As forecasters continue to watch the progress of Tropical Storm Florence in the Atlantic, Gov. Henry McMaster is warning South Carolina residents that it is not too early to prepare for a possible landfall.
“We know that there’s a possibility they’re coming,” he said. “Now is the time. Get your prescriptions ready. Figure out where you’re going to go. Alert your relatives. Determine what you’re going to do with your pets. Prepare for having to leave the house on very short notice.”
Florence’s wind speeds slowed to a tropical storm level overnight Thursday, but the storm is expected to become a hurricane again once it crosses warm water.
While Florence is still hundreds of miles out to sea and would not come close to the East Coast until at least next week, state emergency officials are eyeing its westward progress. “We’re watching Hurricane Florence very closely and it’s too early to tell what impact, if any, this storm will have,” SC Emergency Management Division Director Kim Stenson said in a statement. “It is the peak of hurricane season so even if this storm passes us by, there could be more hurricanes on the way in the coming weeks. It is vital that every resident have a personal emergency plan and be ready to take action if they need to.”
In the meantime, you can download the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Guide and check your evacuation zone. Or download the SCEMD app to your smartphone or tablet.
“Go ahead and do that and get ready just in case,” McMaster said. “Because when things start happening, we’ll be making the appropriate announcement and alerts but please, y’all, don’t wait until the last minute to try to do this.”