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Is Your Home Safe to Enter?

You may hear varying or conflicting reports from media about being able to return to the Island. Even if you hear that the Governor has rescinded the evacuation order, the final authority for allowing residents to return to the Island is the Mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island and you should not attempt to return until the Mayor’s approval has been given. Once the evacuation order has been lifted, all details about returning to the Island, including transportation assistance information, will be announced. The same would hold true for a partial evacuation with details being announced as soon as it is safe to return to the impacted area.

While local officials will make every attempt to make the Island as safe as possible, dangers always exist during disasters and residents should use caution when re-entering impacted areas.

Is Your Home Safe to Enter?

Image of Inspection Placard

Image of Electrical Inspection Placard

Image of Restricted Use Placard

Image of Unsafe Placard

Professional Building Inspectors will conduct a neighborhood by neighborhood survey to assess the safety of homes and commercial buildings for any potential hazard. They will leave behind a placard displayed on the building or at the building site to communicate the results of their inspection. The color of the placard will tell the owner the condition of the building and provide guidance on how to proceed with repairs. This information will also be relayed to the Town of Hilton Head Island.

The green placard tells the owner that the damage to the building appears to be minor and superficial and that there is no structural damage. The building can be entered safely and occupied without danger. Measures to secure the building to protect it from additional damage may proceed without further delay. Actions such as replacing broken glass, repairing garage doors or replacing roof shingles that have come loose will not require any additional permits or approvals from the Town.

If utility services have been disabled, a blue placard will also be posted. This notifies the electrical utility that it is safe to restore power to the structure.

For homes and commercial buildings that have more than minor damage the Inspectors will leave a yellow placard on the building or at the site. This color placard alerts the owner that the building has suffered significant damage and only partial entry or occupancy are considered safe until repairs are made. Building Permits will be required before rebuilding begins.The owner should contact the Emergency Permitting Office of the Town of Hilton Head Island for additional assistance. The office will be staffed to expedite the procedures.

Any building that has a red placard is unsafe! It is seriously damaged and should not be entered or occupied under any circumstances. Entry could result in death or injury. The building may be rebuilt and repaired or the owner may choose to demolish the building because of its age and/or the extent of the damage. In either case, the appropriate permits will be required before any work begins and the owner should contact the Emergency Permitting Office of the Town of Hilton Head Island for additional assistance. The office will be staffed to expedite the procedures and will be able to answer questions.