Emergency Management

350 Columbia Road
Winnsboro, SC  29180
Phone: (803) 635-5505
Fax: (803) 712-6480
Email:
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Calling 911
911 Address Information
Weather Conditions Broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio


Calling 911
Q. When should I call 911?
A. Any emergency requiring an immediate Fire Department, Ambulance, or Law Enforcement Officer response is reason to call 911.

Q. When shouldn't I call 911?
A. Incidents not requiring an immediate response from a Fire Department, Ambulance, or Law Enforcement Officer are better handled by calling a non-emergency number.

Q. Why do I always have to answer a bunch of questions about where I am and what my phone number is when I call 911? Doesn't your computer tell you that?
A. 911 telecommunicators cannot send you help if they don't know where you are and what's going on. Although the phone number and address provided by the 911 computer are nearly always correct, even computers make mistakes. That is why the telecommunicator must confirm that information by asking the caller. Also, many times callers are requesting help at a location other than the one they are calling from. Obviously, if help gets sent to the wrong location, there will be a delay in getting help to the person in need at the correct location. That delay might simply be inconvenient, but it also could mean the difference between life and death.

Q. If Fred’s water pipes break, should I call 911? It's an emergency, isn't it?
A. Although broken pipes or water leaks are something you certainly want to get fixed as soon as possible, none of the agencies dispatched by 911 provide that service. You need to call a plumber, and we cannot tell you what plumber to call.

Q. Why shouldn't I call 911 when my power goes out? I don't like just leaving a message on the power company's answering machine. I want to talk to a real person.
A. When you call a power company's outage reporting line and leave a message about your power being off, automated location equipment similar to that used in 911 records your account information based upon your address and phone number. So even when all you can do is leave a message, you are also leaving valuable location information to help the power company find where the problem is. The power company uses that information, regardless of whether or not you actually spoke to anyone, to plot your location in its power grid. The problem is often somewhere other than your house, and this information helps them go directly to the source of the problem. So if you call 911, and a 911 telecommunicator calls in your service request for you, the power company gets the location of the 911 center, not your house. Then that information has to be verbally collected and manually recorded into the power company database. The final result is a slower response than you would have gotten if you had used the automated system in the first place.

911 Address Information
Q. Do I need to post my 911 address?
A. Yes, this is very important. It makes it a lot easier for people, such as emergency services and home deliveries, to find you. Your number should be posted on the face of the building in plain view from the street on which the building is addressed. The green reflective signs out beside the road help if you can't see your home from the road.

Q. How do I start getting my mail at my new address?
A. You must contact your local postmaster for mail delivery.

Q. Who do I call if my road sign has been stolen or knocked down?
A. Call Public Works at 803-635-5209. People that are removing the signs don't realize how much this is costing the county. 

Weather Conditions Broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio
Q. What is a weather Watch?
A. A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

Q. What is a weather Warning?
A. A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property