From The Blog
Safety and Hurricane Preparedness
The community association and the Town of Kiawah Island work together to maintain the safety of our community. KICA’s Security Department operates 24/7 to manage gate access and execute island-wide security patrols, and our Livability Department manages covenant compliance. The Town of Kiawah Island is responsible for public safety, code enforcement and emergency management.
The beginning of the season, which runs June 1 – Nov. 30, is a time to review hurricane preparedness plans, both for members and the association. KICA has standard operating procedures for preparing the island for a storm, maintaining security through a storm and storm clean-up. The Town of Kiawah Island takes the lead in an emergency (view the opposite page for information on signing up for communications) and KICA will share the town’s updates through its communication channels.
During the season, Kiawah entities monitor each storm that appears. Based on guidance from the SC Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), an emergency operations protocol may be put in place if a storm has the potential for impacts. Once that protocol is in place, island entities join a daily call with SCEMD and other area municipalities. All island entities work together during a storm event.
Prior to the storm’s approach, island access may be limited. Based on the storm’s likely timetable and strength, the island could be closed to entry. At that point, sheriff’s deputies will stop and turn back anyone attempting to access the island. KICA’s Security team, usually the last employees on the island, may leave if it is not safe to remain.
After a storm has passed and the governor has lifted the evacuation order, the mayor must give an order allowing property owners to return. The town and KICA will conduct a damage assessment of the island and, if it is deemed safe to return, will set a timeline for members. The town and KICA will send out this information, along with a general damage assessment. Following the storm, KICA’s security staff will return to the island. Island clean-up begins prior to members returning to ensure passable roads and a safe environment. KICA’s emergency response crews will be on the island, assisting the land management department with debris.
The Lowcountry community has seen a number of storm events over the last few years. The greatest frequency of storms tends to occur from August 15 to October 15 in our area. Now is the time to get prepared in advance.
- Sign up for communications – The Town of Kiawah Island leads emergency communications for the
island. Sign up for Town of Kiawah Island emails or weather alerts through CodeRed. KICA also
shares important town updates with association members.
- Make sure your contact information is up to date. If you’ve recently changed your email address or phone number, email your updated information to [email protected] or update through the member portal.
- Make a plan for things like how you will evacuate and where you will go. Consider the care of any pets as well. Due to COVID-19, hurricane shelters may not be ideal for those in an older demographic or those with pre-existing conditions. Please consider making alternate arrangements if you fall in these categories.
- Two websites to help with your hurricane plan are the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service.