Tag Archives: flooding

DHEC in the News: DHEC mobile care unit, flu, opioids and meth

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

DHEC’s mobile care unit deploying to counties facing severe flooding

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WPDE) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will use its WIC Mobile Clinic to help those who can’t get to local health departments due to recent flooding from Hurricane Florence.

Later this week the mobile care van will travel to the Cheraw and Marion areas to provide adult immunizations and nutrition services for eligible women and children.

DHEC to deploy mobile care unit to SC flood stricken areas

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – The South Carolina Department of Health says it will roll out its WIC mobile clinic to help residents in areas recovering from the flood.

General Interest

80,000 deaths caused by flu last season, CDC says

(CNN)An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means it was the deadliest season in more than four decades — since 1976, the date of the first published paper reporting total seasonal flu deaths, said CDC Spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

In previous seasons, flu-related deaths have ranged from a low of about 12,000 during the 2011-2012 season to a high of about 56,000 during the 2012-2013.

While America wages war on opioids, meth makes its comeback

(CNN)For Capt. Mark Wollmershauser Jr. and the Tulsa Police Department, the late-2000s and early 2010s were an extremely dangerous time.

In Oklahoma, a state that is no stranger to the scourge of methamphetamine addiction, those years were the heyday of the “shake and bake” method — a rudimentary way of making meth using just cold medicine, some toxic chemicals and an empty two-liter bottle.

The technique is simple enough that many addicts can cook their own meth, but with one tiny misstep, the chemical reaction that occurs inside can cause deadly explosions.

Avoiding Mosquitoes After Rain, Flooding

Rain and flooding of the sort South Carolina has endured recently can saturate areas and leave standing water, which has the potential to become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes can carry viruses such as West Nile. That is why it is important that we all do our part to reduce mosquito populations and protect our families from exposure to these pesky, and potentially harmful, insects.

Reduce mosquito breeding habitats.

It only takes as few as five days for water in containers as small as a bottle cap to become active breeding sites for mosquitoes.

  • Routinely empty any containers on your property that are holding water:
    • Pool covers
    • Flower pots
    • Tires
    • Pet bowls
    • Toys
    • Tarpsclean-gutters-istock_000006269745medium
  • Remove debris from gutters.
  • Trim back thick shrubbery and overgrown grass on your property.
  • Fix leaky outdoor faucets.

Protect you and your family from mosquitoes and possible exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Repair damaged or broken doors and screens.
  • Wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves and long pants.
  • Close garage doors at night.SprayHands-Zika2

If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, applying a mosquito repellent can help protect you from bites.

Visit the DHEC website for more information about protecting yourself against mosquitoes. You can also visit the site to find contact information for the local mosquito control program in your area.

Beware of the hazards caused by flood waters and standing water

Although Florence has exited South Carolina, the storm dumped a large amount of rain that now has some areas of the state facing a high risk of flooding.

Flood waters are nothing to play with or to take for granted. Exercise caution.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

No matter how harmless it might appear, avoid driving, wading or walking in flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

Beware of hazards below

All too often, danger lurks within and beneath flood waters and standing water.

DHEC urges everyone not to use area streams, rivers or the ocean for drinking, bathing or swimming due to the possibility of bacteria, waste water or other contaminants. Avoid wading through standing water due to the possibility of sharp objects, power lines or other hazardous debris that might be under the surface.

Follow these steps if you come into contact with flood waters or standing waters:

  • Avoid or limit direct contact.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap, especially before drinking and eating.
  • Do not allow children to play in flood water, or play with toys contaminated with flood water.
  • Report cuts or open wounds, and report all symptoms of illness. (Keep vaccinations current.)

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage on risks associated with flood waters and standing water. You can also visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for more information on avoiding contact with flood waters.

DHEC in the News: Population health, flooding hot spots, bees and honey

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

The Alliance for a Healthier SC Selected for Prestigious Population Health Challenge

The Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina, a coalition of more than 50 diverse organizations across the state working together to improve population health, is happy to announce that they are one of 15 finalists for the “States of Solutions” program, an effort convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This small group of finalists will lay a foundation to advance equity by instituting improvement strategies and pursuing systemic changes in their state as part of Phase I of this initiative. Finalists that show substantial progress will move to Phase II, where they will engage in equity action labs and pursue initiatives to advance strategic and coordinated actions across sectors and communities to improve health equity.

General Interest

Flooding Hot Spots: Why Seas Are Rising Faster on the U.S. East Coast

Seen from a pedestrian footbridge overlooking Myrtle Park — a sliver of land that Norfolk, Virginia is allowing to revert to wetlands — the panorama of surrounding homes illustrates the accelerating sea level rise that has beleaguered this neighborhood along the Lafayette River.

A grey house, among the first raised in the area, is slightly elevated on cinderblocks, standing 2 feet off the ground. Nearby, owners of a white-sided house with black shutters have lifted their dwelling about 4 feet above ground level. And on the right, a brick house resting on cinderblocks rises incongruously 11 feet above the street.

The roads circling Myrtle Park are cracked and disintegrating due to frequent flooding. Tidal grasses like Spartina are springing up. The boulevard a block away, which leads to the world’s largest naval base, floods several times a year and the frequency is increasing.

Summer heat means more bees and honey

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Southwest Georgia beekeepers said, if you’re looking to buy honey or bees, this is the time of year to do so.

Prepare Yourself: It’s SC Severe Weather And Flood Safety Week

There’s a reason Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed this week — March 4-10 — South Carolina Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week. Severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods are significant hazards in the Palmetto State. It’s important for people to develop emergency plans and be prepared to take proper safety precautions should the need arise.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the National Weather Service (NWS), which jointly sponsor the week, are promoting awareness of procedures that help keep you safe during floods and tornadoes.

A highlight of the week was the annual statewide tornado drill, which was conducted at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.  Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others participated. The purpose of the drill was to test communication systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

Take action now to be prepared for any emergency. That begins by developing an emergency action plan for your home, business and other places where you spend your time. The plan should outline what you would do in case of a major emergency or disaster.

In addition, develop a communication plan that allows you to reach out to family members when normal lines of communication are not functioning. And don’t forget to have an emergency kit for your home, place of work and vehicle.

Visit the SCEMD website for more information about the South Carolina Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week as well as tips on what to do before, during and after tornadoes and floods.