Tropical Storm Andrea reminds of importance of preparedness

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Preparedness is one word that many safety agencies across South Carolina stressed as the region buckled down for Tropical Storm Andrea. Members from those agencies said smaller storms like Andrea serve as a reminder to the potential threat of much more severe storms.

"The hurricanes we know are coming, and we have time to be prepared for that," said Linda Boone-Smith, Executive Director of the Peed Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Boone-Smith is just one of the many officials who stress that being prepared can change the way that a natural disaster can impact you. Below is a check list of items the American Red Cross says can benefit you in an emergency.

Safety Tips:

  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Fill your gas tank.
  • Get some extra cash to have on hand in case the power goes out and ATMs aren't working.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • If flooding is a possibility for your area, be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
  • If a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon flooding, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • If you encounter floodwaters while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road in your vehicle and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.

Willette Burrell said she has a disaster kit ready for those "just in case" moments. Willette said even though Tropical Storm Andrea did not deliver a massive blow to the Florence area, she takes being prepared seriously.

"You should always be prepared for anything because you don't know what's going to end up happening... Or what's going to come through. So you should always be prepared for anything not matter what," Burrell finished.

For more information on how you can be prepared for any natural events check out the American Red Cross's website, or visit here: redcross.org/preparednessfastfacts.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.