Due to this week’s forecasted impact from Hurricane Joaquin, counties in the immediate areas are urging citizens to be prepared. Hurricane Joaquin has the potential to produce a significant rain event in a short amount of time. High winds and flash floods also can occur with these storms, often with very little warning.
Frederick County Residents are strongly encouraged to sign up to receive emergency notifications at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT. The Frederick County Government website and the Department of Emergency Preparedness are great resources to find local information.
Washington County Residents can also sign up to receive emergency notifications by visiting http://www.washco-md.net/EmergencyServices/index.shtm
Montgomery County residents use Alert Montgomery as the official communications service for the county. During a major crisis, emergency or severe weather event, Montgomery County officials can send event updates, warnings and instructions directly to you on any of your devices. To sign up visit: https://member.everbridge.net/index/1332612387832009#/login
Lastly, Fort Detrick has its own system. Individuals can sign up by contacting the Emergency Manager Garth Phoebus or by clicking the purple globe at the bottom of your screen. Here you can enter how to be contacted by email, phone or text.
Information related to the status of Fort Detrick will be posted to the installation website: www.detrick.army.mil and to social media outlets Facebook and Twitter.
As with any emergency, you should have a kit, a plan, and know where to find local information.
1. Make a kit - Include a three-day supply of water for each individual in your household and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods. Don’t forget a manual can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries. The kit should also have a first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription medications, and copies of important documents.
2. Make a plan - Identify two meeting places -- one near home, and one outside the area in case you can’t return home. Make plans for pets. Select an out-of-area emergency contact person.
3. Be informed – Keeping the public informed of any hazardous situation is a high priority of county emergency preparedness partners. ALERT Frederick County is a direct link to emergency messages from Frederick County Government.
Specific steps can be taken to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm:
If a WATCH is issued:
- Listen to weather updates.
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Close all windows and doors.
- Clear gutters and storm drains of debris
- Fill vehicle gas tanks.
- Have a flash light and extra batteries available
If a WARNING is issued:
- Listen to the advice of local officials.
- Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
- Do not use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
- If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.
When flooding occurs:
- Head for higher ground and stay there.
- If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way.
- Keep children out of running water and swollen waterways.