Summer Safety in the Holy City

Contributed by Emma Lydon, special to Holy City Sinner

The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and everything’s trying to kill you. Well, not really, - Charleston isn’t Australia by any stretch - but there are some dangers lurking during South Carolina’s summer months...

The 100 Deadly Days

During the summer, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a few beers or ice-cold cocktails, but it’s worth keeping a handle on the boozing to avoid becoming another summer statistic.

The annual “100 Deadly Days of Summer" started during Memorial Day weekend and continues through Labor Day. In that time, the South Carolina Highway Patrol sees a rise in alcohol-related fatalities.

While drinking and driving is the obvious danger, there are other activities that can be fatal too - most notably drinking while boating. Mixing of drinks and alcohol poisoning are further dangers.

So by all means, relax and enjoy your beer, but either don’t overdo it, or arrange to have a designated driver or cab to get you home safely. For large events, consider booking cabs in advance. Many companies offer discounts to parties that book round trips or multiple trips.

Breaking Bad

The emphasis is on “sinner” for this one. We may be CNN’s “friendliest city in the United States” (and the only US city to make it into the world’s top 10 friendliest cities), but there’s no denying that Charleston has a dark underbelly at times. Just last week, seven Charleston residents were arrested “in connection with an international cocaine trafficking network”, reports The Times and Democrat, standing accused of planning to distribute seven kilograms of cocaine throughout South Carolina. With drug use in SC so pervasive that we have 2,625 narcotics violations per 100,000 people – the nationwide average is just 470 violations per 100,000; not surprising given our strategic position for drug trafficking. there’s no denying that this is a bit of a weak spot. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that “the abuse of powdered and crack cocaine constitute the primary drug threats in South Carolina.” Treatment for crack cocaine addiction is complex, encompassing physical issues, psychological complications, and the social factors that led to addiction in the first place, and “relapse is the norm”, says DrugTreatment.com. Ditch the crazy party scene for a bit this summer and do some lounging instead, checking out the “dog wall of fame” and getting some poochy cuddles at the Lost Dog Café at Folly Beach, or soaking in some of our renowned local music scene.

Angry Clouds

Charleston doesn’t just get weather, it gets weather. We’re all aware of our beloved city’s propensity for flooding if a rain cloud even looks at it, a problem caused by the combination of flat streets and nearness to sea level.

The fact that the city is “built on filled creeks and marshes”, according to the Charleston City Paper, doesn’t help either. Of course, with ever-rising sea temperatures, melting Arctic ice, and rising water levels, there’s even more cause for concern when it comes to the flooding situation.

Plus, there's the constant risk of a hurricane given Charleston’s geographical position and abundance of surrounding water. Milro.com places Charleston in the top 10 cities at the highest risk for hurricane damage. It’s probably a good idea to keep safety resources for both flooding and hurricane preparedness on hand...and maybe to invest in a good kayak.

Why not have a mental escape strategy planned out? If it’s good enough for zombies, it’s good enough for Day After Tomorrow-style walls of water.

It may sound like the Holy City is a scary place to be in the summer, but what’s a good city without a tiny bit of risk? While other cities across the world have rampant crime, terrifying beasts (think Australia), or both, Charleston has flooding. At least you’re guaranteed a friendly hand to hold should crisis strike.

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