COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is paying close attention to Tropical Storm Erika. As a result of the storm’s projected movement and quickly-changing forecasts, key agencies in South Carolina government have been notified to be ready to respond if the need arises.
People in potentially vulnerable areas should review their plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens South Carolina. Residents and visitors in the state should monitor the storm via local news media and through updates from the National Hurricane Center, especially people in low-lying areas along the South Carolina coast.
“We’re hopeful that the storm won’t affect South Carolina, but we’re making preparations in case it does,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said, “We need to be prepared for the possibility of storm surge, heavy winds, rain and even tornadoes next week.”
SCEMD has partially activated the state Emergency Operations Center at Operational Readiness Condition 4. OpCon4 is the second lowest of five operational conditions. Personnel representing key state response agencies were notified to review plans and procedures and are on call if needed.
People in vulnerable areas along the coast should:
Understand the difference between a Watch and a Warning. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical-storm conditions are possible within 48 hours. Stay tuned for additional advisories. A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical-storm conditions are expected within 36 hours. If you are advised to take safety precautions, do so immediately.
Know Your Zone and review emergency plans: Residents living in vulnerable areas that might be in a tropical storm’s path must make plans now should an evacuation later become necessary. Become familiar with evacuation routes, which are marked with special signs. Visit scemd.org/knowyourzone to determine what coastal evacuation zone you are in.
Keep supplies in vehicles, top off fuel, secure important documents: If the storm approaches South Carolina, individuals and families should fill up their cars with gas. Road maps, nonperishable snack foods, a first-aid kit that includes a supply of your family’s prescription medications, and convenience items such as diapers should be available in the car. Secure important documents in waterproof packaging.
Consider the safety of pets: Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. You should plan to board pets with veterinarians, kennels, or other facilities in non-vulnerable areas. Identification and rabies tags should be attached to the pets’ collars.
Resources: The official 2015 S.C. Hurricane Guide is available at all South Carolina Welcome Centers, at Walgreen’s stores statewide and for download via SCEMD’s website at scemd.org. Follow the Division’s social feeds for @SCEMD content posted in your newsfeeds: facebook.com/SCEMD, twitter.com/SCEMD and others.
—The information in the above article is from a submitted Press Release.