According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a ‘warning’ refers to situations in which a severe weather event is either already occurring or imminent. The NWS may release an official weather ‘warning for severe thunderstorms, tornados, high winds, tropical storms, hurricanes, excessive heat, flooding and winter weather conditions. Each of these hazardous conditions, including snow, has the potential to occur in South Carolina. At Joye Law Firm, we want to make sure that you and your family are ready for any natural disaster conditions that you might face.

Preparing for Natural Disasters in South Carolina

Know What to Expect

When it comes to severe weather, knowledge is power. You will best be able to protect yourself if you know what is coming. Of course, as we all know, you cannot predict the weather with any real certainty. Indeed, some extreme weather events, such as tornados and earthquakes, come with little or no advanced warning. That being said, there are steps you can take to stay ahead of the weather conditions. For example, you should always keep a regular watch on the upcoming weather forecasts. Two of South Carolina’s biggest natural disaster threats, severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, usually do occur with some advanced warning. At the very least, you will be able to know when these conditions are a possibly. In the spring months, you should always be ready for damaging thunderstorms to come in from the west. In the late summer and early fall, you should always be ready for a destructive tropical storm to come up in the Atlantic coast.

Take Action

When you have warning that a storm is possible in the coming days or hours, you need to take immediate action to prepare your property and your family. If possible, please try to ensure that your loved ones are all safely at home. Next, you should take steps to secure your property. For example, if you can, park your car away from any trees. Additionally, make sure that your gutters are clear from any debris, so that your roof can properly drain. Finally, be sure to secure any large objects that might be on your property such as umbrellas, tables and trampolines.

Be Ready With Supplies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises that all families should have a well stocked emergency supply kit in both their home and their vehicles. Some of the things that should be included in your home disaster preparedness kit include:

  • At least three days of fresh drinking water;
  • Three days worth of non-perishable food items;
  • A first aid kit that includes any needed prescription medications;
  • A battery powered radio;
  • A battery operated flashlight;
  • Extra batteries;
  • Warm blankets;
  • Extra clothes; and
  • Important documents, such as identification, bank account records and insurance records.

For your vehicle, you should have a similar kit ready, albeit one with some necessary vehicle supplies such as jumper cables. In both kits, you should also include any items that might be needed for your individual family. For example, if you have young children, it is a good idea to include some books or games in your emergency kit. If you have a dog or a cat, you should include pet food.

What to Do When the Storm Hits

  • Find Shelter: Remember, a severe storm warning means that a dangerous storm is about to happen. At this point, you need to find shelter immediately. If you can hear thunder, lightning and damaging winds will not be far behind. You need to get inside a sturdy building, now. If one is not available, get yourself inside of a vehicle. Please never stand under a single large tree during a storm. That tree may act as a lightning rod.
  • Stay away from windows: To the best extent possible, please stay away from windows, especially large windows. Even reinforced storm windows may sustain damage during some strong weather events. The best place you can be is in interior room or basement, as far away from the windows as possible.
  • Stay away from electrical items: If you are in your home during a severe storm, you should unplug all electrical items before the storm actually hits. Once the severe weather conditions arrive, please stay away from all electronics. This is critically important, as it is possible that a nearby lightning strike could create an electrical surge that makes these objects extremely dangerous.

Contact Joye Law Firm Today

Our firm has been proudly serving communities in South Carolina since 1968. We have offices in North Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach. If you find yourself in need of legal assistance, our compassionate personal injury attorneys are ready to help.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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