Agencies in the Lowcountry upgrade OPCON levels

(WCBD) — Charleston County and Dorchester County upgraded to OPCON 1 by Wednesday afternoon.

Georgetown County government moved to OPCON 1 as well, as the county’s Emergency Management Division staff continues to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

OPCON Levels:

  • OPCON 5: Normal Operations
    • Day-to-day operations to include normal training and exercises.
  • OPCON 4: Alert-Possible Threat
    • Possibility of an emergency or disaster situation that may require a partial or full activation of the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center.
  • OPCON 3: Standby- Significant Threat
    • Disaster or emergency situation likely or imminent. Full or partial activation of the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center; activate Charleston County Emergency Operations Plan.
  • OPCON 2: Deploy- Evacuation Imminent
    • Disaster or emergency situation in effect; maximum preparedness level; full activation of the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center.
  • OPCON 1: Evacuate- Imminent Threat
    • Disaster or emergency situation in effect; full-fledged emergency response operations on-going; highest state of emergency operations.

Hurricane Matthew may move by our coast as a strong to possibly major hurricane, with the closest approach during Saturday, according to the National Weather Service’s 7:30 a.m. assessment. “Some uncertainty remains, but overall there is general agreement within the models bringing Matthew to, or near, the Carolina coast at the end of the week,” the assessment states.

Georgetown county’s Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated. The county’s Emergency Management Division, in conjunction with S.C. Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.


Members of the public are strongly encouraged to immediately begin reviewing or making emergency plans for their families and businesses, and reviewing those plans with all family members and/or employees.

RELATED: Hurricane Matthew: “Know Your Zone” in case of evacuation

Review evacuation routes, determine where you will go if an evacuation is ordered and check emergency supply kits to make sure necessary items are included. Make sure you include pets in your evacuation plans and pack items they will need as well. It’s also a good idea to gather important documents, such as home insurance information and ID to reenter the area after a storm if evacuation is required.

Emergency supply kits should contain:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Drinking water (two gallons per person per day)
  • • Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
  • First aid kit
  • Non-electrical can opener
  • Necessary medications and prescriptions
  • Needed supplies for any children • Needed supplies for any pets
  • Important documents (insurance policies, photo ID, tax records, bank information, etc.)
  • Toiletries and other personal hygiene items
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Weather radio with extra batteries

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