The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and the Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, urges citizen awareness and preparedness.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, but most hurricane-like weather occurs between mid-August and late October. Calvert County is at risk for strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding and other severe weather. Residents can be “weather ready” by knowing how to receive information and warnings, having a plan and practicing safety during and after a storm.
The National Weather Service notes hurricanes can cause coastline damage and destruction for several hundred miles inland. Hurricanes often produce extreme winds, devastating high tides, flooding from torrential rains and even tornadoes.
Residents can take the following actions to prepare for severe weather:
· Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for official weather information, alerts and warnings.
· Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
· Know your evacuation route and have an emergency shelter plan.
· Remain indoors during a hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
· If you live in a mobile home, plan alternate shelter. Mobile homes are unsafe in high winds.
· Have a family communication plan and easy-to-find meeting place in case you are separated when a storm or disaster strikes.
· Consider specific needs of household members, such as medical needs, dietary needs, disabilities, languages spoken, pets or service animals, as well as babies and young children.
· Build an emergency kit and store supplies in easy-to-carry containers. Recommended items for a basic kit include water, non-perishable food, battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, local maps, cell phone with chargers and backup battery, prescription medications, cash, important family documents, blankets and change of clothing. Prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
· Fill a bathtub or large container with water for sanitary purposes such as for cleaning and flushing toilets. This is important for those whose water runs on an electrical system.
Residents are encouraged to stay informed and prepared in the event of an emergency by visiting www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/BeAwarePrepare and signing up for Calvert County ALERT to receive timely information about various emergency and non-emergency situations in the county. Calvert County ALERT messages can be received by cell phone, landline, email, text messaging, fax, pager and more.
Citizens may register with Smart911 to create a safety profile for emergency communications. Smart911 is a free online service that allows individuals and families to automatically provide vital information to 911 call takers during an emergency. Citizens can also visit the portal to register individuals with special needs for the Calvert County Emergency Management special needs registry. Anyone who has unique needs that hinder or prevent them from taking protective actions during an emergency should sign up for the special needs registry.
The Department of Public Safety also offers a free “Calvert Prepare” app to put critical, real-time information at users’ fingertips in the event of a regional emergency and helps residents stay prepared. Those without internet can contact the Calvert County Division of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638, to sign up for additional emergency preparedness information. To view more emergency-planning tips and information visit www.ready.gov.
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.