Hilton Head fire chief proposes hurricane evacuation shelter - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

HHI fire chief proposes hurricane evacuation shelter

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Chief Lavarn Lucas Chief Lavarn Lucas

It's never too early to get your hurricane evacuation plans in place.

The Hilton Head fire chief is proposing an off island hurricane evacuation shelter for Hilton Head to help with better response times, in case a category 5 storm were to approach.

The structure would need to house nearly 200 fire and rescue personnel, and their equipment. Currently, if a hurricane strikes, Hilton Head Fire and Rescue would evacuate to the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus for storms category 4 and below. For more powerful storms, the division would evacuate to Barnwell.

"The possibility of a structure that is closer to Hilton Head than we currently have that will be easier for us to access and get into and allow us to ride out a category 5 hurricane in a safe manner, but close enough that we can get back to the island after the storm and get down to business," said Chief Lavarn Lucas, Hilton Head Fire and Rescue.

This is part of fire and rescue's 10 year strategic plan that was submitted to the Public Safety Committee. There are 54 items up for consideration. The remaining items will be discussed on Thursday, after which they will make a recommendation to town council.

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