Worrying about the big storm that may or may not be heading for Maryland and all the rain we are expected to get? Here are some tips from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management agency on how to prepare, how to get your kids involved and what you might need.
“The time to prepare is right now,” said Russ Strickland, executive director of MEMA. “A few steps before heavy rain begins can help reduce effects of the storm on you, your family and your home.”
Ways to prepare for an oncoming storm
- Listen to instructions from local officials and know the current forecast by following your local emergency management office, forecasters and news stations.
- Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed. (See list on next page.)
- Clean storm drains and gutters on your house to prevent overflow and water buildup.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close your windows and doors and board up any big windows.
- If you have a basement, shelve household items and make sure any electronic equipment is not lying directly on the floor.
- Check to see if you live or work in a flood prone area: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/floodProneZones.aspx
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Fill plastic bags with water and place them in the freezer.
- Get extra cash out of the bank.
- Fill prescriptions.
- Turn off any propane tanks.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Know how to get in contact with your friends and family during any emergency.
- Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for pets.
- Obey evacuation orders.
- Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Annapolis residents can sign up for CodeRED at www.annapolis.gov to receive emergency alerts in the form of phone calls, e-mails, or text messages from the City of Annapolis. Download the free emergency management mobile app “Prepare Me Annapolis” which is available from Apple and Google Play. The City uses it to send out emergency notifications. The Office of Emergency Management can be reached at 410-216-9167 for additional questions and will continue to provide updates on the storm over the next few days.