Tybee Island preps for Hurricane season

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Preparations for hurricane season on Tybee Island are underway.

‘Make your plan now.’ This, applies to everything from an evacuation plan to having a go bag ready.

“We have had to revamp our plan every year,” Shawn Gillen, City Manager of Tybee Island said.

A plan never too early to make.

“When you see a catastrophe hit there’s building destroyed, there might be fires, there might be rescues for people who stayed. All these things play into action and we have to prep ourselves for it,” Chief Jeremy Kendrick, Tybee Island Fire Department said.

And this is what city leaders are doing right now.

So far they’ve established their critical workforce team. This is the team of people who are the first to come back to the island after evacuating. Under this umbrella is the ‘render safe team.’

“Their job is to look for downed power lines, look for flooding in the streets, get the sewer system back up and running and get the water system back up and running,”

Kendrick said.

The Tybee Island Fire Chief, Jeremy Kendrick says the second team that they’ll send back are those who do damage assessment.

“Making sure that before anybody comes back on the island that we have our main infrastructure back up and running,” Kendrick said.

Once the city decides it’s safe, people living on Tybee Island are allowed to start returning home. Over the last five years, the city has had three evacuations.

City staff will meet several times over the next few months for further review of each department’s re-entry plan. Kendrick says as the city begins preparations so should you.

“Pull out your insurance policies. What is your insurance for your home coverage? Do you have a plan for your home and your family? These are simple things that you can sit down, a few minutes of your time in the day and have it written down,” Kendrick said.

This plan should also include putting together a go bag and finding a place for you and your animals to stay until the storm is over.

“During Matthew and Irma, I think, that was a big lesson everybody learned was a lot of pets get left behind,” Gillen said.

The city says all of this is important since there’s no telling what this hurricane season will bring.

“When it’s time for the city to evacuate we let them know, ‘hey listen you’re not going to have any emergency services on the island we are all evacuating,’” Kendrick said.

The city advises everyone to pay attention to the CEMA and Tybee alerts on social media.

WTOC’s first alert weather team also tracks tropical systems making their way to our area so make sure to download our free first alert weather app.

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