Hurricane Season Begins

Hurricane Season Begins

Odenton, MD – The hurricane season has begun, and with it comes destructive wind, this requires us to prepare ahead.

Here are steps that should be taken to minimize damage:

  • Build an emergency kit to include at least two weeks’ worth of supplies, including stocking up on necessary medications for family members and any pets
  • Create a family communications plan; make sure you know where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters the garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.          

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to local news and utilize a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio; ensure you have the warning alarm tone enabled to receive alerts
  • Identify community primary and alternate evacuation routes as well as any nearby shelters
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep the doors closed
  • Know how and where to shut off any outdoor propane supply tanks
  • Never connect a portable generator to the house wiring and never use a generator indoors
  • Bring pets inside with you
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies; ensure you have emergency contacts pre-programmed
  • Ensure you have an adequate supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency by visiting the United States Department of Agriculture’s website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/emergency-preparedness/a-consumers-guide-to- food-safety-severe-storms-and-hurricanes.
  • Charge your electronic devices ahead of the storm
  • Keep your gas tank full
  • Put paper maps in the car

In the event you need to evacuate:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to evacuate, be sure to follow their instructions and always follow posted signs
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such structures are particularly hazardous during a hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground
  • Never drive through flooded waters or around barricades
  • Know that traffic lights and signs may be missing or damaged

For more information on how to prepare before, during, and after a storm, please visit our website at https://www.aacounty.org/departments/office-of-emergency-management/index.html