FIRST ALERT: South Carolina Severe Weather Awareness Week begins Sunday

FIRST ALERT: South Carolina Severe Weather Awareness Week begins Sunday
Severe Weather Awareness Week starts Sunday. (Source: WMBF)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed that South Carolina Severe Weather Awareness week 2020 will be observed March 8-15.

March kicks off the spring severe weather season in the Carolinas and now is the time to prepare in the event of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service jointly sponsor the week to remind people that severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods are significant hazards in South Carolina each year and people need to take proper safety precautions.

South Carolina Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are promoting awareness of the hazards associated with severe weather, including tornadoes and floods, and the procedures that help keep people safe.

A highlight of the week will be the annual statewide tornado drill. The drill will be conducted Wednesday, March 11, at 9 a.m. Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others will participate in this annual event. The purpose of the drill is to test communication systems, safety procedures, and mitigation processes.

During the drill:

  • At Home: Get indoors to a pre-designated shelter area such as a basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.
  • In an office building, hospital, nursing home or skyscraper: Go directly to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building, away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Then, crouch down and cover your head. Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter, and if not crowded, allow you to get to a lower level quickly. Stay off the elevators; you could be trapped in them if the power is lost.
  • At school: Follow the drill! Go to the interior hall or windowless room in an orderly way as you are told. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms like gyms and auditoriums.

After the drill, emergency management officials encourage you to review how it went. If there was anything that slowed you down, now is a good time to figure out a solution.

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