JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Jasper County Emergency Services has made several improvements in the last year that would help them as we enter this hurricane season.
Three named storms already and we are only four days into the official start of hurricane season and Emergency Services is grateful for their new equipment. The department said they have spent the last few weeks preparing for hurricane season as they normally would, making sure they have emergency supplies, going back over their plans, and taking notes from lessons learned during Hurricane Dorian.
This year, a new fire engine will help fire services in cases of emergencies, and a grant given to the county by FEMA has been used to reinforce the entire emergency shelter. The grant, worth more than $1 million, was used to buy a new emergency generator for the Jasper County emergency shelter, as well as reinforce all entrances and windows in case of hurricane winds. Typically, the shelter would house 3 to 5,000 people. Thursday, the county said they have had to reevaluate their shelter plans amid COVID-19 concerns and that shelter will likely hold a maximum of 700. Which is why they are asking people to make other plans.
“Making sure that people realize that in this COVID-19 environment, that sheltering at a shelter location should really be a measure of last resort. That they really ought to have pre-identified family, friends, or inland hotels or combinations to go to versus being in a shelter,” Emergency Services Director Frank Edwards said.