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Keyword: tornado

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

The National Weather Service declared March 13 to 17, 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 for detailed information about this campaign and other flood safety issues.

Also, – 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.

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, This site includes where to go and what to do when a tornado is sighted.

Heat Can Kill

Today’s heat index has hit triple digits. We remind people to try to stay indoors during the heat of the day – 3:24 until 7 p.m.

An air conditioned building will help guard against heat-related health problems. If the home is not air conditioned, first responders and health officials suggest people go to malls, libraries and other public areas. The County web site offers a rundown on throughout the area.

Check on the elderly and disabled to see that they are cool and hydrated. Ask them if they need water or other provisions for three days if needed.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can happen quickly when the temperature and humidity rise. Keeping hydrated is a necessity to counteract the problems. We recommend drinking lots of water. Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates the body.

Power Outages

Power outages occur often during severe thunderstorms and windy conditions. Be prepared for loss of power. Have plenty of batteries on hand for flashlights and radios. Do not use candles if possible. Candles can cause fires if left unattended.

When power is lost, people often turn to generators for alternative power. While helpful, generators can kill if not used properly. Generators should be placed at least 15 feet from the dwelling to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Charge all cellphones before the storm hits. A cellphone car charger is a good backup when the power is out.

Be ready before a storm hits. Keep enough water on hand for three days. One gallon per person per day is recommended. Again, check our web site for more information on emergency preparedness.

Storms, Lightning and Tornadoes

Extreme heat and humidity equals the perfect storm for severe thunderstorms and lightning.

The Midwest isn’t the only part of the country to experience tornadoes. Twisters have occurred here in Baltimore County.

County residents can keep posted on the latest news regarding dangerous conditions through the Baltimore County Emergency Management Twitter account @BACOemergency or our Facebook account at,

Flash Floods

Strong storms can cause flash flooding. Do not drive through standing water. It is difficult to gauge the depth of the water when a flash flood occurs. A vehicle can be swept away in a matter of minutes. It is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in Maryland.

Call 911 in an emergency.

Revised June 27, 2017