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New Anne Arundel County Hurricane Preparedness Week Aug. 16-22
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By Member John Long, Jr.
August 17, 2020

New Anne Arundel County Hurricane Preparedness Week Aug. 16-22
Due to the predicted "extremely active" season, the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management has set aside Aug. 16-22 to prepare.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD — The Atlantic hurricane season kicked off June 1 and has been turbulent so far. Hurricane Isaias dumped up to 6 inches of rain and caused flash flooding in parts of Maryland. Weather experts have since issued an updated forecast that doesn't bode well for the East Coast. Forecasters said the remainder of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will be "extremely active" with the potential to be one for the record books.

"The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been off to a rapid pace with a record-setting nine named storms so far and has the potential to be one of the busiest on record," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its revised seasonal outlook.

Mid-August through the end of October historically is known as the peak of hurricane season in Anne Arundel County. Due to the predicted "extremely active" season, the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management has identified Sunday through Aug. 22 as the first ever Anne Arundel County Hurricane Preparedness Week. Throughout the week, hurricane season preparedness tips will be shared via the Anne Arundel County's Office of Emergency Management social media accounts.

The coronavirus has complicated hurricane season preparedness efforts. Everyone still must practice social distancing and adhered to CDC guidelines, the county noted.

Aug. 16 - Start of Anne Arundel County Hurricane Preparedness Week
Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage because of storm surge, wind damage and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.

Aug. 17 - Hurricane Season Update
On Monday, the office will provide a hurricane preparedness video featuring several staff members.

Aug. 18 - Make a Plan and Stay Informed
● Discuss your emergency plans with family or household members on how to shelter-in-place or evacuate the area, if necessary;
● Monitor the following radio and TV stations or follow us on Facebook or Twitter;
● Listen for emergency information and alerts;
● If told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately; and
● Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use email or text messages to communicate with family, friends and neighbors.

Aug. 19 - Personal Safety - COVID-19 Considerations
● If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.
● Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly;
● Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter [by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups] as much as possible;
● Anyone over the age of two years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities; and
● Never use or operate gas powered generators indoors or inside a garage.

Aug. 20 - Be Financially Prepared
● Gather and safely store critical financial, personal, household, and medical information;
● Document any property damage with photographs, ensure to contact your insurance company for assistance;
● Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place if ATMs fail due to power outages;
● Obtain or review property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them;
● Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program; and
● Download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to get started planning today.

Aug. 21 - Build a HurriDemic Go-Kit
● Include face coverings (two per person), disinfectant wipes, soap/hand sanitizer (60%+ alcohol), and personal hygiene items to protect against COVID-19;
● Check proper operation and battery life for radios, flashlights, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers;
● Have a week's supply of prescription medicines and a first aid kit to keep you, your family, and pets well;
● Provide a 5-day supply of non-perishable foods and drinking water for each family or household member; and
● Have extra blankets or sleeping bags on hand for extreme temperatures or power outages.

Aug. 22 - Have a Plan for Pets
● Include your pets in your emergency plans;
● Build a separate emergency kit for your pets;
● Make sure and keep digital records and/or pictures to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated;
● Create a list of places that accept pets if an emergency happens; and
● Bring pets indoors.

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