SCEMD: Winter safety precautions should continue - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCEMD: Winter safety precautions should continue

COLUMBIA, SC (WTOC) -

The S.C. Emergency Management Division, state and local public safety agencies continue to respond to incidents that have resulted from the winter storm that began affecting South Carolina Monday night. 

Forecasters with the National Weather Service predicts that most of the frozen precipitation will clear the state Tuesday, but they expect temperatures to drop below freezing again Tuesday night.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2-17-15:

  • State and county government offices in four counties are closed today, February 17: Anderson, Oconee, Marlboro and Spartanburg counties.
  • State and county government offices in 14 additional counties delayed opening today.
  • A complete list is available at www.scemd.org/closings.
  • According to the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, utilities are currently reporting a total of 92,927 power outages statewide.
  • The S.C. Department of Public of Public Safety reports 1489 calls for service related to the winter storm. Since noon Monday, the S.C. Highway Patrol was on scene for 721 vehicle collisions, 412 trees in roadways, 88 abandoned vehicles, 22 power lines in the roadways and troopers assisted 246 motorists.
  • More information at www.scdps.gov.
  • The S.C. Dept. of Transportation reports all major roads statewide are passable, although crews are clearing debris on some secondary roads in the Upstate.
  • Get real-time roadway conditions at www.scdot.org

SCEMD urges residents to practice the following winter safety tips from the official S.C. Severe Winter Weather Guide:

· Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.

· Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators OUTSIDE and away from any open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from charcoal fumes indoors.

· Keep fresh batteries on hand to use with flashlights and NOAA tone-alert weather radios.

· Remember to keep a full charge on your cell phone and mobile devices so that they can be used during an emergency.

· Know how to report power outages to your electric utility.

· Do not call 911 to report a power outage, call 911 only for life-threatening emergencies.

· Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home.

· Avoid driving during winter storm conditions and limit your exposure outdoors.

· Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing to stay warm. You will be warmer and, as the temperature changes, you can easily remove layers to remain comfortable.

· If you must travel during a winter storm, store an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes: blankets, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, battery booster cables and flares, a tire repair kit and pump, a road map, a sack of cat litter (for tire traction), a tow rope, bottled water and non-perishable high-energy foods such as granola bars, extra clothing to keep dry, and a windshield scraper and brush.

· If driving on snow- or ice-covered roadways, reduce your speed. Driving at the regular speed limit will reduce your ability to control the car if you begin to slide. Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.

· If conditions worsen and you can no longer drive safely, pull off the highway. Stay calm and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Call *HP if you are in an accident or need immediate roadside assistance.

Severe Winter Weather Resources:

· Additional safety tips on what to do before, during and after a winter storm are listed in the S.C. Severe Winter Weather Guide, available at any Walgreen's store statewide and for download at www.scemd.org.

· Follow these additional safety tips from the S.C. Highway Patrol.

· Get real time road conditions from SCDOT here: www.511sc.org.

· Follow SCEMD on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SCEMD) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/SCEMD) for additional updates at the storm progresses.

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