Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, is here again. With its arrival, we must all ask ourselves, are we ready?  We live in an area that has the potential to be impacted by powerful, destructive storms.

Hurricanes bring many hazards to U.S. coastlines and inland areas, including storm surge along the coast, inland flooding due to heavy rainfall, tornadoes, strong wind, rip currents and large waves. It’s been a few years since we’ve experienced these major hazards associated with a hurricane, but we have to be prepared for them. It only takes one storm to change your life and our community.

In the third week of May, the first subtropical storm of the season – Ana – formed near Bermuda. This is sure sign that it’s never too early to get ready.

Our Emergency Management team, led by Emergency Manager Tom Dunn, has already made plans to deal with the threat of storms that may occur during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Behind the scenes, Tom and his team have been meeting to review and update their plans, train staff and ensure we have a full stock of emergency supplies.

For the public, we have updated our “Guide to Emergency Preparedness.” It is available in both English and Spanish, and may be downloaded from the Town’s website at

This guide has all the information you need in one place, including how to make an emergency kit, how to prepare for an evacuation and how the Town functions during an evacuation and recovery.

The Town also has developed handy pocket guides, which provide snapshots of emergency information and pages for you to write down your own plans and contact information. They are also available in English and Spanish.

You may pick up a pocket guide from any of the town’s fire stations or Town Hall. In addition to the guides, make sure you visit our website and subscribe to receive electronic notifications and alerts from the Town during an emergency. Also, follow the Town on Facebook (@townofhiltonheadisland sc) and Twitter (@townofHHI) to stay connected and informed.

John McCann is the mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island.