September is National Emergency Preparedness Month.
Should a natural disaster strike West Columbia, there are some local folks are ready to step in and help.
The Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club is one of those that is prepared.
Judy Scott spent 20 years responding to disasters as a director for the American Red Cross Health Services unit.
Scott was at the Grecian Gardens restaurant in West Columbia Tuesday where she got a pledge of support from the Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club for an emergency response trailer.
“We’re prepared to help with any emergency situation, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires,” Scott said.
The trailer will be loaded with water, food and restoration equipment, Scott said. Members of the Lion’s club said they will offer financial support and volunteers to go to a natural disaster, like the floods that hit in the area in 2015, and help victims recover.
“The Emergency Response Trailer was purchased in July,” said Scott, with a $10,000 grant from the Lion’s International Foundation.”
Because of Scott’s experience responding to natural disasters, she said she realized the need for the emergency relief.
“Hopefully we will not be needed because there are no disasters,” Scott said. “But we want to be prepared if and when there is one.”
There are also professionals who are ready to react when disaster is upon us.
Rebecca Morris is an agent for the Livingston Insurance Agency at 100 Ninth St. in West Columbia. The Livingston Agency offers insurance for: homeowners; businesses; personal property; and renters among other coverages.
Morris said it is comforting for clients to know they are covered when there is an emergency involving their property.
“When there is a natural disaster, we, as an insurance provider, are here,” said Morris. “It’s why they have insurance. It’s important that we are here to support our clients in a stressful situation.”
National Emergency Preparedness Month. Be it insurance coverage or a response team, it’s good to know there is support in West Columbia in the wake of a disaster.
Also, the SC Emergency Preparedness Division offers guidance on finance in the midst of a disaster. Below are some tips:
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful times, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical and other records is crucial for starting the recovery process quickly and efficiently.
- Gather financial and critical personal, household and medical information.
- Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
- Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health and life insurance if you do not have them. Not all insurance policies are the same. Review your policy to make sure the amount and types of coverage you have meets the requirements for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
- For more helpful financial preparedness tips, download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to get started planning today.
- Be cautious about sharing personal financial information, such as your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number.
- Do not click on links in texts or emails from people you don’t know. Scammers can create fake links to websites. Visit government websites, like cdc.gov/coronavirus, directly in your internet browser.