You have probably heard or read that the Carolinas Poison Center says the number of calls it is getting about snake bites has quadrupled over the same period from last year. A mild winter is likely the cause.
When you are out and about on the trails or doing yard work, please be mindful that snakes may be present. And if you're out walking at night, be sure to take a flashlight to light your path. In most cases these snakes are more afraid of you and will move away. However, if startled, they will possibly strike as a warning.
In your yard, make sure to mow closely around homes and outbuildings, and store firewood and lumber away from residences. Better yet, don't have a wood pile. Reduce mulch layers around shrubs to about 2 to 3 inches in depth to discourage small animals. Close cracks and crevices in buildings and around pipes and utility connections with 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth, mortar or sheet metal. All doors and windows should have tightly fitting screens.
Also check boots and shoes that are laying in the garage or outside before putting them on. And wear sturdy boots or shoes when outside, especially when gardening or hiking.
If you see a snake, back away slowly. Don’t try to pick it up or move it. Snakes often bite when they feel threatened.