Message from Secretary Hitt: Being prepared in S.C.

The 2019 hurricane season officially begins this Saturday, June 1 and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year is predicted to be "near-normal" with nine to 15 named storms. In an effort to prepare for the upcoming season, this week was declared South Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week. Daily topics from officials have included pointers on making emergency plans, reviewing insurance policies and preparations for pets.  

In that same vein, helping businesses be prepared in the event of a man-made or natural disaster is critical to our state's economy. Historically, one in four businesses that close for any extended period due to a disaster is not able to reopen. To help change that, the S.C. Department of Commerce works with Emergency Support Function (ESF) - 24 (business and industry) to assist South Carolina businesses in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery actions. This program helps minimize business interruption to get our residents back to work as quickly as possible and ensure the state's economic engine runs strong. 

Additionally, the S.C. Emergency Management Division released its 2019 S.C. Hurricane Guide this week, which details what residents should do before, during and after the landfall of a major hurricane.

While we hope S.C. has an uneventful hurricane season, it's imperative to have a plan in place. If your business is interested in continuity planning, hosting a workshop or being added to an ESF - 24 notification list, please email

Advanced preparation safeguards lives, protects property, returns business to normal and lessens the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes.