NOW is the time to prepare for severe winter weather despite warm temps outside

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV)– It may not feel like it outside but winter is almost here and agencies across South Carolina want to make sure you’re prepared for the worst. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division filled WSAV News3 in on what’s already being done ahead of a winter storm.
Lower temperatures are coming and that means the risk for dangerous winter weather will start to rise. This is the tie to get ready.
The owner of a Midlands hardware store says people usually wait until the last minute to stock up on needed winter weather supplies.
“We don’t usually get it, but when we do it always seems like we’re ill-prepared for it. Generally a day like this, it’s 60 degrees, so nobody is thinking about ice melt. But Lord help you when we first get a half-of-inch of ice you can’t buy it because it’s all sold out,” said Kenny Rowland, the owner of Young’s TrueValue Hardware.
State agencies are preparing for the worst. The Department of Transportation has invested almost 1 million dollars to purchase new equipment like snow plows to tackle the winter weather.
The director of maintenance with the state’s department of transportation talked about how the agency is getting ready. “We have to make sure our equipment is ready to go and is in good condition. We have to make sure our winter weather materials and supplies are full and ready to put chemicals out, primarily consisting of salt,” said David Cook.
SCEMD wants you to start prepping now too. That means coming up with a plan that will keep you fed and warm for at least 72 hours.
Major General Bob Livingston says ice is the state’s biggest threat.
“When we get ice forming it overcomes the trees we have and the branches fall and the power lines fall so then we’re without power. We’re also dealing with ice on the road. If you’re on a well, you need to store water somewhere, but you need to have warm clothing, you need to have blankets, flashlights, and maybe an alternative source of heat,” said Maj. Gen. Livingston.
SCEMD says go ahead and check your heaters and generators and stock up on extra fuel for those heating sources.
The department of transportation bought 31 snow plows for this winter season. The agency has already spent $116,000 on training and labor to prepare for the winter.
The first day of winter is December 21st.

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