Over the past few years, the City of Columbia has had to deal with many natural disasters affecting the state of South Carolina and the Midlands area including the 1,000 year flood of October 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. In those efforts to assist the public in those natural disasters, the City of Columbia has gained key experience and knowledge about how prepare and deal with natural disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, announced September as National Preparedness Month, which takes place in the peak of hurricane season. The City of Columbia urges citizens to take steps to protect themselves, their families and their property.
“As Columbia braces for the possible impact of Hurricane Irma, we strongly encourage all citizens to be prepared,” said Teresa Wilson, City Manager of the City of Columbia. “We cannot emphasize this message enough. Don’t wait to start preparing. Please make preparations now for your safety and the safety and well-being of your family.”
The City of Columbia urges citizens to take steps to protect themselves, their families and their property during this hurricane season. According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, SCEMD, one of the best ways to prepare for any type of natural disaster is to have plan in place and make sure everyone is fully informed about it. This plan may include knowing about emergency shelter locations, evacuation routes, portable emergency equipment and what you need to have on you in case of an evacuation.
“Being prepared includes knowing local and state resources and response plans, creating a communication plan, coordinating emergency plans for family and neighbors & looking out for those who need assistance,” said Demetrius Rumph, Director of Safety & Risk Management at the City of Columbia. “As we think about this, it’s really neighbors helping neighbors. You never know when a disaster will strike, and even if you know a storm is coming, you still can’t predict its total impact.
If you haven’t done so already, get started, begin planning and be prepared.”
In any type of disaster situation SCEMD recommends everyone have a disaster supply checklist in your plan as well. This checklist will include items that you can use at your home or take with you in case of an evacuation in your area. These items feature emergency lighting with extra batteries (flashlights, phones, etc.), non-perishable food items, bottled water, first aid kit & supplies, bedding & clothing, sanitary & bathroom supplies, important documents (driver’s license, social security card, insurance card, etc.) and enough money on hand to pay for necessary expenses.
“The City of Columbia is continuing its preparations for Hurricane Irma and we encourage our citizens to do the same for themselves and their families by having their Family Emergency Kit assembled,” said Harry Tinsley, Director of Emergency Management at the City of Columbia. “Now is the time to be prepared. Don’t wait until the last minute; have your plan in place.”
For more information on how you should plan for any time of emergency situation, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website at www.SCEMD.org or follow them on Facebook & Twitter (@SCEMD). You can also obtain essential disaster information from the Federal Emergency Management Division at their website, www.FEMA.gov or get up-to-date information on Facebook & Twitter (@FEMA or @Readygov).
Please remember that all of these resources are great for obtaining information, but for life-threatening situations everyone is urged to call 9-1-1.