Exclusive report from the News Writing staff

2017 South Carolina Hurricane Guide

washing machine with ice

Food, water suggestions for people with power outages

By Laportia Smith
News Writing Staff

Preparation of food during Hurricane Irma may be a little difficult to handle for USC Upstate commuters, but the University has planned to have enough staff on campus to provide for the students who live on campus, according to Director of Communications, Carolyn Farr-Shanesy.

“We have days of food available,” Shanesy said.

Commuters should prepare for themselves. Have plenty of water nearby and any necessary foods.

Tips gathered through social media include:

  • Fill Ziploc bags 3/4-full of water and stack them in the freezer. The more space you can fill with water bags, the better. This will slow the thawing process if the power goes out. It might be enough to save much of what’s in the freezer and the refrigerator.
  • Fill the washing machine with ice and use it as a cooler to keep drinks and any necessary foods cool. The melted ice will just drain in the washer.
  • Drinking water guidelines suggest at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days.
  • Food should be available for at least three to seven days. Nonperishable packaged or canned food and juices are suggested.


High water

Driving on flooded roads can be hazardous and deadly

By Britannia Millington
News Writing Staff

The major concern for commuter students is traveling roads and highways that may be flooded or have more than the usual amount of water.

The most important tip is to not put yourself in unnecessary danger. If there are downed trees or you live in an area known for flooding, stay put until it is safe to evacuate.

It is not safe to ignore barricades placed on roads by the police and highway personnel. Do not drive through standing water – a minimum of 12 inches of moving water can sweep a vehicle off the road. You also risk major damage to your vehicle.

If you must travel outside of your home here are few tips to protect you and your family members provided by

  • Estimate the depth of the water. Look at the other vehicles traveling ahead of you.
  • Drive slowly and steadily, do your best to not come to a complete stop.
  • Be aware of whether there is any downed electrical lines in or near the water.
  • Watch for large items floating downstream, for example other vehicles. They can crush and trap you.
  • Do not unnecessarily use your phone while driving.
  • If your vehicle stalls, you may have to restart it. Keep in mind this may likely cause major damage.

If you can’t restart your vehicle and water levels begin/are rising. Open the door or roll down the window, so that you can abandon the vehicle for higher ground immediately.


Emergency numbers

Know your numbers for quicker response

By Lily Kearse
News Writing Staff

Though a little more is known about Hurricane Irma’s path and the effects it may have on the Upstate, it is important that students, faculty, and local community members are aware of who to contact in the case of an emergency and when it is appropriate to make these calls.

  • USC Upstate Police, 864-503-7777.

USC Upstate police will be on campus throughout the storm to provide assistance in non-emergency situations on campus, according to Shanesy.

These may include, but are not limited to, being locked out of a building, having a flat tire or a dead car battery, and needing an escort across campus. A more comprehensive list is at

  • City of Spartanburg Non-Emergency Dispatch, 864-596-2222.

The City of Spartanburg Non-Emergency Dispatch can be reached to provide service to those not on campus in the event of a non-emergency situation that may be related to the storm.

  • Emergency Hotline 911

This is for a life-threatening situation. 911 can be reached to dispatch police, firetrucks, or emergency medical services. Because 911 is an emergency telephone number, most modern cellphones are able to push calls through to the dispatch center even if the phone’s service agreement has lapsed with its carrier.

It is also recommended that students, faculty, and community members be aware of their personal emergency contacts. These phone numbers should be documented and kept accessible at all times, as emergency situations are unpredictable.


First aid

Make healthcare precautions before the storm

By Ashley Kreiner
News Writing Staff

Hurricane Irma is approaching and people need to be aware of the proper health precautions to take.

If you have a disability, rely on electronic equipment, or take prescription medicine, then speak to your healthcare professional in advance of the storm to ensure you take necessary precautions.

  • Pharmacies may be closed or unavailable to you during the hurricane, so have a two-three week supply on hand.
  • Have a first aid kit nearby. Travel size is better if you are on the move, but if you plan on remaining stationary during the events, a larger size could help you immensely.
  • Stock up on baby wipes, baby food, food/water, blankets/clothes, hand sanitizer, diapers, tampons/pads, and soap. It is important to keep up hygiene to support a healthy immune system, especially since it may become difficult for you to reach a healthcare professional after the hurricane hits.
  • If a large wound is opened with lots of bleeding, make sure to apply pressure to the wound and tightly tie a cloth above the afflicted area to help stop blood loss. Get the injured person to a medical professional as quickly as possible.
  • If you are an expectant mom close to delivery date, make special preparations with your physician or hospital.

It may become difficult to communicate with the outside world after the storm, so have a police scanner to keep you up-to-date with what is going on with your local community. You will hear communications between the fire departments and the police stations, and become aware of wrecks or areas with heavy traffic or flooding.