Dorchester County is prepping for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – While the path of Hurricane Irma is uncertain the Dorchester County Emergency Management Department is already preparing for the storm.

The department is working with several partners including Dorchester District Two, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental (DHEC) and the Red Cross to coordinate mass care resources, which includes shelters, in case the storm impacts the county.

“If we’re talking evacuation there is a significant challenge in getting people out so not only are we focused on the potential for that and the messaging and how we’re going to communicate with the public but also coordinating with our local law enforcement, state law enforcement partners to make sure that we’re in the right place at the right time when and if the evacuation is ordered,” said Mario Formisano, the Dorchester County director of emergency management.

Shelters will be opened later, if needed, and the shelter locations will be announced.

The department also recently tested a new program called Palmetto that was designed for major emergency events like a hurricane. The program tracks traffic problems, tracks power outages, allows staff to report real time problems and make requests for supplies.

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