The year 2020 has been one that even the most prepared people likely were not ready for. As city officials, we often take classes on how to prepare for disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other natural happenings. There is no course, book, or teacher that could prepare us for everything that 2020 has had in store. There is no map or trajectory to follow that has told us what to expect next with COVID-19 other than listening to health care professionals about the real life statistics that they see each day.
What I do know is that in my short time here in Hartsville, I have seen the common theme of resiliency over and over again. This a type of resiliency that Council and Staff warned me about from the time that I learned my family and I would soon call Hartsville home. This is a community that supports their businesses, organizations, and neighbors through good times and bad. I have already been so impressed with this support, but I encourage the citizens of Hartsville to take this one step further.
City Council passed a resolution on June 30th encouraging the use of face masks while in public in Hartsville. Many businesses have also moved to require face coverings in their establishments, further promoting this safety precaution. I would encourage all citizens of Hartsville to remember the importance of using face coverings and using them properly. Our local health care providers have seen a steady incline of COVID-19 patients filling their facilities and have asked that the community help do their part to slow the spread of this disease. If you won’t do this for yourself, I encourage you to do this for those that you know and love that may not be as healthy and fortunate as you to easily overcome this virus.
While COVID-19 may not have been anything we could have seen coming this time last year, one thing that we as South Carolinians can expect each year is the potential for hurricanes in the summer and early fall months. We are quickly approaching the busy portion of hurricane season in South Carolina and we know that there are things that we can and should do to prepare for this.
One of the biggest tips that we have is to prepare your emergency kit now rather than waiting for the milk and bread frenzy the day before a major storm. This tip is often overlooked by many people because you think you have plenty of supplies already in your home. A proper emergency kit should include: clean containers for water, first aid kit, prescriptions, baby supplies, 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food, flashlights and extra batteries, sleeping bags and extra blankets, personal hygiene supplies, and an emergency kit for your car. Each of these is very important during a storm and it is important not to look over any necessity.
Life will always throw you curveballs, but I encourage you to take steps to minimize your risks and prepare as much as possible. Stay safe and be smart, Hartsville!