While the impact from Hurricane Irma on Calvert County and the state of Maryland is still uncertain, the Calvert County Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management reminds residents the time to prepare for the storm is now.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts through November and residents can be “weather ready” by considering the following actions to be prepared when these potentially dangerous storms threaten.
Prepare for High Winds
- If necessary, protect all windows with shutters or 5/8-inch plywood panels.
- Reinforce garage doors.
- Designate an interior room with no windows or external doors as a “safe room.”
- Assess your landscaping and trees to ensure they do not become a wind hazard.
Prepare for Flooding
- When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
- Determine the elevation of your property to learn your vulnerability to flooding.
- Evaluate your insurance coverage.
- In flood-prone areas, keep on hand materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves.
Prepare for Evacuation
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation
route(s) and have a plan for where you can stay.
- Remain calm and take only essential items. Put together a go-bag and include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications and copies of your critical information.
- Lock windows and doors.
- Offer rides to neighbors who are without transportation.
- Make a family emergency communication plan. Before an emergency happens, discuss how and when you will stay in touch with loved ones.
- Plan for family pets. Take them with you along with food and any medication they might be taking.
As the Storm Approaches
- If you are not in an area advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days.
- Build or restock your basic disaster supplies kit, including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash and first aid supplies.
- Most mobile/manufactured homes are not built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Residents of these homes should relocate to a safer structure.
- Secure lawn furniture and other outside objects that could become projectiles in high winds.
- If you have an emergency generator, start it to make sure it is operating correctly. Never operate a generator in an enclosed area and have ample fuel supply available.
- If you have a propane or charcoal grill make sure you have proper fuel available in case there is loss of power. You can use the grill to cook.
- Listen carefully for safety instructions from local officials. Monitor National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio.
During the Storm
- Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and doors.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for storm updates.
- Have flashlights/batteries handy and avoid open flames and candles.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce damage when power is restored.
After the Storm
- Stay away from downed or dangling power lines.
- Beware of weakened tree limbs.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate your house.
- Use your phone only in emergencies.
- Do not drive into water of unknown depth.
- Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
- Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters.
- Wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.
To keep abreast of local conditions and emergency information, residents are also encouraged to download the free “Prepare Me Calvert” emergency preparedness mobile application available for iOS (Apple) and Android devices through the Apple App Store or the Google Play market. Residents can also sign up for Calvert County ALERT online at www.co.cal.md.us and click on the Emergency Alerts button.
Those without internet can contact the Calvert County Division of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638, to sign up or to receive additional emergency preparedness information.