Two of Central Maryland’s most serious weather disasters – tornadoes and flooding – commonly occur during the spring and summer months.

Local emergency preparedness officials encourage citizens and business owners to take time now to:

  • Review their home and business emergency plans – or to develop one, if they don’t have one.
  • Familiarize themselves with where to go and what to do when tornadoes threaten.
  • Educate licensed drivers to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when confronted with standing water in roadways.

Flood Safety Awareness Week

Next week, March 16 to 22, is National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Floods and flash floods take more lives than any other weather disaster. More than half of those fatalities occur when vehicles are swept away by flood waters.

The National Weather Service’s “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign raises awareness about the hazards of attempting to drive through floodwaters. Visit www.floodsafety.noaa.gov for detailed information about this campaign and other flood safety issues.

Also, www.floodsmart.gov – the web site of the National Flood Insurance Program – is an extremely valuable resource about flood risks and flood insurance. The site contains the most recent information on flood maps and allows you to enter your zip code for information about your level of flood risk.

“Now is the time to determine your flood risk and whether you need flood insurance,” said Mark Hubbard, Baltimore County’s Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Tornado Season

Though tornadoes are usually associated with the Midwest, they are fairly common in Maryland as well. The conditions that spawn tornadoes can occur at any time of year, but especially in spring and summer.

Bookmark the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) excellent resource on tornadoes, www.ready.gov/tornadoes. This site includes where to go and what to do when a tornado is sighted.