SCEMD urges S.C. residents to prepare for winter weather

SCEMD urges S.C. residents to prepare for winter weather

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is asking residents to prepare themselves and their homes for possible winter weather.

The National Weather Service is calling for freezing rain and ice accumulations in the Upstate and northern Midlands into Saturday.

But in the Lowcountry, Live 5 Meteorologist Justin Lock says the possibility of snow flurries or sleet mixing with tapering rain on Saturday won't produce accumulation or create dangerous driving conditions.

Across South Carolina, state and local agencies are putting emergency plans in place for winter weather.

Residents in the Midlands and Upstate should prepare for the possibility of power outages, problems with pipes that are not well insulated or at risk to burst as well as dangerous driving conditions.

Every household should have an emergency preparedness plan in place, SCEMD spokesman Derrec Becker says.

The SCEMD recommends the following steps to prepare for winter weather:

  • Post important numbers by the telephone, such as utility companies and emergency responders.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the NWS offices serving South Carolina.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Once ice begins to accumulate on bridges, overpasses and secondary streets, travel may become treacherous.  If you are on the roadway, drive slowly and watch for black ice.

The plan should also include a winter weather kit that can be easily put together and should include the following items:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and a portable AM/FM radio
  • Extra food and water, such as non-perishable/high-energy foods and snacks
  • Extra medication
  • Extra baby items, especially if you have infants or small children
  • Basic First-Aid supplies
  • Blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothing for warmth
  • Charge all cell phones ahead of time
  • Gather and store extra firewood in a dry sheltered area

Anyone who uses a portable generator during a power outage should remember to keep the generator outside and a safe distance away from the house. Generators should never be used inside a basement or garage. The generator should be placed outside in a well-ventilated area.  Use only the amount of power necessary to maintain essential appliances and lights.

Anyone who sees a downed power line should avoid that line because it could still be active. If you lose power overnight, avoid going outside to investigate because of the possibility of downed power lines in your path. Contact with an energized electrical line may cause severe injury or even death.  All downed utility lines should be considered "live." Report downed power lines to the fire department and the appropriate utility company.

The Live 5 First Alert team will continue to monitor the storm for changes into the weekend.

Stay ahead of the weather by download the free Live 5 News and First Alert Weather apps by texting APP to 84355 for the links.

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