As Texas and neighboring states begin their recovery from Hurricane Harvey, the Department of Emergency Services reminds Charles County residents that September is a good time to review preparedness information for severe weather, including hurricanes. Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. Preparation is the best protection against hurricanes. Take the time today to ensure you and your family are ready for all severe storm disasters.
Watch vs. Warning: What’s the Difference?
•Hurricane Watch—A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans, keep informed, and be ready to act if a warning is issued.
•Hurricane Warning—A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed by authorities.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane:
•Prepare an emergency kit that contains: a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day); a three-day supply of non-perishable food; a battery-powered radio and batteries; flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; medications and medical items; toiletries and personal hygiene items; cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contact information; extra cash; and baby/pet supplies.
•Develop a family communication plan. Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated.
•Trim trees and shrubs around your home so they are more wind resistant.
•Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and drain spouts.
•Consider installing a generator for emergencies.
What to Do When a Hurricane Is Approaching Your Area:
•Check your emergency kit and replace or restock as needed.
•Bring in loose items that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.).
•Close your windows and doors.
•Turn off propane tank.
•Fill your car’s gas tank.
•Listen to a NOAA weather radio for critical information from the National Weather Service.
•Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Visit the following websites for more information on hurricane and severe storm safety tips:
•Are You Ready?: www.Ready.gov
•Turn Around; Don’t Drown: www.weather.gov/os/water/tadd/
•Tornado Facts and Safety Tips: www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html
•Severe Storm Facts and Safety Tips: www.weather.gov/om/severeweather/index.shtml
Residents are urged to register and review their profiles for the latest Citizen Notification System (CNS) updates and alerts from Charles County Government, Charles County Public Schools, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the National Weather Service. To register for CNS, manage your message settings, provide preferred contact information, and select categories, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS.
Get the latest Charles County severe weather updates:
Charles County Government website: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov
Charles County Government Television (CCGTV): Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 10
SMECO Power Outage Map: stormcenter.smeco.coop (Call 877-747-6326 to report an outage.)