Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

Gov. McMaster Declares State of Emergency for South Carolina

Aug 29, 2023 03:09PM ● By David Dykes

Gov. Henry McMaster on Aug. 29, 2023, issued Executive Order 2023-29, declaring a State of Emergency in preparation for the potential effects from Hurricane Idalia, and asked South Carolinians to monitor local forecasts and to begin taking proper precautions. 

The governor's order directs the South Carolina Emergency Management Division to coordinate with all relevant state agencies and to be prepared to respond to any requests for state assistance from local officials and county emergency management leaders.

"Although South Carolina may avoid the worst of Hurricane Idalia's impacts, this State of Emergency is issued out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we have the necessary resources in place to respond to flooding events and are able to respond quickly if the forecast worsens," McMaster said. 

He added, "Now is the time for South Carolinians to begin making proper preparations, and everyone should begin actively monitoring official sources for the most up-to-date information – especially those along our coast and in low-lying areas." 

Hurricane Idalia is expected to cross Florida and potentially bring tropical storm conditions to South Carolina, according to forecasters with the National Hurricane Center. 

Forecasters said people in South Carolina should expect high winds, heavy rain, flash flooding, flooding due to storm surge, and isolated tornadoes potentially beginning Wednesday afternoon and lasting into Thursday morning or afternoon. 

State officials said everyone in the state should be personally prepared for the effects of Idalia, such as flooding, property damage, and power outages.

They said residents should take the time to double-check their personal emergency plans for this and future storms, including: 

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in an emergency.
  • Storm surge flooding can be compounded by heavy rainfall. If you’re in a low-lying area or area normally prone to flooding, make sure your emergency plan includes flood precautions.
  • Know where to go if conditions become too unsafe to remain in your home.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. 
  • Create your emergency plan by visiting or downloading the SC Emergency Manager mobile app:
  • Have an emergency kit with items such as bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights with extra batteries, and chargers for your mobile devices. Refer to the preparedness checklists at Hurricane.SC
  • Bring pets inside and include items for your pets in your emergency kit.
  • Prepare your home or business by securing any items you have outdoors and taking them indoors.
  • The probability of power outages is increased due to tropical storm-force winds. 
  • Frequently monitor weather conditions and be aware that tornadoes are likely to spawn during a hurricane or tropical storm.
  • If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in a house or small building. If there is no basement, go to an interior room on the lowest level. Get under a sturdy table and cover your head. Stay there until the danger has passed.
  • If in a vehicle or mobile home, get out immediately and go to a more secure structure. If there is no shelter, lie flat in the nearest ditch and cover your head. Do not attempt to outdrive a tornado.