Re-Entry Pass System


In the event of an enforced evacuation, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Beaufort County and the following municipalities to include the Town of Bluffton, Town of Port Royal, Town of Hilton Head Island and the City of Beaufort will be issuing re-entry passes to qualified individuals per Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Standard Operating Procedure 1.03 Incident Emergency Response and Re-Entry Pass System.

Incident Emergency Response passes and Incident Re-Entry passes will only be issued from January 1st thru April 30th of each year. After that time, no passes will be issued from any participating entity. Although, some extenuating circumstances may arise, under those exceptions, only the Sheriff of Beaufort County can authorize the issuance of passes outside of the stated time frame. Incident Emergency Response and Incident Re-Entry Passes are good for a term of two years. They will commence on January 1st and expire December 31st of the second year. EXAMPLE: January 1, 2018 till December 31, 2019. Upon expiration, it is the responsibility of the pass holder and/or agency to re-apply for new passes. Incident Emergency Response Passes for Elected Officials expire at the end of their term.

To apply for Incident Emergency Response or Incident Re-Entry passes, please submit the request on company letterhead, stating your name, agency and amount of passes requesting for each tier along with a brief description of who will be receiving those passes and their role in a disaster. Please note that Incident Response Passes may require more information.Below is a description for qualification of passes:

Incident Emergency Response Passes

  1. Personnel who DO NOT evacuate:

    • Public Service District critical personnel.
    • Beaufort County or the surrounding Municipalities Public Works and Damage Assessment critical personnel.
    • Beaufort Memorial and Hilton Head Hospital Emergency Room critical personnel.
    • Emergency Support Function (ESFs) personnel and other support personnel who actively work within the Beaufort County Emergency Operations Center during activations.
  2. Personnel who may or may not evacuate:

    • Premise, SLED licensed security agencies.
    • Local Elected Officials for Beaufort County and/or the surrounding municipalities.
  3. Personnel who are not required to carry Incident Emergency Response Passes if they have the proper agency and/or law enforcement credentials. Although uniforms are not required, it is highly recommended that every chance be made to wear the appropriate uniform per their agency to the incident. This helps alleviate any delays in entering Beaufort County. 

    • Federal, State County and Municipal Law Enforcement Personnel;
    • Fire Personnel;
    • EMS Personnel;
    • DHEC Personnel;
    • Electric utility companies (SCE&G, Santee Cooper & Palmetto Electric) whose critical personnel hold a key role in the initial stabilization of utilities in Beaufort County. EXAMPLE: De-energize downed powerlines etc.

Incident Re-Entry Passes

Utility Companies

  1. Utility Companies include energy providers (SCE&G, Palmetto Electric Co-Op and Santee Cooper Co-Op), Beaufort Jasper Water Sewer Authority and the various Service Districts serving specific areas of Beaufort County.

  2. Mutual Aid utility workers are not required to carry Incident Emergency Re-Entry passes if they are in their properly marked company vehicles, wearing the appropriate uniform of their employer and carrying the proper credentials of their employer.  Mutual Aid utility workers will be allowed to enter Beaufort County under the four Tiers based off the requirements as stated below for each Tier.

Tier One Incident Re-Entry Passes – Public Safety:

Immediate re-establishment of initial public safety/critical personnel having key roles in life saving services and the restoration of critical services after a disaster to begin the initial (quick view / “windshield”) damage assessment. All Tier One re-entry pass holders are required to present and wear their Tier One Incident Re-Entry Passes at all times during a disaster. Examples of issuance for Tier One access are stated below:

  1. Governmental services critical personnel who will help stabilize and execute immediate/emergency primary road “First Push” efforts to include but not limited to Damage Assessment, Engineering, Public Works and Recovery.

  2. Critical personnel who play a key role in rescues and immediate life safety conducted through agencies that are under contract with Beaufort County and the surrounding Municipalities. COPY OF CONTRACT REQUIRED.

  3. Critical Personnel from the PUDs who play a key role in the initial damage assessment of their community. EXAMPLE:  General Manager AND Director of Public Works.

  4. Critical personnel needed to assess the integrity of governmental facilities necessary for the re-establishment of government services.

Tier Two Incident Re-Entry Passes – Essential Support Personnel:

Continued re-establishment for essential personnel having key roles in life support services after a disaster. All Tier Two re-entry pass holders are required to present and wear their Tier Two Incident Re-Entry Passes at all times during a disaster. Examples of issuance for Tier Two access are stated below:

  1. Utility companies (see description in Section, III Part E of SOP) whose essential personnel play a role in helping re-establish utilities to Beaufort County.

  2. Beaufort Memorial and Hilton Head Hospital essential personnel to include other emergency medical facilities.

  3. Debris Removal companies who are under contract with Beaufort County, the surrounding Municipalities or the local PUDs whose essential personnel play a key role in clearing the roadways. (COPY OF CONTRACT REQUIRED).

  4. Essential personnel needed to restart basic governmental services to include but not limited to codes enforcement, public works, engineering, damage assessment and recovery.

  5. Essential personnel from Beaufort County Animal Services;

  6. Essential personnel from qualified support groups or relief workers from non-profit organizations to support the response and recovery operations with food, water etc.

  7. Essential personnel from the PUDs who play a role in the re-establishment of the community to include but not limited to public works and engineering.

  8. Organizations under contract supporting Beaufort County and the municipality’s services during a disaster (COPY CONTRACT REQUIRED).

Tier Three Incident Re-Entry Passes:

Support Personnel, approved through the Emergency Management Steering Committee, whose functions are deemed an asset to Beaufort County during times of a disaster to assess their facilities.  All Tier Three re-entry pass holders are required to present and wear their Tier Three Incident Re-Entry Passes at all times during a disaster. Examples of issuance for Tier Three access are stated below:

  1. General Managers and Engineers for Hotels.

  2. General Managers of Grocery Stores.

  3. General Managers of Pharmacies.

  4. General Managers of Gas Stations.

Tier Four Incident Re-Entry Passes:

Businesses (Business License is Tier Four Re-Entry Pass)

  1. Businesses supporting the re-entry and transition to recovery process. This can include, but not limited to:

    • Landscaping Companies.
    • Tree Trimming Companies.
    • Residential Construction Companies.
    • Grocery Stores and Pharmacies.
    • Gas Stations.
    • Medical Urgent Care Companies

Residents/Non-Resident Property Owners (Property Tax Bill or SCDL is Tier Four Re-Entry Pass)

  1. Resident/Non-Resident Property Owners for Beaufort County may enter under Tier Four after displaying a current Property Tax Receipt for Beaufort County, or a current South Carolina Driver’s License displaying an address within the confines of Beaufort County.

General Public will be allowed in after all the above Tier Re-entries have been completed.

To apply for any of the above passes, please submit your request to the local jurisdiction where your agency/business operates. All listed below are in cooperation and operate under Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Standard Operating Procedure 1.03 Incident Emergency Response and Re-Entry Pass System Memorandum of Agreement.

Unincorporated Areas of Beaufort County and others as stated above:

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office
Attention Lieutenant Colonel Neil Baxley
2001 Duke Street
Beaufort SC 29902
tfunk@bcgov.net
843-255-4007

 Town of Bluffton:

Bluffton Police Department
Attention: Captain Joseph Babkiewicz
101 Progressive Street
Bluffton SC 29910
jbabkiewicz@townofbluffton.com
843-706-4563

 Town of Port Royal:

Port Royal Police Department
Attention: Captain John Griffith
1748 Paris Avenue
Port Royal SC 29935
jgriffith@portroyal.org
843-986-2220

 Town of Hilton Head Island:

Hilton Head Fire & Rescue
Attention: Tom Dunn
40 Summit Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
thomasd@hiltonheadislandsc.gov
843-682-5156

 City of Beaufort:

City of Beaufort Police Department
Attention: Captain Rob Carson
1911 Boundary Street
Beaufort SC 29902
rcarson@cityofbeaufort.org
843-322-7900

Standard Operating Procedure

Incident Emergency Response and Re-Entry Pass System

Memorandum of Agreements with Neighboring Jurisdictions

City of Beaufort

County of Beaufort

Town of Bluffton

Town of Hilton Head

Town of Port Royal