Colleton County Fire-Rescue

Emergency Management Division - General Information

During major emergencies, such as a hurricane, earthquake, tornado outbreak, hazardous materials release, there are countless numbers of people that contribute to three common goals.  They are:

1. The protection of life

2. Stabilization of the emergency

3. The protection of property

These three goals exist during four distinct phases of emergency management.

1. Preparedness - like the many local agencies that continually prepare for major emergencies, you should prepare your family and home well ahead of time.  This includes having an evacuation plan, knowing what zone your home is in, building an emergency kit, and planning for citizens with functional needs, pets and your business if necessary.

2. Mitigation - studies have shown that every $1 spent on mitigation today can avoid $4 in losses later.  Mitigation includes safeguarding your home and/or business and includes activities such as retrofitting your home with storm shutters or hurricane straps, trimming dead or weak branches from trees, improving drainage on your property, etc. 

3. Response - during most emergencies, responders continue to travel to incidents / calls for service.  However, as the weather conditions deteriorate, the responders' lives are placed at a much greater risk.  While you are not tasked with response to emergencies, venturing out during declining weather conditions or failing to evacuate when the Governor orders so, places both you and our responders at a much higher risk.  Responders must navigate dangerous areas in order to reach you and if you failed to evacuate when ordered, you can expect a much longer wait time for them to arrive.  It is also possible that in some areas, you would be unreachable.  It is essential that you follow the directions and evacuation orders of state and local officials.

4. Recovery - Recovery is the cumulative effort of Federal, State and local governments in conjunction with non-governmental organizations and private industries pooling financial and personnel resources to assist disaster impacted communities with rebuilding the infrastructure; reconstructing homes; providing housing; restoring health, social and community services; restoring natural and cultural services; and revitalizing the economy.  While it is sad and unfortunate to return to your home and find it damaged or destroyed, the property can be replaced or rebuilt.  Remember our first common goal: The protection of life.  Your life and the lives of your family can not be replaced or rebuilt. Recovery efforts should never have to include the injury or death of you or a family member. Follow evacuation orders and your recovery efforts can focus on your property.