It is hard to believe that we need to prepare for freezing weather and ice storms in South Carolina. However, we typically have several winter days with temperatures below 32°F and occasionally ice events occur, most recently in January 2018. This picture was taken during that storm on the Battery in downtown Charleston. Obviously, the wind was also a factor that day.
There are several things we need to do ahead of this weather, which requires some of the same preparation as other storms. South Carolina doesn’t have the resources to purchase many sand and salt trucks. Officials have determined that using these vehicles for only 3 – 4 days a year is not cost-effective, but they have purchased some smaller machines to help clear roads and parking lots of snow and ice. If roads become impassable, we can expect to be inconvenienced for several days.
What this means for us is that we must prepare for freezing weather and potentially to be homebound for a few days. In order to plan for these events there are some things to do before the bad weather arrives:
- Plants are the most susceptible to damage during a frost. Plan now to make sure you have enough cloths to cover your plants and shrubs. Fabric, bed sheets, burlap, or commercial frost cloths are good insulators. Don’t use plastic. Click here to read more about protecting your plants.
- Check that your outdoor pipes are insulated. This includes under porches, outdoor showers and under your house or villa. Home improvement stores carry insulation that is easy to attach to these pipes.
- Purchase rock salt to melt the ice on your steps or walkways. This is especially important for homes that are raised above the ground.
- Purchase and install insulation covers for all your outdoor faucets.
- Make sure you have on hand flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and food that doesn’t need to be cooked. We might lose electricity for several days. Consider purchasing a portable external battery for your cell phone or other devices.
Remember, be prepared, stay safe.