That includes making an emergency kit, making a plan.
Frederick, Md (KM) We’re often told to be prepared for snow, ice and cold weather during the winter, and hurricanes in the summer and fall. But we also need to be prepared in case of heavy rains and flooding in Frederick County in the spring, according to County Executive Jan Gardner. “And we have had years in Frederick County where we’ve had flash flooding; where we’ve had an intensity of rain in a short period of time; where we’ve had roads flood. And sometimes we’ve even seen in the last year or two flooding where we’ve not traditionally seen it,” says Gardner.
She says one way to be prepared is to have an emergency kit with a three-day supply of water, and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food for everyone in the house. In addition, the emergency kit should include a manual can opener, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, and prescription and non-prescription medications.
Along with that, Gardner says you need to have a plan to protect your family and business in case of inclement weather. That should includes a place where everyone can meet in case they can’t go home due to the weather, or to be in touch in case everyone cannot be together in one place. “Also have a battery operated radio so they can hear the news and hear what’s happening and follow directions if there are directions being provided to evacuate or to take some other kind of action,” she says.
When the drafting the plan, identify two meeting places, and make plans for seniors, persons with disabilities and pets. Select an out-of-area emergency contact person, county officials say.
For homeowners whose basements flood during any storm, Gardner says they need to know about water and electricity. “You want to stay out of any water that has electricity in it,” she says. “You have water go above outlets and electrical cords, that is something you need to avoid.”
Business owners also need to be prepared for flooding, power outages and water damage. They should make sure their insurance policies have proper coverage for flooding. County officials say sandbags can be used to block rising water.
If you’re out driving during or immediately after a storm, avoid flooded roads. “Turn around, don’t drown,” says Gardner. “It doesn’t take very much water to move a vehicle, or actually to move a person. Sometimes people think they can go out and wade in running water up to their ankles because there’s a great risk with that because water has a lot of force.”
County Executive Gardner urges citizens need to get information from county and municipal officials through the ALERT notification system. You can sign up at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT.
By Kevin McManus