Charleston, SC- Friday, June 1st marks the first day of the 2012 hurricane season, which runs through November 30th. A “near-normal” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service.
“NOAA’s outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “But regardless of the outlook, it’s vital for anyone living or vacationing in hurricane-prone locations to be prepared. We have a stark reminder this year with the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.”
Andrew, the Category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992, was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.
Every year, the Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, part of the federal government’s unified national response team to disasters and emergencies, is ready to respond when called upon. While emergency preparedness and response are primarily a state and local responsibility, the Charleston District is authorized to assist communities in pre-hurricane preparedness and in-progress- and post-hurricane response.
“In preparation for hurricane season, we have been validating all of our emergency contacts with state, local and federal partners as well as validating our personnel teams that will provide response,” said Gilbert Dent, the Charleston District’s Chief of Emergency Management. “We have been training our teams and attending regional exercises in order to review our roles and responsibilities in the event that our area of responsibility is impacted.”
Wherever and whenever a disaster strikes, many federal, state and local agencies rely upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide an extensive range of expertise. The Charleston District’s employees play a large role in protecting our community by managing our civil works
structures and projects in anticipation of tropical storms and hurricanes by doing project pre- and post-storm assessment surveys when requested by the project’s sponsor.
The National Ice Mission is also a responsibility of the Charleston District meaning we stand ready to provide an essential commodity, ice, to our nation during a disaster. The Charleston District is prepared to provide three million pounds of ice within 24 hours of being called upon to any U.S. state or territory in need. The ice delivery is crucial to aiding in medical issues like keeping medication cool.
If a hurricane is expected in our area, it is imperative to pay attention to all advisories and activate your family hurricane plan. Make sure you have your hurricane survival kit ready and know your evacuation routes and family plan before a hurricane arrives. Awareness, preparedness and action are the keys to the safety of lives and property when hurricanes threaten our area.
“We are proud of Charleston District’s role in the USACE long-standing mission to serve the nation with expeditionary teams responding to domestic incidents such as hurricane and storm responses here in South Carolina and beyond,” said Lt. Col. Edward Chamberlayne, Charleston District Commander. “Our team prepares for emergencies 365 days a year; we just heighten our awareness and sharpen the tool kit during hurricane season.”
Additional information on our capabilities can be found at www.englink.army.mil.
For more information or questions, please contact the Charleston District’s Corporate Communications Office at 843-329-8123.