Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence Preparedness

South Carolina and local officials started making early preparations for potential effects from Hurricane Florence as the storm’s path in the Carolinas still was uncertain.

The powerful storm has local and state officials on alert and urging residents to prepare as a precaution to be ready for whatever Florence might bring. Officials expect to have a better idea of what the storm will do in South Carolina in the next 24 to 48 hours. What this area could experience depends on what turns Florence makes.

 Lance Thompson, General Manager and Vice President of Ocean Lakes Family Campground, urged guests who have reservations at the campground to continue to watch the storm’s projected path and stay in touch with us. Follow the Ocean Lakes Facebook page for the latest.

“Don’t panic, but be prepared,” Thompson said. “Our team is monitoring the storm and will keep guests updated as we know more. By Tuesday, we will know a lot more.”

The storm's uncertainty has left guests with reservations in the coming days wondering what to do. Ocean Lakes issues refunds if the Myrtle Beach area is under a watch or warning from a named storm; there are no watches or warnings as of right now. Read more about our storm-related cancellation policy here

Will Ocean Lakes Notify me of Damage to my Property? 

Short answer, yes, when we can. Our team has a lot of experience with storms and hurricanes. Our Emergency Preparedness Plan is updated annually and outlines step by step how to prepare our oceanfront campground for an impending storm. This plan includes communications (web, social, email, app push, etc.), securing our buildings, structures and operations as deemed necessary, preparing post storm resources, staging equipment, working with Storm Water Management, our power companies and other local authorities. We organize and mobilize our team before and after the storm. 

Some Camper & Golf Car Storage guests choose to remove their property from our storage facilities, that is not necessary, however, that is the owner’s decision. 

When an evacuation is declared by the Governor our team works to help guests depart the property. We complete all tasks according to our Emergency Preparedness Plan and finally begin to shut down utilities and secure all park access – including the Main Gate. 

Campsite and OLP Rental Reservations
We understand guests are trying to decide about their Ocean Lakes' reservations in light of a named storm in the Atlantic.  Please review our Cancellation Policies regarding storms below (see all of our reservation policies here: Campsites and Ocean Lakes Properties Rentals).
  • There is a Named Storm in the Atlantic and you have a Reservation to Camp or Rent: If you have a reservation and choose not to come, you must call our Campsite Reservation line at 877-510-1413 or Rental Reservation at 800-845-2229 to cancel your reservation (prior to your arrival date) to see if there is a special exception regarding your applicable deposit.* 
  • Normally we retain the applicable reservation deposit unless there has been a Watch or Warning issued for a named storm.*
  • Myrtle Beach is under a named Storm Watch or Warning:  If there has been a storm/hurricane watch or warning for our area, we refund the deposit.*

*Note: The reservation arrival date must be within the named storm dates and before we resume business operations, if you are canceling a reservation farther out then those dates, you will be subject to our normal cancellation fees.

During a Storm
The safety of our team and guests is the priority. Generally, during a storm we have Security on site in a secure structure and location to monitor the park during the storm (depending on the severity of the hurricane – safety first). Our Marketing Team works (from wherever they are) to keep everyone updated as much as possible as long as power and internet/cell is operable. 

Post Storm & Damage
Once it is safe to move around the park, Security begins to assess our property for damage while our teammates return to help repair and clean up the park. Necessary equipment is utilized. Our team surveys the entire property and notes damage from wind, debris, trees, objects, rising water, etc. to all annual lease sites (2,566), storage campers (2,600+), and storage golf cars (300+). We understand you are anxious to learn about your property/recreational vehicles, but this takes teammates and time. We do not enter the structures or campers – it is more of a “drive by” assessment of the exterior. It generally will not determine a leak in a roof, window, door, etc. or other potential internal damage. We work to contact owners as soon as possible.


PLEASE remember that this is our home. We understand that guests and lease holders are concerned about their property, but we would appreciate the consideration of our teammates and their families who may be dealing with damage to their homes. We do our best to provide outstanding customer service, but Grand Strand is OUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE and our place of employment. We appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding, and prayers as our team juggles their families’ needs with our guests’ needs. This includes the inevitable barrage of phone calls, emails and the constant social media requests.

What is the Latest Weather Report?

WPDE Chief Meteorologist, Ed Piotrowski, said in a Facebook post Sunday afternoon, “Here's the bottom-line:
1. Impacts are likely but the magnitude of them will depend on the track.
2. Impacts would most likely be felt late Wednesday and into Thursday and Friday.
3. Now is the time to make sure your hurricane kit and plan are ready. 
4. No evacuations have been ordered. That could happen Tuesday.
5. Evacuations are issued for people who are threatened by storm surge, not wind.”

What are Officials Saying Regarding the Storm?
Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday, so officials could activate its hurricane preparedness plan and have the National Guard staging resources, so the state will be prepared for whatever Florence might bring. He urged residents to get ready now and said, “Residents should take the following safety precautions: Have a plan for where you will go if conditions become too unsafe to remain in your home. Know your evacuation zone by going to or downloading the SC Emergency Manager mobile app. Prepare your home by boarding up windows and securing any items you have in your yard by taking them indoors. Make sure your car has fuel. Make sure you have some cash in case of power outages. Keep all of your important papers in a watertight bag. Check with your pharmacy to make sure all important medications are filled. Make plans for your pets that include extra food, collar, leash and a pet carrier. Refer to the preparedness checklists in the 2018 S.C. Hurricane Guide. The path of Hurricane Florence is uncertain, according to NHC forecasters.”

Updates and Communication:
Ocean Lakes will keep guests updated on its Facebook page and other social media, through our blog and via email. Also, download our app and allow push notifications, which is another way we will update guests and homeowners with the urgent information.

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