S.C. Should Prepare for Freezing Temps

Severe Winter Guide
Columbia, S.C. (Tuesday, January 6, 11:00 a.m.) – The S.C. Emergency Management Division encourages everyone in the state to be prepared for below freezing conditions that are expected beginning Wednesday.  Fortunately, forecasters with the National Weather Service do not expect precipitation such as rain or snow.  
The "Severe Winter Weather in South Carolina" Guide is currently available for download here at SCEMD’s website and copies are at every Walgreen’s store statewide.  The Guide contains useful preparation materials such as:  
South Carolinians unaccustomed to dealing with life-threatening aspects of severe cold should remember to keep exposure to cold weather to a minimum. Frostbite is harmful and painful. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be lethal, and it is particularly hard on infants and the elderly. When the weather turns cold, don't go outdoors unless you have to. If you must go out, dress in layers and cover your ears, head and hands. Remember, high wind speeds dramatically increase the effects of cold temperatures by increasing the "wind chill factor."
  • Stock up on heating fuel and prepare emergency heating sources, such as fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters. (WARNING: Never burn charcoal briquettes or run a generator indoors.)
  • Remember the usual emergency supplies: a flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra non-perishable food and water, extra medicines and baby items, and first-aid supplies.
  • Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes that lack heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.
  • Prepare a place indoors for pets. Move farm animals to shelters and have extra feed and water available.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite such as the loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as finger, toes, ear lobes and the tip of your nose.
  • Keep dry.  Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire if using alternative sources for electricity, heating or cooking.
  • Residents are encouraged to check on elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives due to the increased potential for power outages and cold temperatures. 
  • Stay updated with the latest emergency information from SCEMD by following our social feeds, facebook.com/SCEMD and on Twitter @SCEMD.


SCEMD Homepage

S.C. Agencies Prepare Early for Winter Months

Winter Weather Awareness Week
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Monday, December 1, 2014, 1:30 P.M.) - The South Carolina Emergency Management Division, along with the agencies that comprise the State Emergency Response Team, encourages everyone in South Carolina to prepare for the upcoming winter season during South Carolina Winter Weather Awareness Week.  This is the first time the State of South Carolina has co-sponsored this week with the National Weather Service.  
SCEMD and the SERT have produced a new “Severe Winter Weather in South Carolina” guide to help people prepare for winter-related hazards.  The guide contains tips on what to do before, during and after a major winter storm, check lists, information on how to get the current status of government offices and more.  The Guide is currently available at every Walgreens store statewide and online for download at scemd.org
“Be prepared, prepare yourself and if an event occurs, don’t go out,” Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the Adjutant General for S.C. said, “Team South Carolina is ready, we hope our citizens are too and we’re here to help you.”
“We’ve already seen one snow storm in several counties on November 1, and we’ve all felt below-freezing temperatures recently,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said, “While you’re out holiday shopping this week, think about picking up supplies that will help you should we experience another ice storm in the coming months.”
Maj. Gen. Livingston and Director Stenson were joined by representatives from partner agencies during a joint winter weather news conference Monday morning.
“A quarter of an inch of ice can bring down a power line, and our focus this year is on early preparedness for winter weather,” said Steven Naglic, forecaster with NWS.
“This year, we were hit hard early in the year by winter weather,” Capt. Rob Woods with the S.C. Highway Patrol said.  “From a highway safety standpoint, we saw few serious collisions, however, because motorists heeded our warnings to stay off the roadways. The very best advice that troopers can give motorists – based on their experiences patrolling – is to be prepared before winter weather hits with an emergency kit in your car and to realize that we are working in conjunction with SCEMD and other agencies to provide the most up-to-date information on roadway conditions.”
Woods urged motorists to monitor real-time traffic on the South Carolina Highway Patrol website, www.scdps.gov/schp/webcad.asp, and to look for winter weather driving tips on the SCDPS website, www.scdps.gov/WinterWeatherDrivingTips2.pdf.
“There were 31 fire-related fatalities in South Carolina during last December through March, that’s almost half of all fire fatalities for the entire year,” State Fire Marshal Bert Polk said, “We see a spike of heating related fires this time of year… but we have an opportunity to work together to safeguard lives. 
“We prioritize our routes, interstates first, then major roads and then secondary roads.  It’s important that everyone heed the warnings to stay off the roads,” said David Cook with the S.C. Dept. of Transportation.
“Ice will bring the electric lines down.  When the storm comes, if it comes, if the lines are on the ground, stay away from them.”  said C. Dukes Scott, Director of the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff.
“Everyone should take this time to winterize their home and protect it from the damages that are associated with winter weather,” said Ray Farmer, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
On Sunday, December 7, the state Severe Winter Weather Guide will be distributed via subscription and rack sales of all daily newspapers in the state including: the Aiken Standard, the Anderson Independent-Mail, the Post & Courier, The State, the Florence Morning News, the Greenville News, the Greenwood Index-Journal, Hilton Head Island Packet, the Beaufort Gazette, the Myrtle Beach Sun News, the Orangeburg Times & Democrat, the Rock Hill Herald, the Seneca Journal, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the Sumter Item, and the Union Daily Times.
Several sponsors directly contributed to the printing and distribution of the Winter Weather Guide, including:  State Farm Insurance, S.C. Electric and Gas, Duke Energy, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and Santee Cooper Power.                                                                                    
Staying connected is a critical part of staying safe during severe winter weather.  SCEMD will post emergency alerts and the latest information regarding any large-scale emergency via the Division’s social feeds such as Facebook and Twitter. By following @SCEMD, users are also able to share information about conditions in their communities.    
S.C. Severe Winter Guide

Severe Winter Weather Guide

Be prepared for severe winter weather by downloading this resource guide
produced by the South Carolina Emergency Response Team:

(Click cover to download)

S.C. Severe Winter Weather Guide

Special appreciation goes to these organizations that provided monetary contributions for the printing and distribution of the South Carolina Severe Winter Weather Guide:

State Farm             Duke Energy        Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina


SCE&G             Santee Cooper

Winter Weather Awareness Week

2014 S.C. Winter Weather Awareness Week

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the agencies of the State Emergency Response Team will be holding a joint Winter Weather Awareness Week media availability the morning of December 1 at 11:00 at the State Emergency Operations Center.  
Members of the media will have an opportunity to discuss preparations for the upcoming winter season with S.C. Adjutant General Robert Livingston, SCEMD Director Kim Stenson, State Fire Marshal Bert Polk, Captain Rob Woods with the S.C. Highway Patrol, Tom Johnson with the S.C. Dept. of Transportation, Tom Allen with the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, S.C. Dept. of Insurance Director Ray Farmer and Steven Naglic with the National Weather Service.  
All media covering South Carolina are encouraged to attend this news conference in person.
Representatives will discuss ways residents can currently prepare for severe winter conditions, including road and fire safety, plus information about an all-new publication, the "South Carolina Severe Winter Weather Guide", which will be publicly available beginning Dec. 1.  
Governor Nikki Haley has proclaimed the week of November 30 through December 6 as South Carolina Winter Weather Awareness Week.  This is the first time the State of South Carolina has co-sponsored this week with NWS.  
Agencies of the SERT will be joined by the organizations who contributed directly to the printing and distribution of the new Winter Weather Guide including: State Farm Insurance, SCE&G, Duke Energy, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Santee Cooper Power and Walgreens.  

Governor Nikki Haley's Proclamation for Winter Weather Awareness Week

Governor Nikki Haley's Proclamation



SCEMD Home Page

Earthquake Guide Now Available Statewide

EQGhires1COLUMBIA, S.C. (Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 10:00 a.m.) – The South Carolina Earthquake Guide is available for the first time statewide via the Senior P.R.E.P. section at every Walgreens store in the state.  The S.C. Earthquake Guide is the first publication that details South Carolina-specific information on what citizens should do before, during and after a major earthquake. 

The S.C. Emergency Management Division is a partner with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging and Walgreens to sponsor the Senior P.R.E.P. (Planning Resources for Emergency Preparedness) program.  Senior P.R.E.P highlights a different type of South Carolina hazard each month to offer preparedness tips.  The month of October will feature earthquake information leading up to and during S.C. Earthquake Awareness Week and the Great Southeast ShakeOut! earthquake drill on October 16.  SCEMD encourages everyone in South Carolina to register for and take part in the Great Southeast ShakeOut. 

South Carolina has been recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey as one of the most seismically active states in the country.  Since February 2013, there have been 24 low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in the state, including the 4.1 earthquake in Edgefield on February 14 of this year.  The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast had a 7.3 magnitude and its epicenter was in Summerville on August 31, 1886.

In addition to hard copies being available at Walgreens, the Earthquake Guide is also available for download on SCEMD’s website in multiple formats


ShakeOut SouthEast Banner JoinUs 728x90

The Great Southeast ShakeOut

Similar to other emergency preparedness drills sponsored by SCEMD, the signal to begin the drill will be broadcast at 10:16 a.m. on October 16 via NOAA tone-alert weather radio and broadcast media

Registration on the Southeast ShakeOut site is an important part of this event.  The Great ShakeOut is open to everyone in South Carolina.  To register, go to www.shakeout.org/southeast.  Be sure to include the total number of people taking part in the drill with you.  More than 1.4 million participants total from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have registered so far. 


South Carolina Earthquake Resources:

The South Carolina Earthquake Guide

@SCEMD on Twitter, Facebook and more…

South Carolina Earthquakes via USGS

Southeast ShakeOut Resources page

ShakeOut Frequently Asked Questions page

South Carolina Earthquake Education & Preparedness Program



SCEMD Home Page


Stay Connected

Connect to all @SCEMD Social Media

SCEMD on Facebook  @SCEMD on Twitter  SCEMD on YouTube  SCEMD on Instagram

Sign up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts