Calvert County Officials Urge Awareness During Hurricane Preparedness Week
Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week began Sunday, May 24, and the Calvert County Emergency Management Division is teaming with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to promote citizen awareness and preparedness.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November but most hurricane-like weather is seen between mid-August and late October. Calvert County is at risk for strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding and other severe weather. Residents can be “weather ready” by ensuring they know how to get a warning, have a plan and practice safety tips.
“Safety during any type of severe weather event is the key,” said Al Jeffery, Calvert County emergency management specialist. “Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes and know how to find higher ground. Flooding and debris from strong winds are often the deadly and destructive results of a hurricane. Stay tuned to radio and TV stations for official weather information and follow instructions given by emergency officials.”
“While the last two hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet, we all remember the devastation from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, especially in the New York City area and on Maryland’s lower eastern shore,” said MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp. “It’s important for us to always be prepared because even in a quiet hurricane season, just one hurricane making landfall in our area can be devastating.”
The NWS highlights that in Maryland it is possible to see hurricanes or hurricane-like activity during the summer. “Damage to coastlines and destruction several hundred miles inland can be seen with these tropical storms,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Strong. “Hurricanes can produce 150+ miles-per-hour winds, devastating high tides, flooding from torrential rain and even tornadoes.”
Residents can also take actions to remain safe by practicing the following tips:
- Stay tuned to radio and TV stations for official weather information.
- Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors; secure and brace external doors.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Avoid using the phone except in the case of emergencies.
- Avoid elevators.
- If you live in a mobile home, plan to leave. Mobile homes are unsafe in high winds.
- Do not attempt to evacuate during the height of a hurricane. You are safer in your home than out on the road.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as for cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill a bathtub or other large container with water. This is important for those whose water runs off of an electrical system.
This time of year is a good time to sign up for Calvert ALERT, a notification system that can send messages by text, email, fax, land line and pager. Residents are urged to visit the county website and click the Emergency Alerts link to register for the notification service. Those without Internet access can call 410-535-1600, ext. 2638, to sign up.
To learn more about emergency preparedness, contact the Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638. For information on Calvert County Government, visit www.co.cal.md.us.