COLUMBIA, S.C. – Residents should finalize their storm preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center predict South Carolina’s coast will experience tropical storm conditions beginning late Monday and into Tuesday morning. Forecasters say high winds, rain, flash flooding, isolated tornados and an estimated storm surge of 1-4 feet are all possible.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division recommends the following:
· Bring in lawn furniture and other loose objects, such as garbage cans, that may become hazards in high winds.
· Double check to make sure you have all emergency supplies listed in the South Carolina Hurricane Guide. Include items like hand sanitizer and face masks to guard against COVID-19.
· Keep your cell phones and mobile devices fully charged in case of power outages Monday night.
· Have multiple ways to get emergency warnings for your area. Some options include Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone, NOAA Weather Radio, and CodeRED Emergency Notifications.
· Heed warnings issued by local public safety officials. When you hear an official alert, take safety precautions immediately.
If you are unable to remain in your home:
· Residents who live in mobile homes or in low lying areas prone to flooding need to consider staying elsewhere during the storm. Stay with friends and family as a first option. Go to a motel or hotel, if possible. Emergency shelters should be considered an absolute, last resort option due to COVID-19.
· If shelters are opened based on immediate need, their locations will be posted on SCEMD’s shelter locator tool at scemd.org, in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app and announced via local media. Safety precautions to reduce the possibility of coronavirus infections will be available at all emergency shelters.
Be aware of potential flash flooding:
· If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
· Do not walk through moving water. Three to six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
· Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
· Do not ever try to drive around or move barricades that are blocking a street.
The South Carolina Emergency Response Team remains at Operational Condition Level Two for COVID-19 response and for Tropical Storm Isaias. The state’s emergency operations center is partially activated to respond to requests for resources should they be needed by local emergency managers. Key state agencies and county emergency managers are preparing for limited 24-hour operations beginning late Monday.