Preparing for Hurricane Irma
As Governor Henry McMaster called for a state of emergency to allow state and local agencies time to prepare for the Category 5 storm, we want to remind residents to take steps now to get ready for the potential impacts for our area.
The greatest threats to our area are wind damage and heavy rains that could lead to fallen trees that block roadways and take out power lines. If and when the storm hits, residents are asked to stay at home and off roadways to prevent being stranded on roads with high water or fallen trees. By sheltering at home, you will reduce the chances of needing emergency response by public safety officials and experiencing harm that may result from being stranded in flooded areas.
With a few days to get ready before the anticipated arrival of Irma (currently projected anywhere from late Sunday to early Tuesday morning), you can take steps now to secure your residence and lessen storm damage.
1. Storm-Guard Your Home
Make sure gutters are cleaned out, reinforce caulking around windows and doors, check sump pumps and drains to avoid backups, protect attached structures such as carports, porches and decks, and move outdoor furnishings to indoor locations. Also check your roof flashing to make sure it's secure.
You may also want to consider purchasing a back-up generator in case of power outages. Know how to turn off electricity and gas/propane. Top off fuel for generators and do a test run. Inspect your fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to insure they are working properly.
You may want to trim trees, especially ones with branches that could impact your house with high winds and heavy rains. Secure anything that could be blown into windows or damage vehicles.
Be sure to check with your insurance agent regarding your homeowners coverage and claims process in the event you have storm damage. Be wary of contractors looking to offer repairs. Check to make sure they have business licenses to operate in Chapin, are bonded and insured and ask for references to avoid be scammed.
2. Set-Up Emergency Prep Kit
You will want to make sure you have the following items in the event the storm causes you to lose power for an extended time:
A gallon of water per person per day is recommended. Don't forget your pets need water, too. Non-perishable food for three days is also recommended. Buy bags of ice and store in coolers once power goes out. Make sure you have pet food and supplies, too.
Flash lights and batteries. You also want to keep your cell phones charged and may want to purchase a back up charger so you can stay in touch with family and friends and get safety alerts. A battery operated radio can also be useful in the event of a power outage.
Wet wipes and hand sanitizer can help ward off germs and be sure your first aid kit is stocked. You will want to make sure you have all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines available. If not, visit your pharmacy to refill supplies.
Be sure to have extra clothes that are comfortable and practical. A sturdy pair of shoes that can withstand damp conditions is helpful. And be sure to hit the ATM and get some extra cash for emergency purchases.
3. Stay Alert to News Media and Other Resources
If you have power, stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for the latest updates. The Town will post alerts on our website as power and internet service is available. Be sure to bookmark www.chapinsc.com so you can check for updates. Or you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter as well. Our Police Department and the Mayor's Facebook pages will also push out updates.
We will notify you of closings at Town Hall, emergency shelter locations and hours, any boil water advisories, road closures and other pertinent emergency information.
In the event Town Hall is closed on Tuesday, September 12, Chapin Municipal Court will be postponed, and persons with pending cases will be notified by mail when it is rescheduled.
Your safety and well-being is our biggest concern so please take steps now to avoid having issues in the event Hurricane Irma hits our Chapin community.
Check out these resources for more information:
Emergency Prep Guide
Family Emergency Plan
American Red Cross
Lexington County Emergency Management Division
Shelter in Place