COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The
South Carolina Emergency Management Division asks residents to prepare
themselves and their homes for a dangerous developing winter weather situation.
The National Weather Service says the forecast for this week calls for snow and
ice accumulations with freezing temperatures lasting through Thursday morning.
and local agencies are putting emergency plans in place for this winter weather
event and urge everyone in South Carolina to consider preparations to keep your
home, community, family, vehicles and pets safe:
fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use
them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate
heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
hoses and cover all exterior water faucets. Maintain a slight drip of interior
the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes
in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes,
starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most
likely to penetrate).
how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes.
Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from
fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily
close off heat to some rooms. If you will be going away during cold weather,
leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees
sure your family and neighbors know the risks, and find ways to communicate
with them during the cold temperatures.
contact with elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives. Make sure they have a
safe, warm place to stay while the conditions remain cold and hazardous.
community members have a fully-stocked emergency supply kit with items like
food, water, medications, flashlights and extra batteries.
residents who are: shut-ins, elderly, families with small children,
medical-care dependent, non-English speaking, low income and have no
for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale
appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the
nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss,
disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent
exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm
location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm,
non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as
mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm
clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be
tightly woven and water repellent.
not travel unless absolutely necessary. Driving conditions will be hazardous.
traveling, let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to
arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your
predetermined route Antifreeze levels: ensure they are sufficient to avoid
and ignition system: should be in top condition and battery terminals should be
check for wear and fluid levels.
and defroster: ensure they are working properly.
and flashing hazard lights: ensure they are working properly.
tank: Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
pets/companion animals inside during freezing weather. Move other animals or
livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
vehicle engines attract outdoor animals and pets. To avoid injury to hidden
animals, hit on your vehicle's hood before starting your engine.