Leonardtown, MD –The 2018 Hurricane Season officially begins thisFriday, June 1and runs untilNovember 30. However, the first named Atlantic storm “Alberto” has already made landfall in Florida and will impact our weather later this week with the possibility of heavy rains.

Staying safe during the hurricane season starts with a simple step: Have A Plan. People can plan for hurricanes by using a simple guide atReady.gov.Plans should be worked out for all family members. For those animal lovers out there … you need a plan as well.

The plan includes figuring out how to determine whether it’s safe to hunker down at home during a storm or whether you will need to evacuate. If so, there is likely a specific route you should take in the event of evacuations, as many roads may be closed. If you have to leave your home, you also need to determine accommodations during the storm — this could be anything from staying with family and friends to renting a motel to staying in a shelter.

Many times family members have troublereaching each other during hurricanes, so determining a preset meeting place and protocol can be helpful. Sometimes, local cellphone lines are overloaded during a storm, so consider texting. Another alternative is to have a central out-of-state contact who can relay messages between separated family members.

The following hurricane names could come into play during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season (including the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico) according to the World Meteorological Organization:

Alberto Helene Oscar
BerylIsaac Patty
Chris Joyce Rafael
DebbyKirk Sara
Ernesto Leslie Tony
Florence Michael Valerie
Gordon Nadine William

To learn aboutDisasters & Hazards, Being PreparedandBeing Informed visit:

prepare.stmarysmd.com