SC preps for approaching winter storm

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Emergency Management officials said they will be holding off before deciding to close state offices Monday, and the Department of Transportation reported crews were already at it.

Trucks are being used to pre-treat the roads in the upstate. Workers will start reporting to work in the Midlands about 10:00pm.

If you are trying to decide if you want to cancel work or school, a spokesperson with the State Emergency Management office has some advice.

"At this point, we're advising people to do what we're doing at the EMD," said Derrec Becker, "Look at the weather system as it moves across the US and heads this way."

The Emergency Management Department offers some tips to help prepare South Carolinians for the upcoming storm.

-  Travel on icy or snow-covered roads can be hazardous, so motorists are warned to use extra caution.

-  South Carolinians unaccustomed to dealing with life-threatening aspects of severe cold should remember to keep exposure to cold weather to a minimum.  When the weather turns cold, don't go outdoors unless you have to. If you must go out, dress in layers and cover your ears, head and hands.

-  Stock up on heating fuel and prepare emergency heating sources, such as fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters.  Please remember to take proper fire safety precautions. (WARNING: Never burn charcoal briquettes indoors.)

-  Use extreme caution when operating a portable generator.  Be sure to read the owner's manual first. Do NOT operate a generator indoors or in any confined space, exhaust fumes can be very dangerous.

-  Remember the usual emergency supplies: a flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra non-perishable food and water, extra medicines and baby items, and first-aid supplies.

-  Top off the fuel tank in your car, check the antifreeze, and keep in mind that driving conditions during the winter can become extremely hazardous due to icy roads and bridges.

-  Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes that lack heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.

-  Prepare a place indoors for pets. Move farm animals to shelters and have extra feed and water available.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.