Mayor urges residents to prepare for hurricane season

| May 30, 2016
Hurricane Isabel

Tropical Storm Isabel

Mayor Michael Pantelides urges residents to prepare for Hurricane Season, which begins June 1.

The City of Annapolis is teaming up with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to promote citizen awareness and preparedness.   Hurricanes can cause strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding. These storms occur most often in the summer and fall during the Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 – November 30) and have wide-ranging and severe effects, especially for Annapolis which is susceptible to regular nuisance and coastal flooding.

“It’s important to be prepared now for any potential storm impact on our city that may occur later,” Mayor Pantelides said. “Residents need to have a plan in place and a family emergency kit put together. These small proactive measures could make a big difference if a dangerous storm threatens our city.”

Kevin Simmons, Director of the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds residents that “damage to coastlines and widespread destruction can be seen with these tropical storms. Hurricanes can produce 150+ miles per hour winds, devastating high tides, flooding from torrential rain, and even tornadoes.”

MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland recommends the following preparation measures, “Know your evacuation route, assemble a disaster kit, and review your homeowners or renters insurance ahead of time. If there is a hurricane in the forecast, listen to emergency officials and keep lines of communication open with your friends, family, and neighbors.” 

The City of Annapolis offers ways to keep up to date with 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 AppStore and Google Play.

The City 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 businesses in a matter of minutes. 

Mayor Pantelides and Deputy Chief Simmons encourage all residents and businesses to register at http://www.annapolis.gov/oem/codered in order to be sure that messages are received.

Residents can also take actions to remain safe by practicing the following:

  • Stay tuned to radio and TV stations for official weather information.
  • Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid using the phone except in the case of emergencies.
  • Avoid elevators
  • 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.  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.

Blackwall Hitch

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