Charleston County Hurricane Shelter...

Charleston County Hurricane Shelters

Charleston County, SC

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Located throughout Charleston County, designated shelters provide a place of refuge for the public during hurricane events. The majority of buildings selected to serve as shelters during inclement weather were originally designed as educational facilities. After the shelters’ ability to withstand a major hurricane was questioned after an eventful hurricane season, county officials approved the review of current Charleston County hurricane shelters. Charleston County tasked SKA with classifying each shelter with a corresponding hurricane category for use in shelter selection. With similar classification examples across the nation being scarce, SKA performed a study of existing shelter recommendations and guidelines from FEMA, American Red Cross, and the states of Florida and Hawaii. These recommendations provided guidance for construction of new standalone shelters; however, very little guidance was provided for classifying existing shelters. In order to correlate the Charleston County shelters with a hurricane category, SKA developed classifying criteria. These criteria included a review of construction documentation and historical building code wind design requirements to determine the wind design criteria used for the design of each facility and to associate this wind design criteria with the hurricane wind speed classification system. SKA also provided guidance for occupancy in areas of the building in relation to the building construction and window configurations. SKA generated a report classifying the design of each shelter for a corresponding hurricane wind speed category. These reported results were presented to the Charleston County Council Members as part of the Charleston County EMD Hurricane Preparedness presentation. SKA’s recommendations were incorporated into the hurricane preparedness plans of Charleston County.


Owner: Charleston County

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