Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Beryl both developed before the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season officially began. According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, that is the first time since 1908 that happened, and portends what might follow could be a busy storm season.
The storms, especially Tropical Storm Beryl that formed off the South Carolina coast, got farmers' attention but the rains were largely beneficial. The S.C. Department of Agriculture notes on June 6, the S.C. Drought Response Committee agreed to lower the drought status for most of the counties in the state (Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield and Aiken were the exceptions: they remain at severe).
However, SCDA warns that while those early storms turned out to be beneficial, they also gave us "fair warning this may be the year for hurricanes." In fact, S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is urging everyone, farmers and non-farmers, alike, to be prepared for any severe weather that Mother Nature might throw our way in 2012.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has devoted much of the agency's website to storm preparation and also makes available a 17-page South Carolina Hurricane Guide. The guide has information on many different topics, all of which can save lives in a hurricane.
The guide gives a wide-ranging listing of tips useful for hurricanes, from how to do an insurance review of your property to how to seek protection from the wind. It has a listing of Emergency Alert System Stations and call numbers for the National Weather Service Radio in the state. The information covered looks at how to prepare for a storm surge, which claims nine of ten victims in a hurricane.
The guide also covers citizens with special functional needs and lists important phone numbers to have at hand in emergencies. There is a section for how to prepare for your pets before an emergency.
The website is at www.scemd.org/. A pdf version of the guide can be uploaded from http://www.scemd.org/images/Public%20Information/Publications/Hurricane_Guide/2012HomeGuide.pdf.
Clemson University also has a web page devoted to Animal/Agriculture Emergency Response at http://www.clemson.edu/public/lph/ahp/emgcy_prep/index.htm. This page includes a link to a detailed 2011 S.C. Emergency Plan for Animals and Agriculture.