© 2023 South Carolina Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WRJA-FM, 88.1 Sumter, will periodically experience temporary outages December 1-8 due to extensive work to our broadcast tower. We apologize for the inconvenience. Streaming on this site, smart speakers, and through the SCETV App will be unaffected.
Ongoing coverage of South Carolina's recovery from the flooding of 2015.What had been Lindsay Langdale's Columbia home October 3, 2015 was a flooded ruin the next day.This coverage is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In October of 2015, South Carolina received rainfall in unprecedented amounts over just a few days time. By the time the rain began to slacken, the National Weather Service reported that the event had dumped more than two feet of water on the state. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the subsequent flooding was the worst in 75 years.

After A Disaster, Can You Be Self-Sufficient for at Least 72 Hours?

Residents in Nichols, SC are rescued by boat after Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Courtesty of Nichols resident Courtney Wilds
Residents in Nichols, SC are rescued by boat after Hurricane Matthew in 2016

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.”

Emergency Supply Checklist found in the 2017 SC Hurricane Guide
Emergency Supply Checklist found in the 2017 SC Hurricane Guide

"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.