DENTON — Hurricane Season begins June 1 and the Caroline County Department of Emergency Services anticipates the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons in decades, according to predictions from hurricanes experts.
The forecast calls for seven named storms, three of which will become hurricanes and one reaching major status of Category 3 or stronger.
An early tropical storm, Ana, already impacted the Carolinas in May.
“While the season may turn out to be below-average, it is very important to remember individual storms not seasons bring impacts to the coast,” said Caroline County Emergency Management Planner Richard Garner. “It only takes one storm making landfall to form a path of destruction.
“The Caroline County Department of Emergency Services urges all residents to prepare themselves and their family for these storms,” he said. “Tropical Storms and Hurricanes bring immense rainfall, exceptionally strong winds, major inconveniences, and the possibility of damages and flooding. There are simple precautions everyone can take for their family’s safety.”
Develop a Plan
Plan in advance what your family will do. Plans should include a communications plan, a pet plan, going to emergency shelters or addressing sheltering-in-place, as well as transportation and evacuation. Discuss how these storms could affect your family. Know your family and home’s vulnerability to strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding. Make sure family members know what to do and where to go. Have a contact outside the area for everyone to call if your family becomes separated.
•Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home from hurricane hazards; the safest areas may not be in your home, but elsewhere within the community.
•Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
•Determine what to do with your pet if you need to evacuate.
•Post emergency phone numbers by the phone; make sure children know how or when to call 911.
•Check your insurance coverage, flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
Have an emergency supply kit. An emergency supply kit will allow you and your family to survive for several days. When preparing for a hurricane, think about the basics of survival: fresh water and food, clean air and warmth. When the electric goes out you may not be able to prepare food or obtain fresh water– have extra non-perishable food and water (1 gallon a day per person). Periods of these storms occur during darkness so have flashlights and extra batteries. The following are basic items every kit should include.
•Infant formula and diapers
•Radio, battery-powered or hand crank (NOAA Weather Radio) and extra batteries
•First Aid Kit
•Whistle to signal for help
•Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
•Moist toweletts, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
•Manual Can Opener and assorted tools
•Prescription medications and glasses
•Pet Food and extra water for your pet
•Sleeping Bag or warm blanket for each person
•Family Documents copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
•Cash or traveler’s Checks
•Change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
•Matches in a waterproof container
Prepare Your Home
Residents should remove items from outside which may blow and hit houses or cars. Prevent water from leaking into your house. Stay away from objects producing flying glass. Stay in a lower-level comfortable room away from large windows. Using your common sense can increase safety and security. Help your pets stay safe. After the storm hits – stay indoors — do not drive. Be cautious, do not take risks. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
Knowing what to do during an emergency is important and may make all the difference when seconds count. Be prepared for the unexpected. Being prepared means staying informed prior to and following a tropical storm or hurricane. Check all types of media — websites, newspapers, television and radio — for national and local information. Your Emergency Management Office will provide information on such things as shelter openings and evacuation orders.
Emergency Services has information packets to help you prepare, call us at 410-479-2622 or come by the office at 9391 Double Hills Road in Denton.