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Joe Wilson: Severe Weather Awareness Hurricane Season


South Carolina - As residents of a coastal state, citizens of South Carolina should put time and effort into being prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms. The safety and security of all South Carolinians is of the highest importance to me, and know that the office is always willing to lend a hand.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when planning for extreme weather. I urge all South Carolinians to take precautions during this hurricane season and to seek additional information and resources so that you and your family will be safe if a storm hits our state.

Before a Storm:

  1. Know your terms. A “watch” is a notification for residents to be on alert of a potential storm, and a “warning” indicates that a hurricane is expected in your area. Review the South Carolina Hurricane Guide for more information.

  2. Make a plan. Create a family plan in the event a storm occurs or an evacuation is necessary, and keep emergency contact information handy. Don’t forget to consider your pets when planning for a possible evacuation.

  3. Review your insurance plans and make copies of important documents, like driver’s licenses, medical information, and insurance cards.

  4. Pack emergency kits ahead of time. Having critical resources, such as bottled water, non-perishable snacks, medication, batteries, and flashlights prepared ahead of time will save valuable time in a storm.

During a Storm:

  1. Listen to local radio and television broadcasts for current conditions and recommended actions. Sign up for South Carolina’s Emergency Alert system on your mobile device here.

  2. Evacuate when directed by local authorities. Know your designated evacuation route in advance.

  3. If you are unable to evacuate, seek shelter in an interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.

After a Storm:

  1. Be careful. Stay alert to downed power lines, contaminated water, or possible gas leaks.

  2. Document any damage to your property or residence.

  3. Contact SCEMD’s Recovery Program to see what recovery assistance may be available for your area.

  4. Be vigilant against possible disaster-related scams or price gouging, and report any suspected scams to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

Here are some helpful resources in the event of an emergency:

  • South Carolina Emergency Management Division

  • South Carolina Hurricane Guide

  • Ready.gov Hurricane Preparedness Information

  • South Carolina Sheltering Information for Disasters

  • South Carolina Evacuation Routes

  • Report a Power Outage

County Government Resources:

  • Aiken County Office of Emergency Management: 803-642-1623

  • Barnwell County Emergency Management Agency: 803-259-7013

  • Lexington County Emergency Preparedness Division: 803-785-2449

  • Orangeburg County Office of Emergency Services: 803-533-6265

  • Richland County Emergency Services: 803-576-3400

Please contact the offices in the Midlands, Aiken-Barnwell area, or in Washington if we can provide any assistance.

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