Preparations In Place to Ensure Midlands Is Ready For Weather

7:32 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Temperatures are dropping quickly, and the Midlands is expected to see one of the coldest nights its seen in awhile.

But it's not just the temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire state. 

With wind, temperatures could feel like they are below zero and in single digits along the state's coast.

It leaves those vulnerable needing to be ready for the cold, such as the homeless.

"Out there it's cold," said James Cordell, a Fairfield County man was staying at Columbia's Emergency Shelter Monday night. "I mean it's actually cold."

Cordell said he is thankful for a warm place to stay after abandoning his live-in trailer he had been staying in for three months. 

"It was a trailer," Cordell said describing his home of the last three months. "Just a trailer you pull behind a truck and it didn't have no [sic] insulation, and for this cold weather it's not going to stay warm."

Christ Central Ministries runs the shelter, and being ready for the influx of those looking for a warm place to stay is the focus for Pastor Kerry Breen.

"Christ Central's opened up all of its shelters for emergency stay if we need extra capacity," Breen said. 

In addition to operating the city's emergency shelters, Christ Central also operates a number of its own shelters throughout the state.

"Christ Central feels like we're ready and prepared to meet the need tonight," Breen said. 

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division's Emergency Operations center played home to a press conference in which members of the press were provided updates on the state's preparedness from various emergency entities, including the National Weather Service. 

"Check on your elderly neighbors. Take care of each other, and just be careful when it comes to home heating," said Stephen Hudson, a spokesman for the South Carolina region of the Red Cross.

There were also safety tips for the heaters keeping homes warm.

"The Columbia Fire Department encourages residents to install not only smoke detectors, but carbon-monoxide detectors," Brick Lewis, a spokesman for the Columbia Fire Department said.

"Make sure all heating sources are ventilated properly."

Lewis said that included making sure heating sources are at least 3 feet from items around your home like couches and curtains.

Because roads can freeze over, creating dangerous black-ice, the state's Highway Patrol wants you to take road safety seriously as well.

Though the severe weather the Midlands is expected to see this week does not include humidity, often times hoses from yards can be left running and leak onto road surfaces, said David Jones, a South Carolina State Trooper, and spokesman for the department.

Cordell was just looking forward to a warm bed to sleep in.

Cordell said everyone he had encountered at the shelter was "nice" and "friendly."

"They've done everything they said and helped me out a lot," he said.

Simple home tips include keeping your faucets running at a "slight-drip" to decrease the chance of your faucets freezing, possibly leading your pipes to burst, according to the state's Emergency Management Division's website.

The SCEMD said you should prepare a disaster supply kit with winter supplies and be prepared to be at home for an extended period if weather keeps you stuck indoors.

You can view a full list of safety tips by visiting the SCEMD's website at http://www.scemd.org/.

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