members for a minimum of three days. It is important to remember to store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Consider keeping a smaller version of the kit filled with essentials in the trunks of vehicles, too. Rotate stored water and food every six months so that it stays fresh. Do not forget your pets! For a helpful list of pet emergency kit needs, see the Humane Society of the United States' helpful online resource webpage.
Emergency Planning... Planning for unforeseen emergencies is a difficult, but necessary, task. Consider creating an emergency notebook to fill with lists and important family documents. Be sure to plan ahead and include medical information and medications. For many more important tips and resources, see the SCEMD's Disaster Plan webpage. Planning for family members with specific health conditions or functional needs? Click here.
Planning for Pets... While planning for a hurricane, keep in mind that American Red Cross of South Carolina shelters generally do not accept pets. The purpose is to reserve room for human occupants. When planning for evacuation with a pet, visit the Humane Society of the United States' helpful online resource webpage. The page includes pet emergency kit needs and a list of websites to help you find a pet-friendly hotel anywhere in the United States.
Emergency Preparedness for Businesses/Organizations... According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses in the United States do not reopen after a major disaster. To learn more about how you can prepare for a disaster, click here.
Evaluate Home and Property Risks... Evaluating property risks ahead of a hurricane is easier than you might think. To learn more about insurance coverage regarding hurricane preparedness, see S.C. Department of Insurance's hurricane preparedness resource. Here are a few property preparation tips to consider before a storm hits.
- Trim and maintain branches and trees.
- Check and clean drain system(s).
- Secure solar panels, satellite dishes and water systems with anchors.
- Store flammable materials in a secure place.
- Seal and secure the roof and make sure it is in good condition.
- Secure and/or reinforce windows and doors.
- Re-evaluate homeowners and flood insurance policies.
- Secure outdoor furniture, tools and equipment.
- Remove and keep debris away from the house or property.
- In case of storms, move cars to higher ground if you are located in a flood zone.
Evacuation Orders... Evacuation Orders are based on a location's vulnerability to "storm surge," or the rush of water along the coast caused by a storm. A hurricane lifts ocean water and moves it inland when making landfall. Evacuation orders come from the Governor of South Carolina and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), not the city. And, evacuation orders are lifted by the Governor and SCEMD, not city officials. To view a non-interactive Know Your Zone map for Horry and Georgetown Counties, click here.
Evacuation Shelters... To locate an open American Red Cross shelter, visit the interactive shelter map. Or, call 843-477-0020.
Re-Entry Documents... To learn more about the re-entry process for Horry County, visit Horry County Emergency Management's Re-Entry webpage.
AFTER THE STORM
Online Traffic Tools and Evacuation Routes... Thanks to technology, finding open roads is now a simpler task. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) offers an online interactive traffic map to help users find routes best suited for their needs year-round. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) provides a GIS map outlining all evacuation routes for the state. To view the map, click here. If traveling between states, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation's Traffic and Road Closure Map and click the appropriate state.
"Safe and Well" Database... During disasters and hurricanes, family members and friends may become disconnected. The American Red Cross provides a helpful tool to connect those dispersed by the disaster to anyone who may be concerned and looking for them. To view the database, click here.
Residents' Re-Entry Process... To learn more about the re-entry process for Horry County, visit Horry County Emergency Management's Re-Entry webpage. Or, call 866-246-0133 (number activated during/after storm).
Business/Organization Re-Entry Process... The state provides a system for post-disaster re-entry certification for businesses and organizations that assist in the restoration of utilities and other services. The South Carolina Department of Commerce coordinates the program. To learn more, click here. To begin the registration process, visit SCEMD's Business Registration Portal.
Report Power Outages... Santee Cooper provides service to all customers located within the City of Myrtle Beach. To report or view power outages year-round, visit the Power Outage webpage. Or, call 888-769-7688.
FEMA/SCEMD Recovery Programs... Recovery is achieved with the cooperative effort of federal, state and local governments. For more information about SCEMD's Recovery Resources, click here. And, for information regarding FEMA's Recovery Resources, click here.
Storm Debris Removal... In the event the city sustains storm damage caused by a possible hurricane or flood event, the aftermath cleanup begins as soon as it is possible for the city and/or contractors to safely proceed. Once major thoroughfares are clean, crews begin removal of debris in neighborhoods. To learn more, visit our Storm Damage Debris Collection webpage.
River Flooding... As we learned with Hurricane Florence (later known as Flood Florence) in 2018, river flooding affects our city indirectly due to the city's physical location. Our neighbors to the west and south, however, are often negatively impacted, and the heartbreaking devastation impacts all of Horry and Georgetown Counties, and beyond. When these horrible circumstances occur, the city vows assistance to our neighboring Horry County municipalities, including staff, logistical support, critical supplies and more. The river flooding is caused by major rainfall amounts that far surpass normal levels. In the case of Hurricane Florence, all of the rainfall North Carolina received due to Hurricane Florence flowed south along major rivers. Specifically, in Horry County in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the flooding occurred weeks after the hurricane made landfall with sunny skies. For more information about flooding, visit the National Weather Service (NWS) Flood Hazards webpage.
South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Interactive Traffic Conditions Map
South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Evacuation Route Map
South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) School Closures Tool
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
READY.GOV ONLINE RESOURCES
Emergency Planning Guide
Flood Educational Information
Hurricane Educational Information
Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit
Severe Weather Educational Information
Tsunami Educational Information
Additional Ready.gov Resource Links