Spared by Isaias

Spared by Isaias

Spared by Isaias

Well, it looks like we dodged the worst of Hurricane Isaias. At the peak of the storm shortly before midnight, there were nearly 8,000 customers without power. By 10 a.m., that number was down to fewer than 50. As always, we thank those involved in the restoration effort and particularly their ability to get it all done with no safety incidents!

Although Isaias might have spared South Carolina most of its devastation, it’s a good reminder for us to be ready for the next storm that comes our way. We are only a third of the way through the 2020 hurricane season, so it’s very possible we’ll have more storms heading our way. Here are a few important reminders about how to prepare for the next one.

1. Assess your risk

High winds aren’t the only concern with hurricanes. Flooding can cause catastrophic damage, too. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides an online flood map that shows your risk. Check it out and review your insurance coverage.

2. Build a hurricane emergency kit

Hurricanes bring strong winds that can topple trees and knock down power lines, leaving you without power. Supplies of food, water and other staples can become scarce before a storm, so it’s important to prepare a hurricane emergency kit beforehand. Here are a few essential items to include:

WATER | For drinking and sanitation. Rule of thumb: One gallon of water per day per person for at least three days.

FOOD | Stock up on at least three days’ worth of non-perishables (canned and dry goods), such as: canned juices, dry cereal or granola, protein or fruit bars and peanut butter. Don’t forget a manual can opener!

FIRST AID KIT | Include bandages, pain relievers/fever reducers, and rubbing alcohol. Ready-made kits are available with lots of variety and make a good investment.

RADIO | Have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio on hand. You can also get a NOAA weather radio with alerts for all hazards. Check your local hardware store and online.

FLASHLIGHT | Upgrade your regular household flashlight with a durable, impact-resistant model. This site reviews the top 10.

EXTRA BATTERIES | For all the items you see listed above that may need them.

3. Plan

Know evacuation routes for your community. In South Carolina, you can find your evacuation zone at scemd.org. If a strong hurricane hits, your best move is to evacuate. Staying behind in your house under those circumstances is dangerous and puts emergency personnel at risk should they need to rescue you. If you leave your home, take your emergency kit, non-perishable foods and water. Some other things to consider during blue-sky days:

INVENTORY your valuable possessions. Take photos of electronics and keep receipts, at least by photograph.

SAFEGUARD valuables in a small home safe.

REPLACE gravel in landscaped areas with shredded bark, which won’t cause as much damage in high winds.

CUT weak branches and trees that could fall on your home.

INSTALL storm shutters on windows. Fit plywood panels to windows, which you can nail to window frames before you evacuate.

SEAL outside wall openings. These include garden hose bibs, outdoor electrical outlets and vents. Use urethane-baked calk to keep the water out.

Be sure to follow Santee Cooper’s social media as part of your emergency preparedness. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. You can also track outages and find updates online at stormcenter.santeecooper.com.

As Isaias proved, tropical storms and hurricanes are unpredictable but are a part of life in coastal communities. We recommend putting these hurricane safety tips into play if you haven’t already. Find more tips and information on storms and hurricanes from our Storm Center.

Author Jeff Straight

Jeff Straight

As a 15-year veteran of the utility industry, Jeff began his career as a call taker. Those countless hours of listening to customer concerns helped mold him into the communications professional he is today. He grew up in West Virginia and graduated from his hometown college, Fairmont State, in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. He is a drummer of 30 years and enjoys entertaining people from the stage as well as the keyboard.