COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Days before the official start of this year's hurricane season, a new safety tool is unveiled.
The app engineered by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) is called 'SC Emergency.' It's free.
The tech tool comes at a time when emergency staff said that, over the past couple of years through Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, only about 50 percent of people called on to evacuate the coast did so.
SCEMD Director Kim Stenson wants people to take responsibility and become their own emergency manager and prepare now. He also urges people to evacuate when or if they are called on to do so.
"In a lot of cases, going to have to be the help until help gets there, so that's why it's important to have a plan. Have a plan and make it, making it personal is our goal," Stenson said.
Features of the new app include a map of evacuation routes by zone, traffic conditions, a personal checklist for packing to evacuate and recommendations on what to bring, an emergency whistle and help call, and a method of reporting storm damage.