Disaster Preparedness

Hurricanes | Earthquakes



Current Radar Weather Map

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Charleston County 2008 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Download a free printable copy of the 2008 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide with complete guidelines for evacuations, as well as tips on preparing your home, planning an emergency kit, and managing storm debris.

Shelters and Evacuation Routes

The closest shelter for voluntary evacuations is Midland Park (2415 Midland Park Road). The closest shelter for mandatory evacuations is A.C. Corcoran Elementary (8585 Vistavia Road). The animal shelter is at the North Charleston Coliseum (5001 Coliseum Drive); only one person per pet allowed. Buses will pick up people (to go to shelters) at Super K-mart and at the Korean Methodist Church on Shadow Lane.

Evacuation routes:

  • Take US 52 (Rivers Avenue) to US 78 to US 178 to Orangeburg, or continue on US 52 to US 176, or continue north on US 52.
  • The right lane of US 52 at Goose Creek will continue on to Moncks Corner. In Moncks Corner, it will be directed onto SC 6, where SC 6 will take you toward Columbia.
  • The left lane of US 52 at Goose Creek will go on to US 176 to Columbia.
  • Evacuees using SC 642 will travel west toward Summerville, and then take Road S-22 (Old Orangeburg Road) to US 78 west.

Special evacuation notes:

  • Anyone trying to access University Boulevard (Hwy 78) by Antler, Adaline, Gable/Storen, Nevonna, Fernwood, Shadow, or Dantzler should be prepared for the possibility that the jammed traffic could prevent left turns, requiring you to turn right and use The Antlers Intersection to blend into the traffic moving up Hwy 52.
  • Be prepared for the fact that even if you succeed in traveling up University Boulevard (Hwy 78), our entrance to I-26 may be blocked, forcing you to continue on towards Ladson and Summerville.

Evacuation Guidelines


If time permits:

Keep a full tank of gas in your car if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.

Gather your disaster supplies kit.

Make transportation arrangements with friends or your local government if you do

not own a car.

Wear sturdy shoes and clothing

that provides some protection,

such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a cap.

Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.

Secure your home:

Close and lock doors and windows.

Unplug electrical equipment, such as radios and televisions, and small appliances, such as toasters and microwaves. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.

Gather your family and go if you are in- structed to evacuate immediately.

Let others know where you are going.

Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.


Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.


Be alert for washed-out roads and bridges. Do not drive into flooded areas.


Stay away from downed power lines.



How do I prepare for earthquakes?

Be aware that our area is indeed subject to earthquakes. The epicenter of the very severe Charleston earthquake of 1886 was just a few miles from Deer Park. Go to www.scemd.org to download the SC Earthquake Guide.

What to do when an earthquake occurs:

  • If indoors: Take cover under a piece of heavy furniture or against an inside wall and hold on. Stay inside. The most dangerous thing to do during the shaking of an earthquake is to try to leave the building because objects can fall on you.
  • If outdoors: Move into the open, away from buildings, street lights, and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If in a moving vehicle: Stop quickly and stay in the vehicle. Try to stop in a clear are away from buildings, trees, over passes or utility wires. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.

What to do after an earthquake occurs:
  • Be prepared for aftershocks: Although smaller than the main shock, aftershocks cause additional damage and may bring weakened structures down. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Call for help as needed. You can report Charleston County damages at (843) 202-7400 so the government can be aware of what is going on in all areas.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance - infants and children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings or areas until authorities say it is safe.
  • Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Open closet and cupboard doors cautiously as loosened items could fall on you.
  • At an appropriate later time, but before lighting a fire in your fireplace, inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed chimney damage could lead to a house fire.

Inspecting Utilities in a Damaged Home
  • Check for gas leaks - If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  • Look for electrical system damage - If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
  • Check for sewage and water lines damage - If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

To get other information from the U.S. Geological Survey, click here.