SANTEE, S.C. — As people begin to travel away from the Florida coast ahead of the Hurricane Ian, hotels in Orangeburg County are getting ready for an influx of guests. Many travelers coming from Florida along the I-95 corridor make a pit stop in Santee.
“Preparations for a storm starts well before a storm ever arrives," said Fairfield Inn General Manager David Lenk.
The Fairfield Inn has a hurricane box with emergency supplies like batteries, chargers, lanterns, and glow sticks. The hotel also has a generator to power its elevator, lighting, and other necessities to keep the hotel running and continue serving guests.
“There’s a field in front of the hotel and that’ll probably have 25 to 35 bucket trucks from the big power companies getting in position so that they can help the citizens where the hurricane has struck," said Lenk.
The structure of the hotel itself and others nearby are built out of concrete, which makes it strong enough to withstand a storm.
Down the street at Clark's Inn, evacuees have been calling since Sunday.
“We do the best we can because we are shorthanded and everybody just comes to work and when we call them, they come," said Clark's Inn General Manager Kittie Collier.
As one of few pet friendly hotels in town, they accommodate evacuees with furry friends. Its restaurant is also supplied with a surplus of food for guests.
“I feel like we’re as prepared as we can be," said Collier.
At the Hampton Inn, safety is the top priority for its guests and staff.
“We will have our essential staff here so it is gonna sort of be all hands on deck," said Hampton Inn General Manager Sue Kinley.