No, but it does mean you should seriously consider it.
The declaration of Mandatory Evacuation (which actually doesn’t appear in South Carolina law) will start the evacuation of retirement home residents, the closing of schools and government offices, and a host of other things. It may even cause a Sherriff to encourage you to leave. But because there are no penalties in the law for those that decide to stay, it is ultimately up to you.
Some things to consider:
- It may be difficult to get back into a mandatory evacuation zone if you leave because of road closures
- Many grocery stores and gas stations will probably close
- Most restaurants will close
- If you have a personal emergency, you may have to wait a while to get help
- For Hilton Head specifically, if the wind gets too strong they will close the only bridge off the island
- If things get bad, it may be too late and you may not be able to leave at all
So – decide if you decide to hunker down and ride it out, be prepared to do it on your own.