CEMA preparing evacuation plans for hurricane season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CEMA preparing evacuation plans for hurricane season

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

With the start of Hurricane season almost upon us, the Chatham Emergency Management Agency is meeting with area partners and first responders to discuss the evacuation process.

Hurricane season starts in less than a month on June 1st, so it’s very important for these agencies to have a plan in place and make sure everyone is on board with the plans. This will keep you and me safe in the event of a storm.

They talked about everything from evacuation routes, to cleaning up after the storm and re-entry plans after the storm.  The main topic of the entire meeting was evacuation and making sure people get out on time and ahead of the storm.

Officers will be in place directing traffic out of the city and there will also be public transportation available for those who need it. This will take residents to shelters inland in places like Statesboro, and even Augusta.

CEMA Director Dennis Jones says they've learned from past evacuations.

"We had Florida evacuees, we had I-16 issues, and there were just a lot of operational and logistical issues with Hurricane Floyd. We took information from Hurricane Floyd and we improved a lot of processes we improved a lot of plans so I think that as you see us move forward and the next evacuation things are going to be a little bit better,” said Jones.

CEMA says to always remember it only takes one storm, and that with any storm there will always be some type of surge in Chatham County. And always take these things serious. 

Representatives from Memorial and St. Joseph's/Candler teamed up to make sure they're on the same page as far as evacuations go.

Bob Staples with St. Joseph's/Candler says they will evacuate patients in phases but to remember the hospitals are not evacuation shelters.

"In the lower categories, we will be closing our emergency departments to protect those that are there. So it’s really important if there is any type of medical needs that these people follow the directions of Chatham Emergency Management and evacuate according to the protocol that's been set up,” said Staples.

Just know they will try to give everyone enough time to evacuate their family and things in enough time because their plans are based on the tropical winds coming in and not the storms themselves.

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