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It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in South Carolina


March 11, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Storms and Outages

In her proclamation declaring March 8-14 Severe Weather Awareness Week in South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley said, "A well-informed public educated in necessary preparedness measures is less likely to suffer personal injury, loss of life, and property damage in the wake of severe weather."

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), the National Weather Service (NWS), and the South Carolina Broadcasters Association (SCBA) jointly sponsor Severe Weather Awareness Week to remind people that severe weather is a significant hazard in South Carolina, and people need to take the necessary safety precautions.

Earlier this week, SCEMD held a statewide disaster exercise that included more than 5,000 first responders, members of the National Guard, and emergency managers at locations across South Carolina. The purpose of this exercise was to test the state's response to an emergency scenario. Today, public schools, state and local emergency managers, the SCBA, and others will participate in the annual tornado safety drill, which is designed to test communication systems, safety procedures, and more.

As a part of the nation's critical infrastructure, Santee Cooper also conducts numerous tests and drills of our emergency and business continuity plans throughout the year — often in conjunction and cooperation with SCEMD and other emergency agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. We revise plans as needed to shore up any procedures that could be improved. Conditions are always changing, which is why it's essential for agencies like Santee Cooper and SCEMD to constantly test and update their disaster plans.

That goes for you, too. We hope you have an emergency plan and that you're reviewing it at least twice a year. You should know about the kinds of disasters your home could be vulnerable to. Do you live in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone? Is your area prone to flooding? What about any changes in your life since you last reviewed your emergency plan? Did you get married, have a child, or adopt a pet? How does your emergency plan account for these new members of your family?

Knowing and accounting for the many variables can better prepare you and your loved ones for an emergency. So, take some time before hurricane season arrives (June 1) to create, update, or review your emergency plan. SCEMD is a great resource, and so is Ready.gov.