COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is preparing for Hurricane Matthew, even though it’s days away from possibly impacting the state. The state Emergency Management Division has partially activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center outside Columbia so state agencies can stay in touch with counties and cities to see if they need anything from the state.
The “cone of uncertainty” has Matthew possibly just skirting the South Carolina coast Friday or Saturday, but even that can do a lot of damage because of the size of the hurricane, says EMD director Kim Stenson. “There could be, obviously, some damage to some infrastructure. Could be also power outages. It could be some level of inland flooding, coastal flooding and then inland flooding as well,” he says.
Hurricanes are also hard to predict this far out, which is why a hurricane’s projected path is called the “cone of uncertainty.”
Despite having the EOC partially activated, it’s too early for the state to start sending sandbags or other supplies to the coast, Stenson says. The state has sandbags stockpiled and has contracts in place to provide food, water, and portable bathrooms in case of emergencies.
He says just like the state is making sure all its plans are place, everyone else should do the same. That means having at least three days of food and water for each person available, making sure medications are up to date and you have enough on hand, and having a plan in place for where you would go if you have to evacuate and what you would do with your pets.
You can see the state EMD’s hurricane guide at http://www.scemd.org/