Hurricane Season Is Underway

Md.  Dept of Emergency Management urges everyone to be prepared.

Frederick, Md (KM) Between now and November 30th is hurricane season; and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management urges you to be prepared. Jorge Castillo, a spokesman for MDEM, says coastal areas aren’t the only places affected by these powerful storms. “Being inland, sometimes we put our guards down,” he says. “And the reality, hurricanes–and even tropical storms that approach the region can affect up to 200 miles inland. They can spawn tornadoes. They can spawn severe storms.”

Castillo says Frederick has been felt the affects of hurricanes and tropical storms. “There has been flooding in Frederick. And there has been flooding caused by tropical storms and hurricanes in Frederick, including Hurricane Agnes which was about 51 years which flooded Frederick,”: he says.

The Maryland Department of Emergency Management says residents should be prepared; Know Your Zone; Have a Plan; Stay Informed; and Have A Kit.

Castillo says being prepared means having a plan. “What happen if we do get either flooding, or a severe storm or tornadoes, and the power goes out. And it may go out for a number of days,” he asks. “What do you do if you’re somebody who depends on electricity to survive? There are some people that require medical devices to be plugged in in order to function. What is your plan for three days?: What are going to do if there’s no electricity?”

He also says residents should have a supply of food on hand that doesn’t require cooking or other preparation. “You want non-perishable food you can access and eat when you cannot go get your food. So canned food is on of the best things you can do,” he says.

Other items could include nut butter or peanut butter.

Castillo says you need to put together an emergency kit which should contain non-perishable food and water. “Definitely need a first aid kit. Also think of special items for children. Older adults who may need special equipment. That should be in your kit as well,” he says.

And don’t forget your pets. Keep some food on hand for them as part of your food supplies and your emergency kit,  says Castillo.

During a hurricane or other emergencies, it may be necessary to evacuate your home. Castillo says you need to have a plan to leave, especially if it includes traveling to another city or state to stay with other family members. “Have you discussed this with your family,” he asks. “You have family perhaps in Kentucky or in Ohio, or somewhere a little bit more inland than the East Coast.”

If you’re evacuating, Castillo says make accommodations for your pets. “Please make sure you check in advance if hotels or motels will actually accept your pets because most of them will not,”: he says. “So in your plan you should have identified a few options of pet friendly hotels and motels.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season, and 30 percent of a below-normal season. NOAA is forecasting 12 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour. Out of those, five to nine of those storms could become hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher, including one to four major hurricanes of category three, four or five with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. The agency says it has a 70 percent confidence in these ranges.

By Kevin McManus