If you had trouble getting back to your Hilton Head Island home after Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma, a new disaster re-entry plan might help streamline the process.
Hilton Head Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to get on board with a tiered re-entry pass system.
The approval will allow town manager Steve Riley to join a memorandum of agreement with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office to use the new system.
Beaufort County emergency officials hope the new process will make re-entry simpler to understand and execute, according to town documents. The plan also creates an oversight committee made up of representatives from each municipality and the Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management.
The system will have four tiers of re-entry, allowing those needed for recovery efforts to come back to the island before others.
The levels include:
▪ Tier 1. Those permitted to return first, including those needed for rescue efforts, damage assessment, to restore electricity and water, to work on roads and bridges and to secure military bases, gated communities and other key facilities.
▪ Tier 2 includes those needed to restore hospitals, medical facilities and government operations.
▪ Tier 3 includes utility workers and those essential to gated communities or other developments, including security, managers, public works staff and engineers.
▪ Tier 4 includes business owners, county residents and those who own property in Beaufort County.
“We’ve had ample input into the process and plan,” Tom Dunn, emergency management coordinator, said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “It will benefit everybody involved, so it’s a good move for us to make.”
Participation in the new system is still under review by other municipalities, according to sheriff’s office spokesperson Capt. Bob Bromage.