Category Archives: Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared When Lightning Strikes: Learn More During National Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Summer is the peak season for lightning.  Even though lightning typically does not result in mass destruction like other storm-related concerns, lightning can be just as dangerous.  This week is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.  Use this week to learn more about lightning and how to protect yourself.

Lightning strikes the earth more than 8 million times per day.  Each year in the United States, about 300 people are struck by lightning.  Of those struck, about 30 people are killed and others suffer lifelong disabilities.  The bolts of lightning are hotter than the surface of the sun and can reach temperatures around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common unknown facts about lightning:

  • All thunderstorms produce lightning. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Even if the sky is blue, protect yourself from a potential lightning threat.
  • Lightning travels through wiring and plumbing. Do not use a corded phone or take a bath/shower during a storm.

Follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about how to stay safe indoors and outdoors when lightning occurs.  Download the National Weather Service Lightning Safety brochure for you and your family.

 

From Other Blogs: American Food Dollars, Stroke Risk Factors for Women, Prepare Your Health for Hurricane Season

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs? – From U.S. Department of Agriculture’s blog

 

Risk factors for stroke every woman should know

More women die from stroke than breast cancer every year. Shocked? It’s true. In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, while it is the fifth for men, and women are more likely to have another stroke within five years of their first stroke. So what is it that makes strokes affect women differently than men? Anil Yallapragada, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Neurology, explained. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

 

Prepare Your Health for Hurricane Season

In all, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), of which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a member, has a list of 21 names that they will use this year to identify hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season.  What’s in a name? A major hurricane by any name is hazardous to public health and safety, potentially life threatening, and important to prepare for.

– From Public Health Matters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Blog

DHEC in the News: Kershaw County rolls out e-WIC cards, Mass hurricane preparedness exercise, Low rankings for restaurant scorecards

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

E-WIC cards to replace WIC vouchers, now available in Kershaw County

ABC News 4 (Charleston)         WIS News (Midlands)

 

Restaurant Scorecards:  Low rankings in Myrtle Beach (WMBF) and the Midlands (The State)

Restaurants in Myrtle Beach and the Midlands receive significantly low inspection ratings.

 

Multi-agency exercise readies Midlands for worst-case scenario

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Nearly 200 personnel participated in a large-scale mock disaster drill Friday at the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission hangar at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport designed to challenge and improve their response capabilities.

Hurricane Season is Coming: Get Prepared During Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st, but it is best to start early and get prepared!  Established by the National Weather Service, Hurricane Preparedness Week educates about the impact of hurricanes and informs people about ways to protect their homes and businesses.

Hurricanes are inevitable in South Carolina.  Follow these tips to prepare:

  • Have an Emergency Kit: Your emergency kit should have equipment, such as flashlights, generators, batteries, and first aid, etc.
  • Write or Review your Family Emergency Plan: Discuss means of contact, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency.  Prepare for health concerns for those with chronic illnesses.
  • Review insurance policies: Understand your insurance coverage for your health, home and personal property.
  • Get familiar with the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast language: Understand the meaning of NWS watches, warnings, advisories, and outlooks.

The CDC’s guide , Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters, is a tool that discusses every potential issue when preparing for a water-related natural disaster.  For more information about what to do before a tropical storm or hurricane, visit:  https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan

For local emergency preparedness updates, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division‘s website.

Don’t Forget to Thank A Nurse This Week: National Nurses Week is May 6-12

Officially recognized in 1993, National Nurses Week was founded to celebrate nurses and their contributions to society as well as encourage more people to join the nursing profession.

Whenever there is someone in need of care, you can count on a nurse to show compassion in tending to their needs.  Nurses are critical in safeguarding individual and public health.

“We celebrate our DHEC nurses for protecting our communities one individual at a time,” said Rebecca Morrison, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC, director, Public Health Nursing.  “Nurses Week is a time to celebrate their dedication and commitment to Public Health nursing.”

CDC Nurse Photo JPG

DHEC nurses provide care for clients in several programs, including:  immunizations, sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, tuberculosis, family planning, children’s health and more.  They are also in local schools and childcare centers.  For a full list of services we provide statewide, visit:   https://www.scdhec.gov/health/health-public-health-clinics/services-we-provide.

The nursing profession was founded to protect, promote, and improve health for all ages.  Take time this week to thank a nurse for all they do.