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10.26.12 Howard County Prepares for Hurricane Sandy

October 26, 2012

Media Contact: Kathleen Sloan-Beard, Deputy Director, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

Howard County Prepares for Hurricane Sandy

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – As East Coast States including Maryland monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy, the Howard County Office of Emergency Management encourages residents and businesses to be alert, be prepared and stay informed during the event by tuning into local weather service stations, signing up to obtaining information through NotifyMeHoward on the County website and “liking” the County on Facebook. Hurricane predictions change frequently, but Hurricane Sandy has the potential to affect the area with heavy rains and strong winds.

“Though the track of this storm is still uncertain and may be days away, we are already fully engaged in preparations to handle what may come,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “NOW is the time for residents to do the same.”

The County recommends residents take the following precautions:

  • Check your business, home and yard for anything that could become an airborne threat or cause a hazard. Move lawn furniture indoors and secure trashcans and loose or free-standing signage. Turn off propane tanks
  • Prepare for basement flooding by checking that your sump pump is working and clear
  • Clear downspouts and direct them away from the foundation of your house
  • Make sure your pets have collars and identification tags
  • Establish a family communication plan, including identifying an out-of-town contact, and teach family members how to use text messaging in the event of problems with telephone networks
  • Charge electronic devices including cell phones and keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station
  • Prepare for power outages by having food and medical supplies, appropriate clothing and blankets and necessities for children and pets.
  • Be sure to use generators safely with proper outdoor ventilation
  • If you live in low-lying or flood prone areas you need to be prepared for what could be 48+ hours of heavy rain

Howard County officials and allied agencies are undertaking the following activities to prepare for the impending storm:  

  • The Office of Emergency Management is participating in twice-daily conference calls with Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service
  • The Office of Public Information is providing frequent updates to residents about the storm and precautions they should be taking via NotifyMeHoward messages, the County’s website, Facebook and Twitter
  • The Health Department fleet is fully gassed and sanitarians are prepared for potential weekend call to address flooding and power outage issues related to food services
  • Department of Public Works is clearing debris and ensuring active projects are secured; Stormwater Management Division is forecasting the impact of predicted rains on dams and stormwater management infrastructure
  • Department of Fire and Rescue Services is reviewing and updating contingency plans for severe winds or flooding

Residents also are reminded of Early Voting opportunities starting on Saturday throughout the County in the event that there are disruptions next week. Do not miss your chance to participate. Refer to the County’s Board of Elections for details at http://howardcountymd.gov/displayprimary.aspx?id=6442461681.

For more information, visit the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, www.mema.maryland.gov/prepared and the Federal Emergency Management Agency preparedness site, http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html


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