Storm could pack winds as high as 75 mph
Annapolis, MD (August 23, 2011) - County Executive John R. Leopold today urged citizens to prepare for Hurricane Irene and stay updated on the latest information from the Office of Emergency Management.
"We learned a lot from Isabel in 2003 and we are better able to communicate with the public," County Executive Leopold said. "Citizens should take steps to prepare, and County departments will mobilize to maintain services during a weather event."
The current track for Hurricane Irene has it just off the shore of Ocean City late Saturday into early Sunday. Under this current track, Anne Arundel County forecasts suggest 4" to 10" of rain, wind gusts up to 75 mph, and possible tidal flooding, according to the National Weather Service.
The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the county's preparation and response. The Emergency Operations Center will activate on Saturday at 6 p.m., barring any significant changes to the storm track, and the Department of Social Services will open a shelter at Annapolis High School. The Police Department, with assistance from Recreation and Parks, Aging and Disabilities, and the Sheriff's Department, will coordinate evacuation and transportation to shelters if necessary.
One good way to stay updated is to "like" Facebook pages listed at www.aacounty.org, including the Office of Emergency Management. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed to receive updates on your smart phone.
Here are some useful tips for citizens to prepare:
- Have a plan to shelter in place for 72 hours or evacuate
- Update your supply kit with water (gallon per person per day), non-perishable food, fresh batteries and flashlight, radio, medications, and special need supplies for babies, elderly, and pets.
- Fill your gas tanks in vehicles.
- Fill all prescriptions.
- Have cash available.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Ensure your generator is safely accessible outside your home; a bicycle lock can be placed to secure your generator.
- Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or bringing them inside.
- In a power outage, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Sanitize and fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Additional preparedness information can be obtained at http://www.ready.gov/ or http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/index.shtm.
For all emergencies, information will be released on local TV stations (WBAL TV (NBC), WMAR TV (ABC), WJZ TV (CBS), WBFF TV (FOX), radio stations (WNAV 1430 AM, WYRE 810 AM, WYPR 88.1 FM, El Zol 99.1 FM, WFSI 107.9 FM, WBAL 1090 AM), and Anne Arundel County’s Community TV station Channel 98.
For information or non-emergency (life safety) help calls please call 410-222-0600.