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Follow @BACOemergency Twitter for updated information

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz encourages County residents to follow @BACOemergency on Twitter for emergency updates from the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. @Bacoemergency provides the latest information during emergency situations, such as the water main break being repaired by Baltimore City in the Hunt Valley area, as well as severe weather events and other emergencies. @BACOemergency also provides routine recommendations for emergency preparedness and safety throughout the year.

“This is a direct source of updated information from our emergency managers to let people to know what is happening during an emergency and what steps they may need to take to protect their families and property,” Kamenetz said.

No Twitter account or login is required to view @BACOemergency updates – just visit https://twitter.com/BACOemergency. As with many organizational social media accounts, the County’s emergency managers provide outgoing messages but are not in a position to respond to followers. If you have an emergency, call 911. Please contact the Baltimore City Water Department at 410-396-5352 with questions about repairs to the water main break on York Road.

County government also regularly tweets news and information on Twitter at @BaltCoGov and on the County’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/BaltCoGov.  


photo of snowy sceneMark Hubbard, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

For as long as I can remember, the weather services used human names for hurricanes.  If you are unlucky enough to have one of those names (Agnes, Isabel, Katrina, Floyd, Horatio etc.) you may be branded with the image of tragedy and destruction.

When it came to other severe weather, like tornadoes, we usually refer to the storm by the name of the town most severely impacted and perhaps the severity rating on the Fujita scale.  Example: " That F5 tornado that struck Smallville."

Since the inception of 24/7 news coverage that included severe weather television and radio channels devoted purely to weather news, a new phenomena is emerging – the effort to brand other storms, in particular, winter storms, as well. For example, the President's Day storm of.........; the Valentines day storm of....... and so on.  Broadcast news also likes to use bold character graphics in the news cast:  Blizzard of 2010, etc.  If you ask me, this only magnifies the stress we often experience when preparing for and suffering through these storms.

But perhaps there is a purpose to all of this. Consider a system where we used a scientific-like numbering system.  So perhaps instead of referring to Hurricane Isabel by name, we instead said Hurricane #2003-6.  Somehow, this generic label simply does not seem to fit.  So maybe it is not so crazy to now see many other severe weather events given a human name.  Branding a storm does somehow seem to add character and  identity – almost a personality. In the case of winter storms, The Weather Channel has decided to name this winter’s storms after Greek mythology icons like Atlas, Boreas (Greek god of the cold north wind), Electra, Hercules, Ion, Janus and Titan.

The February 12th storm is called Pax, the Latin word for peace. Let’s hope it’s an appropriate name and that we don’t make it all the way to Zephyr this year!

Take a look at what the Weather Channel had to say about it. And, oh, how we love our brands! So let's just roll with it for now. Otherwise, imagine a world without Coke or Pepsi.  It would seem a bit flat (pun intended) if we knew them just as Cola #1 and Cola #2. (You figure out which is which!)   

Regardless of what we call them, winter storms are worthy of respect and caution. So, everyone please remember to exercise common sense at home and on the roads, and keep up with Baltimore County’s winter storm operations at  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/snow and on Twitter at @BACOemergency.


 
 

Revised April 6, 2016