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Active Hurricane Season Expected

| June 06, 2021, 01:32 PM

With the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1, the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds the public to make or update their family’s emergency preparedness plan. Knowing your risk, getting prepared, gathering supplies, and staying informed are just a few steps you can take to get ready for the 2021 hurricane season.

“Residents of Annapolis know that being proactive with preparations is critical in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said. “Our team is in place to help residents, but residents also have a role to play in preparedness.”

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another active hurricane season. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season ended with the most named tropical weather systems in recorded history.

Kevin Simmons, Director of the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management said, “dangerous flooding, prolonged power outages and possible evacuations are some of the challenges caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. How you survive these hazards depends on how well you have prepared yourself and your family before the event occurs.”

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It is critical for every Annapolis resident to be prepared in the event of an emergency or evacuation. Only use official sources when gathering information for an upcoming storm. Most importantly, get prepared, stay informed, and know your risk before the storm arrives.

Get Prepared: Take action now to be prepared for hurricane season. Waiting until a storm is approaching can often be too late to start getting ready. Make sure you have family evacuation and communications plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your flood insurance needs.

  • Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency and identify meeting locations.

  • Create or restock your emergency kit. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency, including an all-weather radio.

    • First Aid Kit and medications

    • Canned food and can opener

    • At least three gallons of water per person

    • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags

    • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries

    • Pet food and supplies

    • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members

    • Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise (a professional should turn them back on)

  • Check your insurance coverage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes.

Stay Informed: Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Monitor local news resources for hurricane watches and warnings in Annapolis and follow the directions of local officials.

  • Download the Prepare Me Annapolis app. Prepare Me Annapolis promptly notifies citizens of weather alerts, traffic updates, government closings, and other essential information. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

  • The City of Annapolis shares information through a community notification center called Alert Annapolis. It is completely free and allows us to reach thousands of residents and businesses at once. You can sign up to receive emails, phone calls, or text messages. Please visit alertannapolis.civicready.com to register.

  • Follow the Office of Emergency Management on Social Media.

    • Facebook: The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management

    • Twitter: @AnnapolisOEM

    • NextDoor: The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management

    • Instagram:@annapolisoem

Know Your Risk and Plan Ahead for an Evacuation:

  • Know how to receive information including recommendations or orders to evacuate.

  • If you or a family member may require special assistance to evacuate, contact the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management about our special assistance roster.

  • Practice good citizenship by checking in with your neighbors during an emergency.

  • If you plan to go to a shelter, notify staff of any special needs you or your family have.

  • Do not return to the evacuation area until the evacuation order is lifted.

Residents with functional needs and those who might need assistance during a disaster should contact OEM to be registered on our special assistance roster. This will allow OEM the ability to check on your welfare before, during, and after an emergency event. To register or to get additional information regarding emergency preparedness or assistance with information and notification services, call OEM at 410-216-9167. When signing up, please tell our office of any functional needs (hearing impaired, mobility impaired, etc.) you may require assistance with.

Hurricane Preparedness and COVID-19

In the event of evacuations and sheltering, Annapolitans would understandably be concerned about exposing themselves and their loved ones to COVID-19. In these situations, to the best of your ability, do the following while being evacuated.

  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others.

  • Wear face coverings and know how to use them properly.

  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer during transit to the shelter.

  • Avoid touching your face.

And most of all, get fully vaccinated now!

Additional information can be found on the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management website at www.annapolis.gov/oem and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) 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.

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Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - EOA Staff

Eye On Annapolis is a community based site focusing strictly on Anne Arundel County. These staff postings are general news postings made by our team of bloggers throughout the day and are not attributed to any one particular staff person.

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