LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — It's September 1, 2022, and that means it's the start of National Preparedness Month.
Although we're already in the thick of hurricane season here in South Carolina, now is when preparation could turn to action in a week's notice.
Patrick Dollason with the Red Cross tells News 19 today we're only ten days shy of the peak of hurricane season.
"I think we're on named storm number four, whereas this time last year we already had 12 named storms, so it's been off to a slow start, but we're still trying to maintain that focus on preparing for hurricane season," said Patrick Dollason, Red Cross preparedness, planning and readiness manager of the South Carolina region.
The Red Cross works with several agencies and organizations to strengthen partnerships this month and to prepare people.
Their volunteers, like Morgan Jones have a soft spot for responding to disaster.
"Hearing a woman who evacuated from Charleston during a hurricane and when she contacted back she found out that her sister had passed away during the storm. Stories like that just touch my heart and I thought, I really need to learn more about the Red Cross and how to help," Jones said.
Classes like psychological first aid, shelter preparedness and disaster psycho-service overview are focused on in the summer before June 1.
County emergency managers are also making sure every department is ready.
"That includes exercises, drills, individual department trainings so that we are at the top of our game," said Frank Lamb, Lexington County emergency manager.
"In the event that we do have to activate, not only internally do we pull keep folks in to respond, but we also have rooms and tables for outside agencies, rooms for state representatives, room for other local officials that we may coordinate our efforts with," said Christopher Murrin, deputy administrator for Lexington County emergency services.
These Lexington County leaders explain that residents need to sign up for their red alert system if they haven't yet.