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Dissemination of Warnings


Hurricane Watch means a hurricane threat to the area is possible within the next 48 hours. Be prepared to evacuate, as even a tropical storm can gain strength quickly and many homes, including mobile homes, reside in high risk areas. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.

  • Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gasoline
  • Review evacuation routes
  • Check your hurricane survival kits
  • Make sure medical prescriptions are filled (recommened 2 weeks) and medicines are packed to go

Hurricane Warning is issued when a hurricane or tropical storm is expected in the area within the next 36 hours. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, you need to leave immediately.

  • Move garbage cans, awnings and all large outside objects into your house or garage; anchor them securely
  • Place protective covering (plywood/storm shutters) over windows and garage doors
  • If a vehicle is left behind secure/lock it or put in garage
  • Secure boats or place in building
  • If you have a swimming pool, cover the pump filter
  • If you live in a manufactured home, check tie-downs and always get out immediately to a safe place
  • Lock doors and windows before you leave
  • Don't forget a survival kit and other supplies
  • Let relatives know where you plan to be

Evacuation Orders

The Governor of South Carolina may require a mandatory evacuation. You are encouraged to evacuate when instructed. For example, during a hurricane, emergency services may be unavailable for an undetermined amount of time and you will be on your own without access to essential items such as food, water, electricity, medical services or fuel for your vehicle. Evacuations of specific areas occur because authorities determine that there is an immediate threat to your life and safety. Please review the Citizen's Guide to Emergency Preparedness for emergency supplies and other information that you should have on hand for evacuation. PREPARE NOW. Know where you will go if evacuated. Anticipate roads on and off the island will be congested and difficult to maneuver. Leave early if possible.

If you intend to go to a shelter and have a pet, please make alternate plans for the safety and survival of your pet. Most, if not all, shelters do not accommodate pets and leaving them unattended during an evacuation often leads to the animal being homeless, injured or killed.

If you don't have reliable transportation of your own, you need to determine in advance what other options are available from your family, neighbors or local government. Please contact Hilton Head Island's Emergency Management Office in advance at 843-341-4600 if you do not have transportation off the Island so we can assist you. For major evacuations a shuttle will be provided from various locations in the Town to the Hilton Head Island Airport where residents and visitors will be transported by bus to a public shelter.

If you have a medical condition that requires special attention or care, please contact the Hilton Head Island Emergency Management Office at 843-341-4600 in order to provide you assistance, preferably before an event.

Warning Methods

Rely on local television stations; cable and satellite stations are not reliable for emergency information unless they are all-news or all-weather stations.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding hurricane evacuations or reentry procedures, please feel free to contact Thomas Dunn email icon at 843-682-5156, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.