COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A new partnership announced on Wednesday will help the Palmetto State prepare for the unknown, just in time for the 2018 hurricane season.
This, after Samsung announced a $35,000 donation to Harvest Hope Food Bank. The money will go specifically to providing disaster-relief meals during emergencies to families who require special medical needs.
It's a group that says they're often forgotten, but one local mom says Wednesday's donation gives her peace of mind.
"It is one thing that we don't necessarily plan for, but I think it is something that we need to expect and be ready for," said Christy Sears. Her six-year-old son Carter has what's called DiGeorge Syndrome. "With that comes kind of a spectrum of complications. Carter does need to be G-tube fed. His tube-feeding formula requires some refrigeration at times, as well. So, it's not the easiest of things to be able to navigate day-to-day life."
Especially, when the power goes out during severe weather. Something Sears says her family experienced last year during Hurricane Irma.
"Even in the little amount of time that we had electricity loss, I began to panic thinking if we can't charge his feeding pump, if we can refrigerate his medications, what is that going to look like?"
Dr. Lilian Peake, director of public health with DHEC, says, there's a solution for families with this dilemma.
"We set up these special shelters and facilities that have backup generators so that people who need access to electricity during an emergency will have it," Dr. Lilian Peake said.
These shelters are reserved for families just like the Sears'.
"It gives peace of mind. Ever since his birth, that's one thing that we don't really have a lot because we have so many unknowns but knowing that if there was a disaster or some type of natural disaster that occurred – that we as a family could stay together and we could use these facilities that actually would have refrigeration, would have electricity," said Sears.
Harvest Hope estimates that Samsung's $35,000 donation will provide as many as 12,000 meals. Last year, during Hurricane Irma, Harvest Hope says more than 44,000 meals were prepared.