Safety plan helps to stay ahead of severe weather

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A strong line of storms heading our way could bring high wind, hail and even the risk of tornadoes. Being prepared is the best way you can stay safe if we see severe weather.

Emergency Management officials said as with any other seasonal storm system, you should have a plan in place.

A storm like the one that could impact our area is different from other storms because it's hard to pinpoint exactly when severe weather could hit.

"The biggest thing is people need to have a plan in place before you have severe weather coming through, so this is something they should have thought about months and months ago," said Kristy Hughes, Florence County's Natural Hazards Coordinator.

Kristy Hughes with Florence County Emergency Management said you can stay ahead of the storm by always having a safety plan in place, even when there's no severe weather threat.

"Get your family plan together, that way you'll know what to do when a storm approaches," said Hughes. "And keeping an eye on the weather is also a really good idea." 

"You can go online and register for free text alerts, that way you know when the storm is approaching, you know when the weather is getting bad," Hughes added.

Hughes said already, some people in the county have been reaching out asking questions about tornadoes.

The county does not have a tornado shelter, but Hughes does have advice should one hit our area.

"For those that don't have a basement, and we don't have that many basements around here, you need to go into the interior lowest portion of your home and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible," said Hughes.

If you don't think your home will be safe during severe weather, make plans to ride out the storm at a family member or friend's.

"If you are outside and for some reason you can't get back into your home, get into a low-lying area such as a ditch. We have really deep drainage ditches around here; that's a really good place to get into," Hughes explained.

Weather like the kind that could impact our area this week is sneaky because it's here one minute, does the damage, and is gone before you know it, Hughes said.

"A tornado, thunderstorm those types of events they are here and they're gone before you even know it and they will catch you off guard and that's why you really have to pay attention and monitor the weather," said Hughes.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has several online guides for disaster planning. Find them here:

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