Skip Navigation

Baltimore County iWatch Logo

Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: hurricane

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.

Baltimore County emergency preparedness officals remain concerned about the potential for inland flooding and fallen trees, though rainfall totals are expected to be less than feared and Hurricane Joaquin is forecast to stay off the Atlantic Coast.

Emergency managers have received regular briefings from the National Weather Service and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency since Wednesday. The current forecast calls for 2 to 3 inches of rain today and tonight, with the likelihood of inland flooding of streams, rivers and roads and some minor shore flooding in southeastern Baltimore County. Winds with gusts of up to 30 mph are forecast and could bring down trees and power lines.

The latest models show Hurricane Joaquin staying far enough off the coast that little to no rain and wind should affect Central Maryland. 

Emergency managers continue to monitor weather conditions.

Call 911 to report flooded roads, fallen trees or other weather emergencies.
       

Baltimore County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) is preparing for severe weather now through Monday.

Emergency management officials are monitoring back-to-back weather systems expected to impact our region. The National Weather Service forecast first calls for heavy rain and winds up to 25 mph beginning Friday and possibly continuing into Saturday. This event is likely to cause flooding of inland streams and rivers, flooded roadways and some tree damage.

Beginning Sunday and lasting into Monday, Virginia and Maryland may be affected by Hurricane Joaquin, now a Category 3 storm with 126 mph winds located over the Bahamas. The storm is forecast to move up the Atlantic coast, though the exact track is uncertain at this point. Joaquin's impact on Baltimore County will depend on its track. Potential concerns include  high winds that bring power outages and storm surge or high tides for coastal flooding.

"This weather event -- a major hurricane following on the heels of heavy rain -- is almost identical to scenarios we use in Emergency Operation Center exercises," said Mark Hubbard, director of HSEM.

County emergency management personnel are monitoring this weather system closely. Regular briefings with NWS and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials began yesterday and will continue for the duration of these weather events.

Emergency management personnel -- who oversee a coordinated, multi-agency response to weather emergencies -- are reviewing emergency plans, staffing and equipment.

Staying Informed

We urge citizens to stay informed by bookmarking this news blog and following our official social media channels: @BACOemergency on Twitter and our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/baltimorecountypoliceandfire. (All information about the storm will be shared with our Twitter followers of daily Police and Fire news, @BACOPoliceFire.)

These are the only sites that provide confirmed, official news from Baltimore County about this weather emergency.

Personal Preparedness

Now is the time for families and individuals to prepare for power outages, flooding or other weather-related emergencies. Like emergency prepareness agencies nationwide, Baltimore County urges citizens to prepare to get along without power for three days. At minimum, your supplies should include:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Water for drinking and personal hygiene (at least one gallon of drinking water per person, per day)
  • Communication tools. Make sure smart phones and other electronic devices are charged, and buy a battery-powered radio.

The greatest danger during flooding events involves flooded roadways. Most flash flooding deaths occur in vehicles. Do not drive through standing water, which is strong enough to carry away a car. Do not walk through standing water.

Emergency management officials also warn that saturated soils and heavy winds can combine to pose a hazard from falling trees.

Important emergency preparedness information is available on this web site and at Ready.gov,
        

 
 

Revised June 28, 2016