Charleston leaders creating new city disaster plan

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:03 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:54 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston city leaders want to build a new disaster plan specifically tailored to the city that will fit within the existing plan for all of Charleston County that is already in place.

The plan, known as a hazard mitigation plan, will help officials understand potential dangers and threats and how they take shape. It will also make it easier for the city to work with facilities like the medical district or The Citadel, in a strategic manner during emergencies.

RELATED: See Charleston County’s Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Charleston Chief Resilience Officer Dale Morris said he feels this plan is important given Charleston’s long history and pattern of flooding.

Tailoring the plan at the city level will allow for more detail, he said. For example, it will allow them to look at specific streets, basins and hazards common to those areas.

Morris also said hazard mitigation plans prequalify the city for federal aid in an emergency.

“When you have a plan in place, FEMA and the state will say, ‘OK, they planned well, they followed their plan well, they’ve done what they’re supposed to do. So now we are going to help them out post-disaster in the most expeditious way,’” Morris said.

That, of course, requires federal and state resources to be available, but he said having a plan is very important for flowing federal resources after a disaster.

This plan is also important for vulnerable communities, like low-lying areas during a flood, or places that need extra attention in order to recover as quickly as possible.

The city says having a plan in place will help them better update their recovery, emergency operations and continuity of operations plans as well.

The city of Charleston is looking to hire a consultant to help create the new plan. Applications must be submitted by 1 p.m. on Aug. 16. For more information, email robinsonr@charleston-sc.gov. All questions must be received before 1 p.m. on July 28.

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