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Anne Arundel County Highlights Weather Readiness During Week Two of Building Safety Month

Publish Date: 05/12/2014

Fire, Weather and Outdoor Safety Are Focal Points of 2014 Campaign

 

Annapolis, Maryland (May 12, 2014) — Following the May 1 kickoff of Building Safety Month, this year themed “Maximizing Resources, Minimizing Risks,” Anne Arundel County will continue to highlight building safety throughout the month of May.

 

Each week, the County will stress an important aspect of building safety to promote the wellbeing of its citizens where they live, work and play. Themed “Helping Homeowners Weather The Storm,” the week of  May 12-18 emphasizes preparing your family and home for natural disasters.

 

While its mid-Atlantic locale shelters it from the severest of weather phenomenon, Anne Arundel County is still vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other severe storms. The International Code Council offers several tips for protecting your home and family in the face of inclement weather:

  • To prepare for an earthquake, plan and hold drills; keep a flashlight and shoes by each person’s bed; select a safe location away from your home where your family can meet after evacuating; make an emergency kit containing water, food and medications for at least three days; and know how to shut off electricity, gas and water services.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, elevate your home above the base flood elevation; wet flood-proof your home by installing flood vents; dry flood-proof your home to prevent water from entering; and construct non-supporting, break-away walls designed to collapse under the force of water without damaging the foundation.
  • If your home is located in a hurricane zone, make your landscaping more wind-resistant by securing items that may become flying objects; clearing your gutters of leaves and debris; improving your roof’s resistance to uplift by applying a ¼-inch bead of caulk along the intersection of the roof deck and support element; and securing your home with impact-resistant doors and windows or shutters and panels, or building temporary emergency panels.
  • A properly built, high-wind safe room can protect your family from the most intense tornado or windstorm. Such rooms are designed to meet standards set by the National Storm Shelter Association, the ICC and FEMA, and can be located anywhere on the first floor of a home, in a basement or outdoors.
  • Safeguard your home against wildfires by clearing 30-50 feet around your home if you live in a heavily wooded area; planting native vegetation and removing dead or dying trees; pruning shrubs and trees so they do not extend over a roof or near a chimney; building decks and patios with fire-resistant materials; and using only burning-brand, exposure-rated roofing materials.
  • Following week one, “Keeping Fire In Its Place,” weeks three and four of Building Safety Month will highlight the topics of “Surround Your Building With Safety” and “Building A Brighter, More Efficient  Tomorrow.” For more information about Building Safety Month, go to www.iccsafe.org/BSM, or to learn more about Anne Arundel County’s building codes, go towww.aacounty.org/IP.


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