Group says SC not preparing to keep children safe during disasters

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The coastal area is prone to a number of natural disasters- things like tornadoes and hurricanes. Some families have an emergency plan in place for when they're home, but a new report card finds one place children probably spend a lot of time isn't required to have one.

The Save The Children organization says South Carolina doesn't have satisfactory plans to keep your children safe in a natural disaster. And here, daycares aren't required to have a plan in place. That could mean chaos. Parents say to do your due diligence when looking at daycare's. Make it a point to find a daycare that does have an evacuation plan in place.

The annual report lists South Carolina's greatest strengths and weaknesses when it comes to protecting children in times of emergency.

The good news – the state has plans in place that will help reunite your family if you're separated in an emergency, like a hurricane or fire. Kindergarten through grade 12 schools also all have multi-hazard plans.

But where South Carolina drops the ball, according to the organization, is requiring child care services to have a plan for evacuating children in times of emergencies.

And keeping children with disabilities and other special needs safe.

When it comes down to it, though, emergency management says also too many families don't prepare. "It's really up to parents to lead their families, and to help their children to understand the risks that are involved with different hazards that might, whether it be fire, flood or hurricane, it's important to teach their children and to take that role in being prepared," says Vickie Burkett with Horry County Emergency Management.

One of the most important things is to have an emergency preparedness kit – every family needs one. Access one from the SC Emergency Management Division here: http://www.scemd.org/planandprepare/preparedness/scemd-for-kids.

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