Reported by Marissa Manning, SCRN
The state’s Emergency Management Division will gear up for this year’s hurricane season by having a week-long simulation starting on June 14.
Joe Farmer, EMD spokesman says factors such as the size of the storm and the number of people living on the coast are what can determine a hurricane evacuation: “We have a very good estimate from the department of transportation and the highway patrol in regard in how many people can be evacuated given the highway infrastructure for the area under consideration and the amount of time it will take.”
The time of day is also a big factor the evacuation decision. Farmer says,” We like to do evacuation during the hours of daylight, so they try to timeline all that out so major evacuations occur when people can see without having head lights on their cars going, it lessens the possibility of having a lot of accidents during the evacuation”
Emergency Management officials also plan to include a terrorist attack scenario in this year’s simulation. Spokesman Derrec Becker says the first part of the week will focus on a hurricane event and they will transition to a hypothetical terrorist attack in the Upstate.
That will enable us to test the entire state of South Carolina and all of the counties. Anderson County will have an Army Reserve unit that will be drilling that weekend and testing their ability to respond. I think it’s a chemical response team and so we are going to be looking at a terrorist attack and a hurricane at the same time.
Becker explains that the state is vulnerable after a natural disaster and EMD needs to be prepared for terrorists who might exploit that.