Before Hurricane Ian ever made landfall in South Carolina, DHEC’s team of dedicated employees began to prepare for the storm’s anticipated impact. Learn more by reading, DHEC Joins Team South Carolina to Prepare & Respond to Hurricane Ian.
DHEC is here to help our state's residents. You can use these hotlines for DHEC specific needs.
- Care Line: 1-855-472-3432
Answers questions about health department services that may be interrupted and Medical Needs Shelters
- Dams Emergency Response: 803-898-1939
Call if you have an emergency that needs immediate attention at a DHEC regulated dam.
- Private Well: 888-761-5989
Answers questions and provides help to private well owners
- Mold: 888-815-3509
While DHEC does not perform remediation for mold, residents can receive resources and speak to a DHEC representative who can help answer questions and provide advice.
Stay Safe After the Storm
- Returning Home Safely
- Food and Water Issues
- Private Wells
- Indoor Mold
- Animal and Insect Issues
- Dam Safety
Illnesses caused by bacteria in food or water can be among the greatest problems caused by a hurricane or flood. Both loss of power and flooding pose a threat to your water and food supplies. In high water and flooding, food, water and utensils can be contaminated with bacteria, sewage and/or chemicals. In a power outage, frozen and refrigerated foods can be contaminated with bacteria that will grow once the temperature of the food gets above 40°F. All of this can seriously affect the health of you and your family. To reduce the risk of contamination we offer these tips.
Use Safe Water
It's important you take steps to prevent illness from unsafe water. DHEC provides tips that private well owners can take before and after a storm. If you are unsure about your water supply, use only bottled or stored water until it is determined that the water is safe to drink.
Avoid Floodwater, Beware of Hazards
Floodwater are nothing to play with or to take for granted. Exercise caution. All too often, danger lurks within and beneath floodwater and standing water.
DHEC urges everyone not to use area streams, rivers or the ocean for drinking, bathing, or swimming due to the possibility of bacteria, wastewater or other contaminants. Avoid wading through standing water due to the possibility of sharp objects, power lines or other hazardous debris that might be under the surface.
Follow these steps if you encounter floodwater or standing water.
- Avoid or limit direct contact.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap, especially before drinking and eating.
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater or play with toys contaminated with floodwater.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
No matter how harmless it might appear, avoid driving, wading or walking in floodwater. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Beach Renourishment, Sand Scraping, Sandbags
DHEC has issued blanket emergency orders to local governments to allow property owners along the immediate beachfront to conduct minor renourishment, sand scraping or install sandbags to provide temporary protection to beachfront structures from wave uprush. Click here to view emergency orders.
DHEC encourages coastal residents affected by Hurricane Ian to report damage to beachfront structures, including seawalls, revetments and dune walkovers using SC MyCoast. Residents using SC MyCoast’s Storm Witness report for the first time will need to register before submitting a report. Registration is quick, easy and free. To report through SC MyCoast, go to mycoast.org/sc.
Wells should be inspected after the storm for damage and any plug or covering on casing vent should be removed. If your private well was flooded and you have questions concerning testing, call the Private Well Hotline at 888-761-5989.
Health Care Services and Facilities
As of 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, DHEC will resume normal hours of its Care Line.
DHEC has expanded the services and hours of its Care Line toll free number to answer questions about health department services interrupted due to Hurricane Ian and general questions concerning Medical Needs Shelters. The Care Line number is 1-855-4SC-DHEC (472-3432) and will be open for calls 24/7 beginning Thursday, Sept. 29, until 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.
Final update: Before Hurricane Ian ever made landfall in South Carolina, DHEC’s team of dedicated employees began to prepare for the storm’s anticipated impact. Learn more by reading the blog post, DHEC Joins Team South Carolina to Prepare & Respond to Hurricane Ian.
- DHEC Assesses Damages, Offers Health and Safety Reminders Following Hurricane Ian
- DHEC resumes normal hours of its Care Line
- DHEC reopens most shellfish beds
- DHEC has issued blanket emergency orders to local governments to allow property owners along the immediate beachfront to conduct minor renourishment, sand scraping or install sandbags to provide temporary protection to beachfront structures from wave uprush. Click here to view emergency orders.
- DHEC provides tips that private well owners can take before and after a storm.
- DHEC provides update on its pre-storm efforts
- DHEC expands its Care Line hours to 24/7
- DHEC closes all shellfish harvest beds
- Governor McMaster has signed Executive Order 2022-28 declaring a state of emergency and activating the state’s emergency operations plan, which enables state agencies to prepare for Hurricane Ian’s potential impact to the state.
- DHEC encourages regulated dam, reservoir owners and operators to monitor the development of Hurricane Ian.
DHEC follows the closings and delays of county offices. For example, if Beaufort County offices are closed, our health clinics and offices in the county will be closed as well. The latest information on delays and closures can be found on SCEMD's closings and delays webpage or on local media.