May

30

2024

From The Blog

As Many as 25 Named Storms Predicted in 2024; Get Prepared Before They Get Here

Hurricane season begins on Tuesday, June 1. On May 23, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, released its forecast for the 2024 Hurricane Season with an 85% probability of an above-normal season in terms of activity. With as many as 25 named storms anticipated, it’s critical to get prepared early this year. Peak season for storms in this area is typically August 15 to October 15.

 

PLANNING FOR HURRICANE SEASON

The beginning of the season is a time to think about possible needs, both for members and the association. Each year, in advance of hurricane season, KICA’s departments review the association’s plan. KICA also contracts in advance with an emergency clean-up company. The communications team ensures that the text and email alert systems have our most recent contact information for members.

Members should also prepare in advance of any storm event using these tips:

  • Sign up for communications. KICA and the Town of Kiawah Island work together to provide the important information you need during a storm event.
    • Verify that your contact information is current with KICA in your member account, and you will automatically receive association communications.
    • If you are not subscribed to Town of Kiawah Island emails or weather alerts through CodeRed, you can sign up here.
  • Make a plan. This is a good time to solidify what you and your family will do in the event of a storm. Make plans for things like how you will evacuate and where you will go. Consider the care of any pets as well.
  • Check your home and insurance. Check shutters and generators to see if repairs or service are needed. Check insurance policies to make sure they are active and verify your coverages.

 

WHEN A STORM BECOMES A POTENTIAL THREAT

Kiawah entities monitor each storm that appears. If there is a need, the SC Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) may put an emergency operations protocol in place. Then representatives from all island entities, including the Town of Kiawah Island, KICA, and the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, join a daily call with SCEMD and other area municipalities. The town takes the lead in an emergency.

At this point, look for communications directly from the town. KICA will also make that information available to members through its communication channels. All island entities work together during a storm. This way, entities have the most up to date information on area conditions.

  • Stay informed. Visit trusted news sources, such as the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, Charleston County Emergency Management and local news sources (below) for information.
  • Be prepared. Any storm can be dangerous, regardless of the category. When a storm is approaching or impacting the island, take precautions. Actions to avoid include:
    • Driving during inclement weather. Storms increase the likelihood of an accident, with lower visibility and potential hazards, like debris and flooding.
    • Swimming during a storm. Storms may cause rip currents and rough seas that can make it difficult to swim safely.
    • Walking around during a storm event. Wind and rain can cause damage to the island’s trees, causing limbs to fall. 

 

EVACUATION

  • Kiawah’s evacuation zone is Zone A. If an evacuation is issued, the state will use these zones to evacuate the areas most likely to see landfall first.
  • Prepare before you leave. If an evacuation order is issued, you will generally have some time to prepare. If you have contractors working on your home, they will likely have time to clean up the jobsite. This is the time to have your shutters closed or your home boarded up. Due to the high winds that tropical systems can bring, it’s best to remove anything that may be blown onto another property.
  • Know your evacuation route. Keep in mind that during an evacuation, the state may reverse lanes on state highways to get people away from the coast as efficiently as possible. This can affect your travel plans, so be aware of these changes and know your evacuation route in advance. Find information on Kiawah’s evacuation route here.

 

BEFORE IMPACT

If storm impacts are expected near Kiawah, island access may be limited. Based on the storm’s likely timetable and strength, the island may be closed for entry, which will be communicated to homeowners in advance.

When access is limited, Sheriff’s deputies will stop and turn back anyone attempting to access the island. KICA’s Security team may leave if it is not safe for staff to remain on the island.

 

AFTER A STORM

After a storm has passed, wait for information before you return. Two steps must take place before you will be able to return to the island:

  • The governor must lift the evacuation order.
  • The mayor must give the order allowing property owners to return. The mayor will conduct a damage assessment of the island and, if it is deemed safe to return, will set a time for members to return.

The town and KICA will send out information on when members can return to the island, along with a general damage assessment. At this time, KICA’s security staff will return to the island, followed by the land management team. Island clean-up begins prior to members returning to ensure a safe environment. KICA’s emergency response crews will be on the island, assisting the land management department with debris. The town facilitates debris removal.

  • Anyone attempting to access the island will be stopped by sheriff’s deputies.
  • KICA’s member services team will attempt to notify members whose property has sustained damage. However, damage can be difficult to ascertain from a distance. Please have a property manager, friend or neighbor look at your property to confirm you have no damage if you are unable to return to the island.

Don’t wait to start your preparations for Atlantic hurricane season. The Lowcountry community has seen a number of storm events over the last few years, with the greatest frequency of storms occurring from August 15 to October 15. The more prepared you are, the safer you and your family will be during a storm event.