Preparing for a Hurricane during a pandemic has additional challenges for state officials and emergency professionals but a spokesperson for Horry County says they're ready even with the COVID-19 Pandemic in full effect. Under normal circumstances, when the joint information center is activated, just over 80 emergency operators are in the room working to respond to resource needs. However, with the pandemic this year, Horry County is cutting that number in half.
Thomas Bell with Horry County stated “The rest of the folks who would normally come will be virtually responding. They’ll be at their agencies, or their homes, Those core individuals who are very knowledge, and really understand the support function that they support, and can really provide us with those answers that we might need in real time,"
There are also various safety protocols put in place in the building for the workers there and they're preparing as best as possible for people working from home who may lose power or have other issues.
Bell said “A lot of this has already been tested out. Of course you’re throwing in 75 mile-per-hour winds, potentially, which causes some issues, but we do feel pretty comfortable with what we will still be able to do with core group of individuals just here EOC,”
This is all in preparation at this point as the Emergency Operation Center has not been said to be needed at this time, this may change as the storm approaches.