Be Prepared: Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence is still 1,400 miles away, but with much of the South Carolina coastline in the "cone of uncertainty," it’s a reminder to go down the Scout's checklist and “Be Prepared” for all types of emergencies associated with peak hurricane season.
There are a number of resources and agencies at the state and county level that are well-equipped to respond to natural disasters as we’ve seen firsthand with devastating storms and flooding the past three Octobers. Below you will find links to several emergency numbers and websites that could be useful in preparing for and responding to a severe storm. Some of the information may be redundant or obvious to longtime residents, but it could be essential to those who may have recently moved to the Lowcountry and never faced all that comes with hurricane preparedness. Please feel free to forward and share this email accordingly. And I’d encourage you to reach out, should you have any questions or concerns. You can contact my office in Charleston at (843) 352-7572 or in Beaufort at (843) 521-2530.
National Weather Service Forecast, 11:00 AM on September 10
The following information can be accessed on my website here.
GET A GAME PLAN
The following are web sites and contact information for various federal and state agencies:
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- Department of Transportation Hurricane Evacuation Routes
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
TOP TIPS TO BE PREPARED:
- Make plans to protect your property such as storm shutters or plywood for windows. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Bring things indoors including lawn furniture, toys, trash cans or anything that could fly through a window.
- Learn evacuation routes and contraflow procedures. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate. You can get information on the Hurricane Evacuation Routes here.
- Gather personal documents, including Social Security cards, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, etc. Make a record of these documents and all valuable possessions.
- Keep your automobile fully fueled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
- Be prepared to survive on your own for a few days. Assemble a disaster kit. Include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, clothing, food and water, prescription medications and medical supplies.
- Talk to your family about the dangers hurricanes can present. Plan a centralized meeting place for your family in case you are separated from one another. Choose an out of state family member or friend for everyone to contact and check in with.
- If you are receiving Social Security or Veterans Benefits make sure you have direct deposit. This will ensure you receive all of your benefits if you have to evacuate. The Social Security Administration's telephone number is 800-772-1213 or visit their website. The Veterans Administration's telephone number is 877-222-8387 or visit their website.
- Know how to shut off utilities. Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating and air-conditioning system works. If you have any questions, contact your local utility company.
Local & Nearby County Information
- Website: berkeleycountysc.gov/drupal/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/BerkeleySCGov/
- Twitter: @BerkeleySCGov
- Website: www.colletoncounty.org/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ColletonCountyParksAndRecreation/
- Twitter: @ColletonCounty
- Website: www.dorchestercounty.net/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/DorchesterSCGov/
- Twitter: @DorchesterSCGov
- 511sc.org or 511 on any cell phone
- SC Department of Transportation - Lowcountry: @SCDOTLowCountry
- National Weather Service Twitter: @NWSCharlestonSC
- National Hurricane Center - Atlantic Division: @NHC_Atlantic
Federal Emergency Management Agency
South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- Website: https://www.scemd.org/
- Twitter: @SCEMD
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/SCEMD
- Beaufort County Emergency Management:
- Berkeley County Emergency Management:
- Phone: 843-719-4166
- Website: www.berkeleycountysc.gov/drupal/emergency
- Charleston County Emergency Management:
- Phone: 843-202-7400
- Website: www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/emergency-management/index.php
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/EMDChasCo/
- Twitter: @chascountygov
- Colleton County Emergency Management:
- Dorchester County Emergency Management:
- Phone: 843-832-0341
- Website: www.dorchestercountysc.gov/services/emergency-services/emergency-management/emergency-preparedness
- Twitter: @DorchesterCoEMD
U.S. Small Business Administration
- Disaster Customer Service Center: 800-659-2955
Electric and Water Companies
- Power Outage: 888-333-4465
- Gas Leak: 800-815-0083
- Santee Cooper
- Main: 843-761-8000
- Outage Reporting: 888-239-2300
- Berkeley Electric Co-op: 888-253-4232
- Palmetto Electric Co-op: 866-445-5551
- Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority
- Beaufort: 843-987-9200
- Bluffton: 843-707-0017
- After-hours emergency: 843-987-9200
Telephone and Internet Companies
- Hargray: 877-HARGRAY (1-877-427-4729)
- CenturyLink: 866-706-8592
- Verizon: 800-922-0204
- Home Telecom: 888-746-4482
- Time Warner: 877-892-8477
- Comcast: 800-934-6489
- AT&T Uverse Voice Service: 800-288-2020
- Dish Network: 877-653-0020
- Charter: 855-821-0579
- Cox: 855-821-0520
Transportation, Shelter, and Community Assistance
- Palmetto Breeze: 843-757-5782
- HELP of Beaufort: 843-252-2710
- Charleston County Emergency Citizen Line: 843-202-7100
Other Emergency Preparedness Twitter Handles to Follow
- South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: @scdhec
- Red Cross: @RedCrossSC
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): @CDCemergency