MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's winter weather awareness week in South Carolina. State and local officials want to remind you of the winter we had last year, and push your family to prepare for another winter crisis.
This week is meant to urge you to prepare not just for a storm, but to make sure everything in your home is ready for the winter. Emergency management officials say people have the mindset that since last year was so bad, this year won't be, but you never know.
"We really won't truly know until we get into the season," says Randy Webster with Horry County Emergency Management. "We've already had a real cold November. Kind of unexpected. The main thing is don't worry so much about the forecast for the future. You know it's winter time, you know it's going to be colder."
Webster says as we start to see more cold snaps, before your heater is running full-time, make sure it doesn't need any maintenance. Check and be certain cords aren't frayed or broken, and if you have a chimney, make sure it's cleaned out.
"We've already seen it this year as we've had some cold weather where there have been a few fires around Horry County and most likely connected to a heating device of some sort," Webster warns. "Be it a malfunction or whatever."
South Carolina Emergency Management has a checklist of items you will need to collect to put together an emergency kit for your family in the event of a winter weather emergency. Access the full list here: http://www.scemd.org/planandprepare/preparedness/emergencykit.