By Cassandra Harris
If a natural disaster or medical emergency struck today, would you be ready? September is National Preparedness Month, an annual campaign focused on encouraging Americans to take the time to prepare for emergencies of all types.
A key component of being prepared is having a plan. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, and have the potential to impact you, your loved ones and your community. By taking the time to prepare now, you will be better able to deal with an emergency when it happens.
There are a number of free resources online that can help you create a simple emergency plan for you and your family. Visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan or http://www.fema.gov/ for free plans and ways to protect the ones you love.
By Cassandra Harris
This September 21 will mark 25 years since Hurricane Hugo made landfall in South Carolina, causing devastation and billions of dollars in damages.
A Category 4 storm, Hugo at the time was the costliest hurricane to hit the United States. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division estimates that a storm of similar intensity on the same path would today cause more than $16.6 billion in damages and destroy more than 21,000 homes statewide.
Hugo’s anniversary is a reminder of the importance of staying prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds. With hurricane season well underway, the Department of Health and Environmental Control encourages all South Carolina visitors and residents to build an emergency kit and have a family disaster plan in place. Also, in the case of evacuation don’t forget to “Know Your Zone.” The actions you take today can help protect you and your loved ones tomorrow. Stay informed, stay prepared!
By Jamie Shuster
(The following post was originally sent as an email to DHEC Public Health staff on 2/2/14.)
One of our most important functions at DHEC is working with key partners to help prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency and disaster situations.
While many of us spent the early part of last week at home enjoying the snow, our Public Health Preparedness team was working hard to ensure that DHEC was ready to help respond to the winter storm.
Preparations for the storm began Monday when our preparedness staff participated in an SC Emergency Management Division (EMD) call to the counties. Based on information received on this call, our staff immediately began preparing to staff our Emergency Support Function-8, which provides critical health and medical services support in an emergency. Regional staff began organizing materials, equipment and supplies that might be needed in responding to the storm, and preparing to open special medical needs shelters. Continue reading