As the rains fell and the water accumulated Monday, some residents were more prepared than others. Not many can remember seeing that much water standing around the county in a long, long time so it has been easy to get complacent.
Just before the nation celebrates National Preparedness Month in September, the skies over Barnwell County opened up to give rise to flood waters in several areas. Thankfully, by Tuesday morning, most of the water had receded at least to the ditches and other runoff places. If they had not, would you have been prepared to live with the high waters?
For the next month, local and state officials will send out the messages of how to prepare for flooding and other types of natural and manmade disasters.
Launched in 2004, National Preparedness month is FEMA's national annual preparedness outreach program and it aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks, according to their website.
According to the American Red Cross, floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. And flooding doesn't just happen along river banks or following hurricane or tropical rains.
Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground -- as seen in the area the past few days.
Having an emergency kit is always a good idea. But what to pack?
The Red Cross recommends at least the following:
At least a 3-day supply of food and water; one gallon per person per day; flashlight; battery-powered or hand-crank radio; medications and medical items; copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies); family and emergency contact information and a camera for photos of damage.
One of the best pieces of advice is to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. What would you take with you? Do you have pets? Do you have elderly members of your house? Small children? How could you get them out safely?
Make a plan now, before you need it.
As for the rain and rising waters in Barnwell County, there are a few key points to remember during floods:
Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Drive slower. It doesn't take a lot of water for a vehicle to hydroplane.
Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
Additionally, reptiles and rodents may be in the water as they are flooded out of their natural habitats.
Because standard homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flooding, it's important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Renters should also look for insurance as a landlord's insurance probably won't protect your things.
Protect yourself. The next flood may only be a rain cloud away.
|Barnwell 45 District||Visit|
|Barnwell City Website||Visit|
|Barnwell County Arts Council||Visit|
|Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce||Visit|
|Barnwell County Government||Visit|
|Barnwell County Library||Visit|
|Barnwell County SC Virtual Museum||Visit|
|Big 7 Association||Visit|
|Blackville Municipal Website||Visit|
|Blackville-Hilda School District 19||Visit|
|CodeRed Alert System||Visit|
|Edisto Research and Education Center||Visit|
|JDA - Jefferson Davis Academy||Visit|
|Salkehatchie Arts Center||Visit|
|South Carolina National Heritage Corridor||Visit|
|The Circle Theatre||Visit|
|Thoroughbred Country – Regional Tourism Organization||Visit|
|Town of Williston||Visit|
|Williston-Elko School District 29||Visit|
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