LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — State emergency management officials say South Carolinians should make preparations now for Tropical Storm Idalia.

Officials said the storm could affect many parts of the state after making landfall along the west coast of Florida later this week.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) said while forecasters with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center believe Idalia will weaken to a tropical storm after landfall, South Carolina could experience four to eight inches of rain, with heavier rainfall amounts possible locally, isolated tornadoes, storm surge flooding and flash flooding beginning Wednesday.

Double Check Your Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and important documents. Make sure your kit can sustain your household for at least three days, but preferably with enough supplies to last a week or more.

Clear Gutters and Drains: Make sure to clear your gutters and storm drains of debris to prevent water accumulation and reduce the risk of flooding around your home.

Secure Outdoor Items: Store or secure outdoor furniture, garden tools, and toys. High winds can turn these objects into dangerous projectiles.

Stay Informed: Monitor local weather forecasts and stay informed about the developments of the storm. Have several ways to get emergency information. 

SCEMD says hurricanes and tropical storms not only threaten the coast, but all areas of South Carolina. Storm surge and flooding are the most deadly and destructive hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. High winds and tornadoes can cause severe damage to buildings and homes far inland.

The American Red Cross of South Carolina is also urging South Carolinians to make preparations. Regional Communications Manager Saskia Lindsay stressed the importance of having a plan.

Lindsay said, “Your family should know what to do during a disaster ahead of time.”

SCEMD has several resources available for people to prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms, including the state’s online interactive hurricane guide at hurricane.sc.

Anyone can use the SC Emergency Manager mobile app to Know Your Zone, build a personal emergency plan, find emergency shelter locations (when open), and stay connected with loved ones. The SC Emergency Manager is available in the App Store and on Google Play: http://onelink.to/dn92rx.

The official 2023 S.C. Hurricane Guide is also available in English and Spanish at scemd.org.