The Strom Law Firm Offers a List of Resources for South Carolina Flooding Victims and Volunteers
South Carolina officials and emergency relief workers have been cleaning up the state as flood waters begin to recede. Many residents of the South Carolina have suffered unimaginable damage to their homes. The Strom Law Firm’s office in Columbia is on Beltline Blvd, in the midst of the damage. We offer the following as a resource for flooding victims in the state, and volunteers who wish to help.
Information for Flooding Victims:
Most importantly, if you need assistance immediately, call 9-1-1. There are plenty of emergency responders available to help those trapped in their homes, or unable to get to their local hospital.
If you and your family are physically unharmed, and have begun your clean-up efforts, there may be financial assistance to help you through these difficult times. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov to apply for federal financial aid, which can include money for rent at a new home.
If your home or business has been damaged, apply for federal assistance, but also, do not forget to ask for help from your own insurance company. Depending upon the policy you selected, your Homeowner’s insurance and/or business insurance may offer some coverage for your damaged property. FEMA may offer compensation for any remaining damages that your insurance did not cover.
If you lost your job due to the devastating floods, Unemployment Assistance may also offer assistance. You can obtain more information about unemployment funds by clicking here.
For those who wish to return home, check on friends or family, or attempt to travel for other reasons, some roads are clear, but many are still severely damaged from the floods. This damage may not be immediately visible. Contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation (scdot.org) for information about which roads are safe and which may still be closed: 1-855-467-2368
Additional phone numbers for assistance include:
- United Way: 2-1-1
- Red Cross Assistance: 855-773-3175
- SCEMD 24-hour question line: 1-866-246-0133.
Debris clean-up efforts officially began on Monday, October 12th. Governor Nikki Haley and FEMA officials have released details about how residents can divide debris into 6 piles to make removal easier.
The categories are:
- Household garbage, like food waste, packaging, diapers, etc.
- Construction debris such as lumber and dry wall
- Vegetation debris, like fallen tree limbs or leaf piles
- Household hazardous waste, including oil, batteries, pesticides, paint, gas containers, cleaning supplies, etc.
- “White” goods or appliances, including refrigerators, air conditioners, or washers and dryers
- Electronics including computers and televisions
For more information on debris pile organization, click here to view the graphic.
If there are dead or sick animals in your neighborhood, those should be taken care of to prevent the spread of diseases. Call this number: 803.929.6000
If you still need bottled drinking water
The following sites offer water for Columbia and Richland County. These distribution centers are open until 6:30 PM every day:
- Walmart – 5424 Forest Drive
- Lower Richland High School -2615 Lower Richland Boulevard
- Landmark Drive – 3700 Landmark Drive near the Richland Mall
- Former Sam’s Club Parking Lot – 1401 Sunset Drive
- Dutch Square (former Belk parking lot) – 421 Bush River Road
- Midlands Shopping Center – 2638 Two Notch Road
- Eastover Park – 1301 Main Street, Eastover
- Gadsden Community Center – 1660 South Goodwin Circle, Gadsden, SC
There are also several water-filling stations in the area, which are open from 9 AM to 9 PM every day:
- Fire Station 4, 446 Spears Creek Church Road
- Fire Station 18, 7401 Fairfield Road
- Fire Station 29, 121 Old Congaree Run
- Fire Station 34, 321 Elders Pond Drive
- Columbia Place Mall, 7201 Two Notch Road
- 1522 Gladden Street, Near water tower
- Greenview Park, 6700 David Street
- Hyatt Park, 950 Jackson Avenue
- Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Road
- Southeast Park, 951 Hazelwood Road
Information for Volunteers:
First and foremost, do not put yourself in physical danger. Even though roads and bridges may not be covered by water does not mean they are safe. Follow SCDOT’s information about road and bridge closures when traveling.
Also, be careful when offering assistance. Many volunteers want to help with home clean-up efforts, but the home owners have experienced a great loss, and may not want your help, or to immediately clean out their homes. The damaged items you throw away may have precious memories attached, so treat victims and their possessions gently. Ask before you assist.
Charities in South Carolina like Harvest Hope, Goodwill, and the American Red Cross still need money and goods, but check with these charities before leaving donations at their door. Visit the website of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) to see which charities still need donations of money, food, and clothing.
Click here for a PDF list of items that may still be needed as donations.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Whether you are a victim of flooding or want to volunteer your effort or goods, keep an eye on the news for updates. The Strom Law Firm will update on the South Carolina floods as much as possible through our blog and Facebook page. However, local news will keep more continuous updates, and state agencies as well as FEMA will continue to release information on safety and needed assistance.