Powerful Hurricane Irma is taking an uncertain path toward the Southeastern United States. Although it’s unknown how South Carolina might be affected, it’s a good time to remember the importance of staying 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 Irma 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 2017 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.