Tag Archives: medical needs

DHEC, Partners to Conduct Emergency Preparedness Survey

DHEC will conduct a survey in June and July to assess the medical needs and emergency preparedness plans of coastal county residents. The survey will be conducted via telephone and online and will include a door-to-door outreach component.

“Health and environmental emergencies can happen suddenly and without warning. Having a skilled, prepared team ready to respond quickly, efficiently, and effectively can be the difference between life and death,” said DHEC Director Catherine E. Heigel. “Public assistance with this survey will ensure these dedicated professionals can capably serve their communities when emergencies strike.”

“The goal of this survey is to determine just how well-prepared people are for emergencies and to provide information to develop or enhance their individual emergency plans,” said Jamie Blair, Deputy Director of the DHEC Office of Public Health Preparedness. “By knowing on the front end if residents in an area may require special attention we are more aptly prepared to serve.”

On Saturday, June 10, members of the local amateur radio club and volunteers with the SC Public Health Reserve Corps (PHRC), the volunteer branch of DHEC that is affiliated with the National Medical Reserve Corps, will visit homes in Horry and Georgetown counties to invite residents to take the survey and to share information about how to prepare for emergencies. On Saturday, June 17, volunteers will visit homes in Charleston, Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties.

Volunteers will be carrying ID

All volunteers will be badged and wearing an official ID badge and PHRC vest or other attire showing their agency affiliation. They will be conducting outreach activities between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on both June 10 and June 17. Residents should ask volunteers to produce their ID badges for proper identification.

The survey will help DHEC in its response to disasters

The confidential and anonymous survey will include questions about the participants’ medical history as well as personal emergency and evacuation plans. DHEC will use the survey results to fine-tune agency response plans for future disasters that may have an impact on public health.

“People with access and functional needs who live at home are of particular concern to us, because it can be more difficult for people to evacuate if they need special assistance,” said Blair. “Many of our residents also have a medical need for electricity, and the power outages that we experience during major storms can be life-threatening for these individuals. As the state’s public health authority, we want to be sure that we’re doing everything possible to prepare people with medical conditions for emergencies and also to ensure that their needs are met when disaster strikes.”

For more information about the survey, please call Jamie Blair at 803-587-0399.

Learn more

For more information about how to prepare for emergencies, please visit:
www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/ or


It’s hurricane season: Those with special medical needs must be prepared

We’re a month into the 2016 hurricane season. Are you prepared? While we all should have emergency kits and evacuation plans, that’s doubly true for those of us who depend on a regular regimen of medication, medical equipment or special diets.

If you have special medical needs and haven’t developed an evacuation plan in case the need arises, today is the day to do so.

Don’t wait until a storm is bearing down. Waiting until the last moment could lead to mistakes, such as critical medicine, medical equipment or other essentials being left behind in a rush. You can avoid that by planning ahead so that you’re ready to move out of harm’s way at a moment’s notice.

Think it all through — from what you would need to take with you to where you would go. Be sure to maintain a list of items you need during emergencies, including medications, medical supplies and other items.

Here are two lists to get you started:pills
What will you take?

  • Ample medication and medical supplies for at least seven days
  • Medical equipment used at home, such as oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc.
  • Special dietary foods and items
  • Health insurance cards
  • Names and phone numbers for health care providers, pharmacies and medical equipment companies (such as your oxygen provider)
  • Name of the utility service that provides power at you home

Where will you go?

Shelters should be the place of last resort. In the event that it is necessary, special medical needs shelters will be made available during storms.

  • Before opting to go to a shelter, try staying with family or friends or in a motel out of the area.
  • Shelters should be used only when no other options are available.
  • If a special medical needs shelter is necessary and available, organize an adult caregiver who can go with you and care for you.
  • Be sure to make arrangements for your pets; many shelters do not allow pets.
  • Tell family members where you will be during the storm.
  • Be sure any home health services you receive can be continued in the shelter.

Visit www.scdhec.gov/Hurricanes/  for additional information on preparing for and recovering from a storm.

Click below to download a comprehensive guide to hurricanes or visit www.scemd.org.

Hurricane Guide 2016