Columbia, S.C.-Residents in the Upstate should monitor local weather conditions and continue winter safety preparations. Forecasters with the National Weather Service predict the possibility of a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow for portions of the state.
The S.C. Emergency Management Division works closely with the S.C. Department of Public Safety, the state Dept. of Transportation, the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources, the S.C. National Guard and all NWS offices that serve South Carolina to share the latest information about the storm and its possible impact.
SCEMD Director Kim Stenson is coordinating with all county emergency managers to make sure there are no unmet needs in terms of winter storm response resources.
Residents should continue winter safety precautions, including:
- Check on anyone who may need extra help during winter weather.
- Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies only.
- Remember to keep a full charge on your cell phone and mobile devices so that they can be used during an emergency.
- Motorists should be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roadways, which tend to freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
- Power outages are expected to be minimal but possible with this storm. If you lose power, know how to report the outage to your utility company and have alternate, safe means of staying warm.
- Monitor local media for information about warming shelters that have been opened by county emergency managers.
- 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.
- Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
- Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators OUTSIDE and away from any open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from charcoal fumes indoors.
- Never operate a portable generator indoors.
- Keep fresh batteries on hand to use with flashlights and NOAA tone-alert weather radios.
- Provide some options for outdoor pets and domestic animals to stay warm.
- The official South Carolina Severe Winter Weather Guide contains checklists and tips on how to prepare for a winter storm. The guide is available for download at www.scemd.org/stay-informed/publications/severe-winter-weather-guide/
- Any closings and/or delayed opening of state government facilities will be posted at scemd.org/closings and broadcast on SCETV television and S.C. Public Radio.