With the start of the new year, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette today will preview some of the biggest local issues expected to impact the lives of residents, workers, business owners and tourists in Beaufort County and surrounding areas. Following is one of 17 issues to watch in 2017:
Hurricane Matthew hit Beaufort County hard in 2016. But while the storm inspired resilience in many, it also revealed shortcomings in some county natural-disaster response plans.
The Beaufort County Emergency Management Division, a part of the sheriff's office, has assured the public that the lessons learned in Hurricane Matthew will be incorporated into new disaster-response plans to be completed before next hurricane season begins in June.
Sheriff P.J. Tanner promised that new plans will include improved post-disaster re-entry procedures and a new focus on effective communication to the public through social media and other tools, Tanner told The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette last fall.