As residents of a coastal state, citizens of South Carolina should put time and effort into being prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms. The safety and security of all South Carolinians is of the highest importance to me, and know that the office is always willing to lend a hand.
Below are a few things to keep in mind when planning for extreme weather. I urge all South Carolinians to take precautions during this hurricane season and to seek additional information and resources so that you and your family will be safe if a storm hits our state.
Before a Storm, remember these T.I.P.S:
- Terms. A “watch” is a notification for residents to be on alert of a potential storm, and a “warning” indicates that a hurricane is expected in your area. Review the South Carolina Hurricane Guide for more information.
- Insurance and Important information. Review your insurance plans and have copies of important documents, such as driver’s licenses, medical information, and insurance cards.
- Plan ahead. Create a family plan in the event that an evacuation is necessary, and keep emergency contact information handy. Don’t forget to consider your pets when planning for a possible evacuation.
- Supplies. Plan ahead of time by creating emergency kits filled with survival necessities such as bottled water, non-perishable snacks, medication, batteries, blankets, crank radios and flashlights.
During a Storm:
- Listen. Listen to local radio and television broadcasts for current conditions and recommended actions. You can also sign up to receive emergency alerts on your mobile device here.
- Evacuate. When directed by local authorities, you may be required to evacuate. Know your designated evacuation route in advance.
- Shelter. If you are unable to evacuate, seek shelter in an interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
After a Storm:
- Be aware of dangers. Be cautious of potential dangers, such as downed power lines, contaminated water, or possible gas leaks.
- Document damage. If possible, take photos of the damage on your property or residence, in addition to making written notes.
- Seek assistance: Contact SCEMD’s Recovery Program to see what relief or recovery programs may be available for your area.
- Be cautious of scams. Be alert to possible disaster-related scams such as fraudulent phone calls or price gouging, and report any suspected scams to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. Do not give any personal information, including credit card and bank account information, to unverified callers.
Here are additional resources that may be helpful in the event of an emergency:
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- South Carolina Hurricane Guide
- Ready.gov Hurricane Preparedness Information
- South Carolina Sheltering Information for Disasters
- South Carolina Evacuation Routes
- Report a Power Outage
County Government Resources:
- Aiken County Office of Emergency Management: 803-642-1623
- Barnwell County Emergency Management Agency: 803-259-7013
- Lexington County Emergency Preparedness Division: 803-785-2449
- Orangeburg County Office of Emergency Services: 803-533-6265
- Richland County Emergency Services: 803-576-3400