CEMA: Be prepared this hurricane season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CEMA: Be prepared this hurricane season


Monday marks the second day of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, and the Chatham Emergency Management Agency is sending a strong warning before a storm heads our way.

"All it takes is one storm, and this could be the year, we don't know," said CEMA Director Clayton Scott.

That's why Scott wants you to prepare now.

"Savannah and Chatham County are considered by the National Hurricane Center to be the worst storm surge threat in the United States," said Scott.

That is an eye opening statement as the Savannah area faces the 2014 hurricane season. Forecasters expect a slow season with eight to 13 tropical storms and three to six hurricanes, but Scott said that is not reason to be complacent.

"Natural disasters are cyclical," he said. "We are going to get another hurricane. The only issue is, what's the intensity of it going to be? It's just a matter of time. All it takes is one."

If a category one storm hits the city of Savannah, 40 percent of the city would be under water. A category two would leave 60 percent of the city under water, a category three would leave 80 percent under water, a category four would leave 90 percent under water, and with a category five hurricane, there would only be about three places in the city that would not completely be submerged.

"If there is an evacuation order given and you don't go, you're crazy," said Scott.

Scott said the county no longer issues voluntary evacuations. If one is issued, it will be mandatory.

"If it's that bad, get out of town," he said. "Don't wait and get stuck in traffic for hours."

For those without personal transportation, Scott said any CAT bus will transport citizens and domestic pets to the Civic Center for free to be processed by the Red Cross. Citizens will then be bused to Augusta for shelter.

"You gotta be prepared for it," he said. "What if it does happen?"

In addition to making sure you are prepared, Scott said if all goes according to schedule, the new Chatham County Emergency Management Center at Hunter Army Airfield will begin construction in July 2015.

It's just another way to make sure you get the information you need to stay safe, no matter how intense the storm is.

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