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Ready or Not? September is Emergency Preparedness Month.

September in the Southeast is the start of fall, football and pumpkin spice-everything! We look forward to a reprieve from high temperatures and seeing nature change bright shades of yellow, red and orange as the season changes.

But it's also the start of hurricane season which can be a dangerous time for our coastal states in South Carolina and Georgia. These unpredictable storms can cause devastating property damage, power outages, and road closures. Whether you're a long-time resident or a recent transplant, being prepared can quite literally save your life.

Preparing Your Home:

  1. Secure Outdoor Items: Loose objects can become projectiles during strong winds. Secure items such as outdoor furniture, grills, and trash bins or move them indoors.

  2. Check Drainage: Ensure that your home's gutters and downspouts are clear to prevent flooding. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider installing sump pumps or barriers.

  3. Windows and Doors: Consider investing in storm shutters or having plywood on hand to board up windows. Also, inspect your doors and windows to ensure their seals are intact.

  4. Backup Power: With power outages common during storms, having a generator can be invaluable. Remember to operate it in a well-ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Preparing Your Workplace:

  1. Emergency Plan: Ensure that there's an evacuation plan in place and that all employees are familiar with it. Regularly conduct drills.

  2. Secure Vital Documents: Store critical business documents in waterproof containers or digitally in the cloud.

  3. Communication is Key: Have a system in place to notify employees about office closures or updates during severe weather.

  4. First Aid Kits: Stock your workplace with a first aid kit and emergency supplies like flashlights, batteries, and a battery-operated radio.

Stock Emergency Kits for Your Home, Car, and Workplace:

An emergency kit can be a lifesaver and help you weather a severe storm or natural disaster. Here's a general guideline of items that may be essential during an emergency:

  • Water and non-perishable food items
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Local maps
  • Power banks for your cell phone and other vital devices
  • Photocopies of insurance policies, ID, and bank account records
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Spare clothes

Evacuation Procedures:

If your area is evacuated, don't wait. It's important to follow evacuation announcements and planned routes because emergency responders may not be able to reach you if you need help. 

  • South Carolina residents visit for your evacuation routes and more resources.
  • Georgia residents visit for evacuation routes and more resources. 

National Preparedness Month, sponsored by, is a time to remember that we cannot control nature, but we can control our response. By preparing your home, workplace, and having emergency kits on hand, you give yourself and your loved ones the best chance to weather any storm. Stay safe!

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