Mayor Michael Pantelides wants to make sure that all Annapolis residents are prepared for the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season, which started June 1. The National Hurricane Center predicts the 2015 season outlook will have 6-11 named storms of which 3-6 could become hurricanes.
To ensure Annapolis is ready, the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management is teaming up with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. The Atlantic Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Most hurricane-like weather occurs between mid-August and late October. The City of Annapolis is at risk for coastal flooding, high winds, and heavy rain during that time. Residents in Maryland can “be weather ready” by knowing how to get a warning, have a plan, and practice safety tips.
“It’s important to prepare now for any possible storm impact on our city later,” Mayor Pantelides said. “Residents need to have a plan in place and a family emergency kit put together, because these small proactive measures could make a big difference if a dangerous storm threatens our area.”
The City of Annapolis offers ways to keep up to date on information regarding hurricanes and tropical storms. One option is the Office of Emergency Management’s Prepare Me Annapolis app. The Prepare Me Annapolis app offers a wide range of information, including approaching weather, traffic, closings, and important notifications from the City. This app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.
The City of Annapolis also shares information through a community notification system called CodeRED, which can send voicemails, emails and/or text messages for free, based on one’s preferences. This service is capable of reaching thousands of residences and business in a matter of minutes. Not every residence or business may be in the system, and that’s why the City of Annapolis government encourages all residents and businesses to register at http://www.annapolis.gov/oem/codered.
“While the last two hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet, we all remember the devastation from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, especially in the New York City area and on Maryland’s lower eastern shore,” said MEMA Executive Director Clay Stamp. “It’s important for us to always be prepared because even in a quiet hurricane season, just one hurricane making landfall in our area can be devastating.”
The City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management officials remind residents that it is possible to see hurricanes or hurricane-like activity during the summer. “Damage to coastlines and widespread destruction can be seen with these tropical storms,” said Kevin Simmons, the Director for the Office of Emergency Management in Annapolis. “Hurricanes can produce 150+ miles per hour winds, devastating high tides, flooding from torrential rain, and even tornadoes.”
Residents can also take actions to remain safe by:
- Staying tuned to radio and TV stations for official weather information.
- Following instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
- Staying indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Closing all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Taking refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- If you live in a mobile home, plan to leave. Mobile homes are unsafe in high winds.
- Do not attempt to evacuate during the height of a hurricane. You are safer in your home than out on the road
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as for cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill a bathtub or other large container with the water. This is important for those whose water runs off of an electrical system.
Additional information can be found on the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management website at www.annapolis.gov/oem, and MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov. Feel free to call the Office of Emergency Management with questions at (410) 216-9167, or follow us on social media by searching for Annapolis OEM on Facebook and Twitter.