It’s been 1 week since several tornadoes touched down in Georgia and South Carolina leaving destruction in its path. Columns were knocked from church entryways and trees toppled on homes.
Monday, at a South Carolina Emergency Management Division briefing, emergency officials urged the public to get prepared.
At least 4 tornadoes, including an EF-2 tornado touched down within a 70 mile stretch between Lexington County and Edgefield County.
Luckily, no major injuries were reported. The National Weather Service, also present at the briefing, reported residents in the effected areas paid attention to the warnings before the storm took a turn for the worse.
“During the recent event we spoke to many people effected by these tornadoes we found out that heard those warnings and sought shelter which limited those injuries,” said John Quagliariello with NWS.
And taking heed to those types of warnings is exactly what SCEMD stressed at the briefing. The director of SCEMD outlined the importance of making sure you have a plan.
“Have an emergency plan be prepared to execute it. know what the hazards are be prepared to do something if you’re called on. Just like general McCarty said you may not have immediate help and will need to be the help until help arrives,” said Kim Stenson.
Quagliariello identified the type of shelter you should seek if a tornado is suspected in your area. “The safest place is typically on the lowest floor of a sturdy structure in an interior room like a bathroom or closet.”
Severe thunderstorms are more prevalent in the months of March, April and May bringing threats of tornadoes and flash flooding, which is another weather concern the state faces.
Quagliariello added, “Floods alone have killed 26 people with 12 of them being in the floods of 2015. “
Emergency management says the agency hasn’t identified any failures in its response and recovery system, but that population compliance is an important part of preparation.
Only 50% of residents followed evacuation orders issued during Hurricane Matthew.
And on Wednesday schools and businesses are encouraged to participate in a state wide tornado drill to get practice on taking cover and bracing for those strong tornado winds.
That drill is set to take place at 9 a.m Wednesday.