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The 2018 hurricane season began June 1 and runs through the end of November. However, August is when the hurricane season typically starts to ramp up. That’s why now is a perfect opportunity for Prince George’s County residents to prepare their families and homes for hurricanes and related impacts. It’s not just major hurricanes that we need to worry about. Hurricanes such as Sandy and Isaac remind us that significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane at landfall. As residents of Prince George's County, it is especially important that we are prepared so that we are able to assist others in need during an emergency.
Please enjoy this brief hurricane and preparedness animation provided by FEMA.
When the Waves Swell
Know Your Risk: To search for general information about risks in your area, visit www.ready.gov/maryland. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool to check the severity and frequency of past hurricanes in your area.
Get Prepared: As the storm approaches, it is often too late to get ready. As soon as possible, make sure you:
Know your zone. Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it's time to evacuate, don't hesitate -- go early.
Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
Download the FEMA app. The FEMA app includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
Check your insurance coverage. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane-related losses are covered under traditional policies. Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against flood, talk to your agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Renters insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.
Stay Informed: Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for Alert Prince George's so notifications, including evacuation orders, go directly to your phone and email. Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out. If you have any questions about the Prince George’s County Health Department’s emergency policies, contact Richard Goddard, at RPGoddard@co.pg.md.us.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program