Today -- June 1, the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season -- Baltimore County emergency planners conducted a training exercise for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) representatives and reminded citizens about important personal preparedness steps.
“We aren’t in Oklahoma, Kansas or Texas, but severe weather can and does happen here,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz at a press briefing held in the EOC in Towson. "We take storm preparedness seriously here, and we ask our residents to plan ahead, too.”
Kamenetz encouraged people to follow the County’s emergency management updates on Twitter @BACOemergency and @BACOPoliceFire, as well as on the Baltimore County Government Facebook page and web site. People can also register for email or phone alerts through Baltimore County's Emergency Notification System (ENS).
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Maryland typically sees most tropical storm activity in August and September and is no stranger to severe storms that cause dangerous conditions and threaten life. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a near-normal hurricane season this year, with a 70 percent probability of 10 to 16 named storms, four to eight hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes.
Precautions you can take now, before a storm:
- Put important papers in a water tight container (all insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, medical information, copies of prescriptions, proof of address, etc.).
- Buy flood insurance if your home is susceptible to flooding. Flood insurance is separate from homeowners’ insurance.
- Store enough canned goods and other non-perishables to last your family three days. Prepare a first aid kit.
- Store enough water, one gallon per day per person, to last three days.
- Make plans for your pets in case of an emergency. Store extra food, water and medications. Plan where you will take your pets if you have to leave your home.
- Stock up on batteries, flashlights and battery-powered radios in case of a power outage. Candles pose a fire hazard and should not be used during power outages.
When a storm is on the way:
- Fuel all vehicles.
- Charge all cellphones and other electronic devices.
- Keep car chargers handy. They are good alternatives if the power goes out.
- Download “In case of emergency” numbers into cell phones.
- Plan ahead with family members about where you will meet in an emergency.