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Evacuation Ready

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The Governor of South Carolina is the only one having authority to order an evacuation for the entire Island. You are encouraged heed that evacuation order and consider evacuating well before the evacuation order is given.

Prepare Now!

  • Know how you will travel, where you will go if you are evacuated, anticipate what roads you will travel on, and make plans that will accommodate young children and pets if necessary.
  • If you plan on using a public shelter, be aware that they will may not accommodate pets.

Planning Your Evacuation

Many kinds of emergencies can cause you to have to evacuate. Planning is vital to making sure that you can evacuate quickly and safely no matter what the circumstances.

Evacuation Routes

Hilton Head Island evacuees will use both the William Hilton Parkway (US 278 Business) and the Cross Island Parkway toll facility (US 278).

  • Take time to understand where those routes will take you.
  • Once the evacuation has started there are designated traffic patterns.
  • The best option is to leave early!

If you are going to wait for the evacuation order:

  • Know which route you will be taking
  • Learn the route
  • Take the time to drive the route
  • Realize that cell service in some areas will be limited or may not be available at all

If you are going to leave prior to the evacuation order:

  • Determine your final destination and develop a travel plan for that destination
  • Select alternate locations in case you cannot get to your primary location
  • Have a plan "B"

Evacuation Destinations

It is important to have multiple destinations as options during a hurricane evacuation.

  • Consider staying with friends or relatives.
  • Factor in the additional fuel that will be used during stop-and-go traffic that is common in evacuations, and the additional time it will take to reach your destination.
  • Contact relatives before the storm to make sure they can accommodate you during an evacuation, or ensure that hotel rooms will still be available after the evacuation order has been given.
  • Designate a Primary and two alternate destinations in your plan.

If you choose to stay in a shelter:

  • Be aware that only very basic needs will be provided for you.
  • You will need to bring your own clothes and something to sleep on at the very least, and may want to consider packing a shelter kit ahead of time.
  • Be aware that most public shelters do not accept pets, so you will need to make other arrangements for your animals.
  • If you need additional accommodations, ensure the location where you are staying can accommodate those needs and let them know what those needs are.

Evacuation Transportation

Are you going to self-evacuate or will you need assistance?

Hurricane Evacuation Pick-up PointsIf you don't have reliable transportation of your own, you need to know in advance what options may be available through your neighbors and local government. Beaufort County has developed a county-wide evacuation plan for those needing assistance evacuating.

  • There is one Palmetto Breeze pickup point on the Island located in the Port Royal Plaza Shopping Center.
  • The Town has 5 additional pick-up points around the Island which will deliver residents to the Palmetto Breeze pick-up point. These are:
    • 151 Gumtree Road (in front of the Boys and Girls Club)
    • 173 Marshland Road (in front of the Sea Island Chapel)
    • 450 Spanish Wells Road (in front of Grace Community Church)
    • 24 Pope Ave. (in front of Holy Family Catholic Church)
    • 663 William Hilton Parkway (in front of Hilton Head Resort)
  • Those with Functional Needs can request additional assistance through our Special Call Pickup program.
    • Once an evacuation has been ordered, call the Hilton Head Fire Rescue Dispatch Center at 843-682-5125 to request evacuation assistance.
    • The dispatcher will take your information, and we will make arrangements to pick you up and take you to the Beaufort County Evacuation Point at the Port Royal Plaza Shopping Center.
  • Please contact the Hilton Head Island Emergency Management Office in advance at 843-682-5156 to assist you with transportation options.

If you are going to a shelter by bus:

  • You must have photo identification
  • No furniture, alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons
  • You cannot take pets
  • Only 1 bag or suitcase is allowed per person
  • Bring all medications and medical supplies
  • Bring special baby supplies if needed
  • Bring food and money for at least 3 days

Before you leave for an evacuation:

  • Cover your windows with pre-cut plywood or storm shutters.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, grills, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed so they are more wind-resistant.
  • Secure and turn off any outdoor propane tanks.
  • Close all interior doors in your home to help compartmentalize damage.
  • Secure or shut off appropriate utilities.
  • Let someone know where you are going and what route you will be taking.
  • Take your emergency kit and your plan.


FEMA Ready

Palmetto Breeze
Pre-storm - 843-757-5782
During an evacuation - 843-255-4000

Transportation Evacuation Assistance Registry

Those who are home bound, people with disabilities, and/or do not have existing transportation options should consider registering for the Palmetto Breeze Transportation Evacuation Assistance Registry.