Beaufort buses to pick up residents who can’t evacuate themselves if mandatory

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – While there has not been a mandatory evacuation issued in the Lowcountry as of Thursday, many folks are making their hurricane plans, booking hotels to go up north and inland. For those who aren’t physically or financially capable of leaving, there will be buses to help get Beaufort County residents to shelter.

“Once the storm gets to a certain point, whether it’s a human or a pet, we can’t go out and rescue them,” said Randy Hunter with the Bluffton Fire Department.

“It’s a burden to evacuate but to me, it’s the best thing to do,” said Bluffton Police Chief Joe Manning.

In the case of a mandatory evacuation in the Lowcountry, first responders urge you: do not stay. If you can’t physically or financially leave, Palmetto Breeze will route buses throughout Beaufort County to pick up residents.

“Once the order’s given of a mandatory evacuation, we will then begin our transportation services to the Red Cross shelter,” said Palmetto Breeze Executive Director Mary Lou Franzoni.

If you can’t get to one of their pick up points, then they will pick you up if you register online here.

“If they sign up for the registry, before we begin our evacuation transportation,” said Franzoni, “We will contact each person on the registry to see if they still need a pickup.”

While shelter locations have not been announced as of Thursday, the Palmetto Red Cross is preparing.

“The location and the number of those are still in the works at this point, because we are still waiting and watching,” said Cuthbert Langley, with the Red Cross.

Beaufort County EMS says shelters will be located outside of Beaufort in higher elevation counties such as Hampton, Colleton and Barnwell.

“Our shelters really are a last resort option for those who have nowhere else to go,” Langley said, “There is some plan in the works right now to have at least some of those shelters also allow for pets as well.”

If you need a ride from Palmetto Breeze, visit their website here to view the map and the closest pick up to you. If you need to be picked up, sign up on their registry here; and we will keep you updated with shelter locations.

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