BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – Snow in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry is very rare, but officials say prepping for it is very similar to prepping for a hurricane, and that’s something we are very familiar with.
That includes making an emergency kit, including: water and food for up to three days, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, batteries, and first aid kit.
“Most importantly a plan, don’t wait until it happens to determine where you can go and where you can, or what you should do,” says Lee Levesque with the Bluffton Township Fire District.
With cold weather, also comes serious precautions trying to stay warm.
“If it has heat, we want you to remember, keep three feet of clearance in all directions,” Levesque says, “It’s important not to use space heaters or kerosene heaters or those types of machines on carpet, carpet absolutely can break down overtime with heat and catch fire.”
Make sure your smoke detectors are working, if you need help — call your local fire department.
If there should happen to be a power outage, Levesque says generators in the house are never a good idea. They should be kept outside, 10 feet away from any walls, and never under a roof.
Something fire officials can’t stress enough. “Last winter, perhaps the winter before, we lost a family of seven, a dad and six children in the up state here of South Carolina, used the generator in the middle of the house because they lost electricity, wasn’t even in the garage, it was in the living room, went to bed and not one of the seven woke up due to carbon monoxide,” Levesque recalls.
If you absolutely have to go out on the roads he says be patient, understand that people are not used to driving on icy roads and to allow enough time and space for mistakes.
Don’t drive at night and always have a way to call for help –a fully charged cell phone or even someone who knows where you’re going and can call 9-1-1 if you don’t show up in a period of time.
“If you slide off the road, surely tow trucks,” Levesque says, If the “car can run and it’s off the road, stay in it where it’s warm, get help to come to you and stay in it where it’s warm.”
If you are not sure what to do if your car slides on ice, you can read up on it here.
You can also view a complete list of winter weather advice here on ready.gov.
If you have questions, you can contact your local fire department.