In anticipation of the hurricane with 100 mph winds and five- to seven-foot storm surges, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency and ordered an evacuation of more than a million people living within 100 miles of the coast starting Wednesday afternoon.
The hurricane is supposed to hit US coastal areas late on Thursday or early Friday. The state is responding gravely to the hurricane alert, in light of storms in South Carolina last October that killed at least 17 people.
Highways will have all traffic lanes directed away from the coast for the evacuation, and the state will close schools and county government offices in 26 of the state's 46 counties. Several coastal schools, universities and municipalities, including the city of North Charleston, announced they would close starting on Wednesday.
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties on Monday. Two hundred members of the Florida National Guard were called to support any hurricane response and another 6,000 were put on standby.
In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 13 counties in coastal areas.
All states prepared evacuation zones, readied shelters and highways to handle evacuees, and had an inventory of emergency food supplies ready in state schools and warehouses.