Emergence Of Tropical Storm Florence A Reminder Of The Need To Create An Emergency Kit And Family Disaster Plan

It is uncertain how South Carolina might be affected, if at all, by Tropical Storm Florence, which is currently churning out in the Atlantic Ocean on an uncertain path. But the emergence of Florence, projected to become a hurricane, serves as a good reminder of the need to stay prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.

First and foremost, it’s important to have a plan. DHEC is encouraging all South Carolina residents and visitors to build an emergency kit and have a family disaster plan in place. Your emergency supply kit should include:

  • A week’s supply of water; at least one gallon per person per day
  • A four-week supply of prescription medications in their original bottles
  • A list of the medical equipment used and the phone numbers of your supplier
  • A first aid kit
  • Insect repellent.

Also, in the case of evacuation, don’t forget to “Know Your Zone.”

If you have special medical needs, consult a physician regarding the best place to be during the storm, and make sure that you have adequate access to proper medications, medical supplies and equipment.  American Red Cross shelters and DHEC Special Medical Needs Shelters (SMNS) should be your last resort and used only when no other option is available.

In conjunction with partnering state agencies, DHEC plays a supporting role during statewide emergencies, like tropical storms and hurricanes. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (EMD) is the coordinating agency responsible for the statewide emergency management program.  For up-to-date information about hurricane preparation and possible developments, visit EMD’s website. You can also follow their tweets, at @SCEMD.

Hurricane season lasts through November 30. To help you prepare for the remainder of the 2017 season, download EMD’s official 2018 S.C. Hurricane Guide. EMD produces the guide in coordination with state, federal, local and volunteer agencies; it includes hurricane preparation tips, coastal evacuation maps, emergency information, tips on returning home after a storm and much more.

For more information about hurricane and disaster preparedness, visit the DHEC website or go to scemd.org.

Prepare ahead of time for possible tropical storms or hurricanes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging citizens to get prepared for the Atlantic hurricane season, which is June 1 through November 30 each year.

Here is a list of preparedness tips from the CDC:

Visit the CDC website for more information on preparing for hurricanes or tropical storms. Also, many resources regarding hurricanes are available on the CDC Hurricanes website.

DHEC in the News: Tracking mosquitoes, opioid crisis, flu

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Black cups in your neighborhood? How DHEC is tracking mosquitoes in your area

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says fortunately here we are having what they call a normal season. But the department did see its first case of West Nile virus earlier this month in the Pee Dee region.

South Carolina is home to at least 61 different species of mosquitoes, which can carry diseases like West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

General Interest

CDC tackles the opioid crisis in the workplace

The Centers for Disease Control, along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, released a new guide for employers to fight the opioid epidemic.

The move was sparked by workplace overdoses on the rise.

5 Things To Know About Flu Vaccines This Year

Even though we’re in the midst of Labor Day Weekend, health experts say it’s time to start thinking about protecting you and your family from the flu.

  1. When You Should Get Your Shot

The CDC encourages everyone to get their flu vaccine by the end of October.

DHEC in the News: Schools and e-cigarettes, trapping mosquitoes, opioid crisis

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

40 percent of SC school districts don’t have tobacco rules that cover e-cigarettes

As e-cigarettes gain in popularity among teenagers, many South Carolina school districts have not updated policies to discourage their use.

More than 100,000 minors in South Carolina will one day die prematurely from a smoking-related disease, research shows. Eighty-three percent of South Carolinians who smoke started before they turned 18.

Don’t touch that cup! DHEC using special cups to trap mosquitoes

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – You may see some unusual looking cups popping up around your neighborhood soon, and South Carolina health officials say you need to just leave them be.

That’s because the cups are being used to trap mosquitoes for a special study conducted by DHEC to track a specific type of mosquito that’s capable of transmitting the Zika virus.

S.C. opioid crisis has not abated

South Carolina recently got bad news on the level of the opioid abuse crisis in the state.

For the third year in a row, the number of opioid-involved overdose deaths has increased in the Palmetto State, according to data collected by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. From 2014 to 2017, the total number of deaths related to opioid overdose increased by 47 percent, from 508 to 748 deaths.

DHEC to Host 2018 Environmental Assistance Conference

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Environmental Affairs is excited to announce the 2018 Environmental Assistance Conference – Compliance Assistance and Customer Service: DHEC and Industry Working Together.  The agenda will include regulatory compliance and permitting topics such as hazardous waste, dams, stormwater, air quality, solid waste and legislative updates.

Additionally, the conference will again have an “Exhibitor Showcase” featuring up to 30 businesses and organizations as well as DHEC staff to answer any technical or permitting questions.

The conference will be held on November 7, 2018, at the Columbia Conference Center in Columbia. You don’t want to miss this event!

Registration is currently open:

Registrations for both attendees and exhibitors is on a first come, first serve basis. Space is available for 30 exhibitors and approximately 250 attendees. The exhibitor fee is $250 per table and includes registration for two attendees. The attendee fee is $55 per person. All registrations include access to the exhibitor room, all presentations, a light breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

For conference updates and to register for the conference, please visit our website at www.scdhec.gov/environment/eac.  Questions about the conference or registration can be directed to Rebecca Sproles at sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov or 803-898-3139.