From the Director's Desk
The Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 – November 30) is off to a busy start! Hurricane Elsa became the first hurricane and the 5th named storm, just 31 days into the 2021 season. Coastal regions of South Carolina are no strangers to the dangers of hurricanes. A major storm can impact life for weeks, damaging homes and shuttering businesses. For business and industry alike, formulating an Emergency Preparedness Plan could be the difference between a successful recovery and a disastrous demise.
According to April Chaffins, business services coordinator in the Emergency Management Department with South Carolina Department of Commerce, “75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan.” Following any disaster, (hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, etc.) one of the primary missions is to get businesses back up and running and people back to their jobs as quickly as possible. Chaffin reports, “40% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster,” and “90% of small companies fail within a year, unless they resume operations within 5 business days.”
In the event of a disaster, South Carolina uses a system of emergency support functions (ESFs) — each one focused on a critical area of recovery. ESF-24 is business and industry oriented and drives response in support of the local economy. The Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (VBEOC) is a one-stop-shop for the most up to date information regarding emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Visit SCEMD.org (Stay Informed>Business Operations>) and Williamsburg County Emergency Management Division, to learn more and GET PREPARED.