County Executive Leopold Urges Residents to be Prepared for Hurricane Season
Tropical Storms Could Pose Danger
Annapolis (September 4, 2008 ) - County Executive John R. Leopold is urging residents of Anne Arundel County to exercise extreme caution over the next several days with the potential for severe weather to affect the County.
Tropical Storm Hanna and other storms are on an uncertain path but could strengthen and strike the County. As a result, residents are encouraged to take action now to be prepared.
"We want our residents to have the right information at the right time so they can make the right decisions about their safety," the County Executive said in receiving a briefing about plans for severe weather. "Our Office of Emergency Management and Fire Department are taking steps now to ensure the County is prepared. Our residents must do the same to be ready."
The following recommendations are given to residents who may be affected by severe weather:
Pay close attention to weather forecasts: Take advantage of all ways to obtain information about upcoming weather events including television, radio, and print media. Every home and workplace should have a battery powered NOAA Weather Radio capable of receiving important alerts concerning severe weather. Maintain a supply of spare batteries for prolonged outages.
Prepare a plan: (1) Post emergency telephone numbers by phones; (2) Install safety features in your house, such as smoke alarms, flashlights and fire extinguishers; (3) Inspect your home for potential hazards (such as items that can move, fall, break, or catch fire) and correct them; (4) Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher; and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home; (5) Teach children how and when to call 911; (6) Assemble a disaster supplies kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags. Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit: Severe weather can cause you to be isolated for a prolonged period of time and you should expect to be on your own for up to 72 hours. Your emergency kit should include A 3-day supply of drinking water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil; one change of clothing and footwear per person; one blanket or sleeping bag per person; a first aid kit, including prescription medicines; emergency tools, including a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and a portable AM/FM radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries; an extra set of car keys, credit card and cash ($200.00) and special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
Practice and maintain your plan. Ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules. Conduct drills. Test your smoke alarms today and change the batteries according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Follow the instructions of emergency officials: In order to provide for your safety, it may be necessary to order an evacuation or ask that you remain in your home and off of county roadways. Although rare, such evacuations are critical in safeguarding your well being and the well being of your loved ones. In the event that you are asked or directed to evacuate, notify family out of the area that you are being evacuated and where you are going. This will reduce the chance that family members will attempt to come into a dangerous area to look for you. If you are asked to remain in your home, please do not go outside to see for yourself whether a genuine emergency exists. This may expose you to severe weather that is dangerous.
Severe weather can affect us at any time. Anne Arundel County officials are committed to the safety of its citizens and ask for the media’s assistance in providing critical, pertinent, timely information through their systems.
Additional excellent information can be found on the internet by visiting www.aacounty.org/OEM or calling the Office of Emergency Management at (410) 222-0600.