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What to do after severe weather strikes

The last day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week focuses on what to do after the storm, including how to remain safe and how to report any damage.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — To conclude Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week in South Carolina, the final topic is what you should do after severe weather strikes.

While the main dangers of the severe weather have subsided, there can still be some risks to you and your family after the event according to meteorologist John Quagliariello from the National Weather Service office in Columbia.

“After the storm, a lot of people get injured or killed trying to clean up after a strong wind event or flooding.” Quagliariello tells News 19. It’s important to make “sure people are aware of safety precautions they should be taking, not taking risks.” 

Here are some things to look out for after bad weather strikes to stay safe.

Be aware of and avoid any areas with exposed nails or broken glass.

Make sure not to touch any downed power lines or anything that may be touching a downed line.

If you see any frayed wires or smell something burning, make sure to shut off the electrical system in your house.

After heavy rain moves through, do not attempt to drive through flooded roadways and make sure to follow the slogan “turn around, don’t drown.”

Quagliariello says that most of the weather related fatalities in South Carolina are caused by flooding and people driving through flooded roadways.

Once any hazards have been addressed and it is safe to do so, it is also important to report any bad weather or damage to the National Weather Service after a severe weather event.

This can help them better warn others in the path of bad weather. It also helps them conduct post-storm analyses, such as when they determine how strong winds were or how strong of a tornado moved through a location.

Quagliariello encourages residents of the Midlands to send in anything they can. “You can tweet us, you can send us a message on Facebook, you can email us nws.columbia@noaa.gov. And those are great if you have pictures or videos of the damage it really helps us get a feel for what the event looks like.”

For the latest on any bad weather or to send in any pictures of the weather or damages, you can also download the News 19 app.