The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be surveying Horry and Georgetown County residents this weekend to assess their medical needs and emergency preparedness plans.
The survey will be conducted via telephone, online, and will also include a door-to-door outreach component, according to a press release.
“The goal of this survey is to determine just how well-prepared people are for emergencies and to provide information to develop or enhance their individual emergency plans,” said Jamie Blair, deputy director of the DHEC Office of Public Health Preparedness. “By knowing on the front end if residents in an area may require special attention we are more aptly prepared to serve.”
Members of the local amateur radio club and volunteers with the SC Public Health Reserve Corps will be visiting homes in Horry and Georgetown counties on Saturday, June 10. They will be inviting residents to take the survey and sharing information about how to prepare for emergencies, the release said.
“Health and environmental emergencies can happen suddenly and without warning,” DHEC Director Catherine E. Heigel said. “Having a skilled, prepared team ready to respond quickly, efficiently, and effectively can be the difference between life and death. Public assistance with this survey will ensure these dedicated professionals can capably serve their communities when emergencies strike.”
The volunteers will be wearing an official ID badge and PHRC vest or other attire showing their agency affiliation, according to the release. They will be going door-to-door between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and residents should ask to see the volunteers’ ID badges for proper identification.
The survey is anonymous and will include questions about the participants’ medical history and their personal emergency and evacuation plans.
The survey results will be used by DHEC to fine-tune agency response plans for future disasters that may have an impact on public health.
“People with access and functional needs who live at home are of particular concern to us, because it can be more difficult for people to evacuate if they need special assistance,” Blair said. “Many of our residents also have a medical need for electricity, and the power outages that we experience during major storms can be life-threatening for these individuals. As the state’s public health authority, we want to be sure that we’re doing everything possible to prepare people with medical conditions for emergencies and also able to ensure that their needs are met when disaster strikes.”
For more information about the survey, you can call Jamie Blair at 803-587-0399.
Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles