Severe weather can hit at any time, especially when living in a coastal state place like South Carolina.
While disasters aren’t preventable, it is possible to be more prepared to minimize the impact on yourself, your family, and your property.
To get you started with tips on how to prepare for severe weather in South Carolina, we’ve broken down everything to know right here.
What Does ‘Severe Weather’ Mean?
Firstly, it’s important to understand the context of severe weather and what it means.
Severe weather can mean a number of things. From hurricanes and tornadoes to flash floods and earthquakes, severe weather is a catch-all term for natural disasters and other natural weather occurrences.
While severe weather can sometimes be planned for to an extent, such as keeping track of when hurricane season is, there are other times when events happen with little to no warning.
Knowing what to do in case of disaster, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them, can make all the difference in keeping you safe.
1. Have Emergency Supplies
Perhaps one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to plan for severe weather is to have any supplies you need prior to the emergency.
It’s recommended that even if you don’t live in a place prone to emergencies, you still have a starter kit that can sustain you in worst-case scenarios. Of course, if you have more than one person in your home, you’ll want to scale up that kit to accomodate for everyone.
Things to include in your emergency kit include a flashlight, radio, batteries, and first aid kits. Don’t forget to have some shelf-stable food and drinks set aside and extra clothes to stay warm and dry – just in case.
It can also be helpful to bring some enjoyable options in case sheltering is extended. To help pass the time, we recommend things like books, puzzles, games, and even cannabis which is legal in SC.
2. Know Your Emergency Plans
As the common phrase goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Without a proper emergency plan in place, you run the risk of getting into unsafe conditions.
It’s important to speak with your family about what to do in case of any emergency so that you’re on the same page for getting out of the situation.
Similarly, if you live in an apartment building, work in a communal office, or other shared space, be sure you are up-to-date on the outlined emergency plans.
That can include evacuation plans, meet-up points, and similar specific needs as outlined by the building operators.
By knowing exactly what to do in times of emergency, you give yourself a better outcome of staying safe and sound. Need guidance on creating a severe weather emergency plan? Visit Weather.gov’s guide here.
3. Specific Storm Plans
While the above general tips can help to keep you safe in emergency situations, you’ll also want to know what to do when a specific severe weather event happens. Below are a few examples to get you started.
If your city is experiencing high-speed winds, it’s important that you secure your belongings.
This is to both prevent damage to your own property and also other’s. Where possible, secure your loose items that might be outdoors and can be picked up by the wind.
Examples include lightweight furniture, gardening tools, pool accessories, and similar.
Also, be sure that you park your car in a safe place, as parking near signs or trees brings the risk of something falling on your car.
Preparing for a snowstorm is one of the easier weather events to arrange for, as there is usually a fair amount of warning.
In addition to assembling an emergency plan and kit, you’ll want to prepare your home.
Make sure all windows and doors are tightly sealed. Also, consider purchasing salt to sprinkle on the ground prior to the storm to help prevent sticking.
Heavy rain can bring on flooding. Whether you’re indoors or stuck outside, flooding poses a big risk to your well-being.
If you’re in a vulnerable place for flooding, consider moving your expensive items (or what you can) to hire grounds in preparation and sheltering above the ground floor where possible.
Nobody wants to deal with severe weather events, but unfortunately, they’re a reality for most – in one form or another.
The best option for staying safe during these weather events is to prepare accordingly.
While this list is a great starter guide, it’s important to listen to local professionals on the right steps to take to make sure you stay happy and healthy through any weather event.