Severe Weather Preparedness Week in South Carolina

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in South Carolina

South Carolina Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week is March 5-11, 2023

A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 a.m

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the National Weather Service are co-sponsoring this week to remind people that severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods pose significant risks in South Carolina and people need to take proper safety precautions.

SCEMD and the National Weather Service promote awareness of the risks associated with severe weather, including tornadoes and floods, and actions to help keep people safe.

A highlight of the week will be the annual statewide tornado drill. Trainings are conducted in close coordination with the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. The state superintendent of education encourages schools statewide to participate. The National Weather Service will use the Routine Weekly Test (RWT) product on NOAA Weather Radio when conducting the training. The “RWT” code will activate weather radios to alert tones in the same manner as the routine weekly test every Wednesday, and these radios will broadcast the drill message.

Training will take place on Wednesday, March 8 at 9 a.m. Public schools, state and local emergency management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association and others will participate in this annual event. The purpose of the training is to test communications systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

For more information about Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week, contact your county Emergency Management Director, SCEMD or your nearest National Weather Service office. Additional resources can be found online at and

Daily topics for the week:

SundayTypes of severe weather

Monday: Watches and warnings

Tuesday:You have multiple ways to stay in touch

Wednesday: What to do during a hurricane (and craters) or any high winds

Thursday: Floods! Statistics and risks

Friday: Turn around, don’t drown, flood home safety tips

Saturday: after the storm (Storm damage reporting, storm and flood recovery, insurance, etc.)

Preparing for any emergency:

  • Develop an emergency action plan for your home, workplace, or other location that includes what you need
    To do in case of major emergency or disaster.
  • Develop a communication plan that enables you to communicate with family members when lines are normal
    Communications are not working.
  • Get an emergency kit for your home, workplace and car. Remember, “The first 72 is on you.”


Although tornadoes are most common in the Central Plains and Southeastern United States, they have been reported in all 50 states. Most Cyclones in this region are relatively weak and short-lived, occurring mainly between March and May. but, Tornadoes can occur at any time of the day or night and at any time of the year.

  • March 15, 2008 outbreak
  • April 16, 2011 Severe weather
  • May 24, 2017 tornado event
  • May 4, 2017 Southeastern SC/GA Hurricanes
  • March 3, 2019 outbreak
  • September 5-6, 2019 Hurricanes caused by Hurricane Dorian (ILM)
  • April 13, 2020 Tornado Outbreak: Midlands Review, Lowcountry Review, Upstate Review, Pee Dee/Grand Strand Review
  • April 5-6, 2022 Tornado Outbreak: Midlands Review, Lowcountry Review

Before the hurricane

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio or TV newscasts for the latest information.
  • Look for upcoming storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:

    • The sky is dark, often green
    • Large hailstones
    • A large, dark, low cloud (especially if it is rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train

  • If you see approaching storms or any signs of danger, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

During a hurricane

  • If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.
  • Enter a pre-determined shelter area such as a basement, storm cellar, or lowest level of a building. if
    There is no basement, go to the center of the inner room in the basement (closet, inner hall) far away
    From corners, windows, doors and exterior walls.
  • If you are in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the basement of a nearby sturdy home
    Building or storm shelter.
  • If you cannot get inside, lie flat in a nearby trench or depression and cover your head with your hands. He is
    Be aware of potential flooding and flying debris.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in your car. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately and seek safe shelter.

After the hurricane

  • Use the phone only for emergency calls.
  • Avoid downed power lines and report them to your utility company.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings.

Do you know what the difference is between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

Click on any of the images below to learn more about the differences.

He watches warning


In South Carolina, many variations in flood risk occur due to different extreme impacts
Thunderstorms, hurricanes, monsoon rains and other weather-related conditions. Low country
The terrain, combined with its humid subtropical climate, makes it highly susceptible to inland or riverine regions.
Floods. River floods occur when the flow of stormwater runoff is greater than the carrying capacity
From natural drainage systems. The largest river flood in South Carolina, based on the area affected,
It was the flood of 1903. It caused heavy rains associated with warm moist air and a low pressure system
This flood. The weaving communities of Clifton and Bacolet were the worst affected. The Pacolet River also rose
Up to 40 feet per hour, killing sixty-five people.

Compared to riverine floods, coastal floods are usually the result of an extreme weather system
Such as a tropical storm or hurricane, which has a strong wind component. Adverse effects of coasts
Floods occur as a result of a combination of storms, wind, rain, erosion and debris. In 1999,
Three tropical systems dropped more than 24 inches of rain in Horry County. Waccamaw River and
Tributaries caused major flooding throughout northeastern South Carolina. Lately, great
River and coastal flooding occurred with Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, Florence, and Michael in addition to Hurricane Matthew
October 2015 floods

Before the flood

  • Avoid building in an area prone to flooding unless you raise and reinforce your home.
  • Raise the furnace, water heater, and electrical panel if they are prone to flooding.
  • Install check valves in drain traps to prevent flood water from backing up in your home’s drains.
  • Contact community officials to find out if they plan to build barriers (levees, berms, or flood walls)
    To prevent flood waters from entering homes in your area.
  • Seal your basement walls with waterproofing compounds to avoid leaks.
  • Review your insurance policy. Flood coverage is not part of most homeowners, mobile home owners, or renters
  • Insurance policies. There is a 30-day waiting period for coverage to take effect.

During the flood

  • Be aware of possible flash floods. If there is any possibility of flash flooding, move to higher ground. no
    Wait until you are asked to move.
  • If time permits, prepare your home for flooding by moving essential items upstairs and bringing them outside
    Furniture, unplug electrical appliances and be prepared to turn off gas, electricity and water.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water,
    Walk where the water doesn’t move. 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 vehicle, abandon the vehicle and move to a higher location
    Land if you can do so safely. You and your vehicle can quickly be swept away.

After the flood

  • After a flood, listen to news reports to find out if the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid flood waters. The water may be contaminated with oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electric
    They are charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Pay attention to areas where flood waters have receded. Even if the road is a bridge or an elevated highway
    While they appear natural, the supporting structures below may be damaged.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to your power company.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; There may be hidden damage, especially to the foundation. Serving
    From any building surrounded by flood waters.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that gets wet. The mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and other harmful substances

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