Hurricane Preparedness


Hilton Head PSD is trained to respond to natural disasters. Here is more information on how to prepare your entire family for a hurricane, complete with online resources.

What to expect when a hurricane happens

If you’re new to Hilton Head, you might not be familiar with hurricane season. It officially begins June 1 every year and runs through the end of November. While the Lowcountry has had a few scares the past two years, the last hurricane to truly impact Hilton Head Island was Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Early preparation will make hurricane season easier

During and after a hurricane, there is always a possibility that the water supply to your home can become contaminated and unfit to drink. To ensure your household has a safe and adequate water supply after natural disasters take these precautions:

  • Store enough drinking water for each family member and pet.
    Store in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.
    Store containers in a cool, dark location.
  • Collect water in bathtubs for non-drinking uses.

How to preserve water for non-potable uses:

  • Fill up the bathtub.
  • Use the water in the water heater.

How to purify stored water:

Boiling: Boil vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes and let cool. You can add a pinch of salt, or pour back and forth between two containers to improve the taste.

Purification Tablets: Purchase from drug store, follow directions.

How to store purified water: To keep drinking water safe from contamination, it should be stored in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.

Prepare two quarts of water per day for each family member and any family pets.

To increase shelf life of water: Group bottles in dark plastic trash bags to keep light out. Store containers in a cool, dark location.

CAUTION: Make sure children don’t mistake bottles containing hazardous substances with bottles used for drinking water.

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How to protect your water heater

  • Switch off the electrical circuit breakers.
  • Turn off your water at the main valve.

How to turn off your water

Your water can be shut off.

Everyone in your home should know where this is located. The main valve (usually with a wheel-type handle) is normally located either on the customer side of the meter box or just outside the point where the service line penetrates the foundation of the house.

It will be in line with your water meter, which is usually located near the edge of your property line near the street. The valve can be operated to provide water, if available, for sanitary services only.

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