The first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. The Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) website reminds that electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working and that public safety services such as police and fire departments may not be able to reach you immediately during a serious crisis.
The agency recommends individuals should be prepared to be self-sufficient (able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones) for at least three days following a disaster.
“You want to be your help until help arrives,” said Derrec Becker, Public Information Officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. “It doesn’t have to be an emergency kit per se, but things that you use every single day. Just enough on hand, in a place that you can get at very quickly that you can live off on without having to go out and get it.”
"The main thing to remember though, is if local public safety officials or the governor or state officials recommend that you evacuate, that's not a decision to take lightly."
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) is a division of the Adjutant General's Office. SCEMD develops, coordinates, and lead the state emergency management program which enables preparation for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters.
“We train with our local agencies and federal partners and we exercise. We practice what we would do outside of a disaster,” Becker said.
For the past two years, SCEMD has coordinated emergency responses for two major disasters; the historic rain event in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Both events, created massive flooding across several counties.