It’s says it’s been a very active hurricane season so far this year.
Reusterstown, Md (KM) It’s been an active hurricane season so far this year, according to spokesman Ed McDonough with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “In the last week few weeks, both NOAA, which runs the National Weather Service, and the University of Colorado, which has an atmospheric science department……both of them say this is likely to be, based on what they’re seeing, a heavier than usual season,” he says.
Hurricane season begins in June, and ends in late November.
McDonough says it’s time for Marylanders to get prepared before hurricanes or other emergencies take place. He says one way is to put together an emergency kit which should contain “non-perishable food stuffs, bottled water, can opener if you’ve got canned food, prescription medicines. If you have someone whose elderly, or you have a young child, or you have pets, you need to have certain things in those kits for that.”
Other items also include important documents, such as insurance policies.
If a hurricane hits Maryland, including areas away from the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, and brings with it a lot of destruction, emergency shelters could be set up, and due to the coroanvirus, they may have fewer people inside, and cots spaced further away from each other to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak. . “If they set up shelters run by the County–for example, Frederick County Emergency Management might be doing it in coordination with our social services and Red Cross partners–they’re going to have to have smaller capacity. So we have to take that into account and either have to open mores shelters,” he says.
But McDonough recommends residents, if possible, avoid public shelters when they’re given the order to evacuate. “You have friends or family outside the affected area you can stay with. If you can afford to stay at a motel or a hotel on your own, that’s certainly going to better for the comfort for you and your family than jamming into that school gymnasium with hundred of your closest friends. Fewer now, but much more spartan conditions,” he says.
McDonough also says staying at a public shelter could result in an increase in COVID-19 infections with so many people in one place. But he realizes not everyone can afford to sta in a hotel or motel.
For more information on emergency preparedness, you can to to MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov, or ready.gov. Citizens can also check out the National Weather Service and Red Cross websites.
By Kevin McManus