Hurricane season officially began on June 1 and officials are predicting this year will be more active than the last for the entire eastern seaboard.
"We need to be on guard because this season looks like it will have above average activity for the entire coast, which raises the likelihood for landfall in Bryan County," said Jim Anderson, Bryan County Director of Emergency Services.
Anderson has offered the following predictions from his agency: 15 named storms will form and eight hurricanes will hit the coast this season – three of them will be major. Anderson said it is unknown whether any of this will garner a direct hit on Bryan County, but we need to be prepared.
Anderson said there seems to be a lack of concern in the community regarding hurricane safety because Bryan has not been hit before. He said this concerns him because it could turn into many Bryan County residents being unprepared if thee county gets hit.
"Our research indicates that up to 80 percent of Georgians are not prepared for a large scale emergency," said Charley English, GEMA and Homeland Security director. "We strongly encourage each household to create a Ready kit, develop a family communications plan and stay informed about potential threats."
Anderson said the county could be submerged with water in the event of a category three direct hit.
What do you need to know about hurricane season? You might want to cut out and tack the following information on your fridge.
- Evacuation routes. From Richmond Hill, take 144 through Fort Stewart, to 280 in Reidsville where you take a left, to 341 in McCray. From Pembroke, just get on 280 to Reidsville to 341 in McCray.
Anderson said these routes should move faster than the congested ones on I-95 and I-16.
- Tune your radio to 91.1 FM. Local officials will broadcast any pertinent up-to-date information on the disaster or potential disaster.
- Have an emergency supply kit ready to go throughout hurricane season. This consists of the following items: important papers stored in waterproof containers, three gallons of water for every person that will be with you, food that won’t spoil, one change of clothing and shoes per person, prescription medicines, one blanket or sleeping bag per person, first aid kid, battery-powered portable radio, emergency tools and flashlight with extra batteries.
What if you don’t have a vehicle or are handicapped? Anderson said there is a plan for both – both of which take you to the old Kroger parking for departure on a bus.
If you do not have transportation, you can call the emergency services operation center to arrange a pick-up.
"Those with special needs are on file with the health department," Anderson said. "They will all be picked up early and evacuated by emergency personnel."
Anderson said boarding and taping your windows often comforts people as they leave their homes, and that it doesn’t hurt. He said the important thing is to leave and leave early if the county orders a hurricane evacuation.