South Carolina governor tells everyone 'be prepared' for anything with Hurricane Dorian

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster says people across the state need to be prepared for Hurricane Dorian, the monster storm that’s expected to move near the state by the middle of the week. 

McMaster spoke at the state’s emergency management headquarters in West Columbia, Sunday, where he was joined by department leaders from the state’s key emergency agencies, such as SCDOT and the highway patrol. 

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“Whatever happens, we’ll be ready,” McMaster said, reminding them that this is the fifth straight year the state has had to respond to a potential natural disaster.

At present, he said no evacuations have been ordered.  “We don’t have a solid prediction of where it might turn, or when it does turn,” he said. 

He said a minor alteration in track could change what we’re expecting. For now, people should start taking precautions, particularly those along the coast.

“Be your own emergency manager,” said South Carolina Emergency Management (SCEMD) Director Kim Stenson. “Be aware of the threat. Make your plans.” 

Earlier in the day the SCEMD moved to what’s known as ‘OPCON 1’, the highest spot on their three-level rating. That means the state is on “full alert,” and all state emergency response team agencies are activated to prepare for any potential effects from Dorian. Their operations center is now fully staffed. 

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On Saturday,  McMaster issued a state of emergency. The declaration authorizes state and local emergency management agencies to begin mobilizing assets and resources to be staged along the coast

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Some of those efforts are already underway. The South Carolina National Guard is preparing to mobilize 1,000 troops, who have been moved to staging area.

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“Given the strength and unpredictability of the storm, we must prepare for every possible scenario,” said Gov. McMaster. “State assets are being mobilized now and Team South Carolina is working around the clock to be ready, if necessary. We encourage all South Carolinians who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian to be vigilant and prepare now – there is no reason for delay.” 

Individual Preparation

Residents in South Carolina should begin the necessary preparations for the possible effects of Hurricane Dorian. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is monitoring the storm, which forecasters say could affect the state beginning next week.

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Residents should review their plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state. Everyone should monitor the storm via local news media, National Weather Service offices and follow updates from official, verified sources, such as @SCEMD on social media.

RELATED: How to prepare for a hurricane in South Carolina

Residents should download the SC Emergency Manager mobile app to build a personal emergency plan, keep track of emergency supplies, and have a way to stay connected with loved ones in addition to official emergency information. The SC Emergency Manager is available in the App Store and on Google Play:

RELATED: On Your Side: Preparing for a hurricane

The official 2019 S.C. Hurricane Guide is available at

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