Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 1, 2018)—As a summer full of rain-inducedemergencies around the state comes to a close, the Maryland Emergency ManagementAgency (MEMA) reminds Marylanders that this is time to review their preparedness plans.

“The flooding in Ellicott City and other parts of Maryland earlier this year reminds us that emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere,” said MEMA’s Executive Director, Russell Strickland. “It is imperative that we all have a plan in place and a disaster supply kit. Now is the time to make sure you are ready for emergencies,” he added.

Preparedness Month, which begins today, September 1, reminds us to prepare throughout theyear. The theme this year isDisasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.MEMA has a clear message for all Marylanders:

1. Prepare for an emergency before it happens.
2. Have a plan in place. This means a communications plan, an evacuation & reconvening plan, and a plan for your pets.
3.Know your Zoneand be a good neighbor (It only takes one storm to change your life).

Making preparations when threats are not imminent can make communities more resilient. In addition to flooding, some hazards common to Maryland include high wind, severe thunderstorms, and winter storms. Residents should also be aware of other issues such as cybersecurity, extended power outages, and active assailant events.

To find important emergency preparedness information for these and additional threats, visit:

  1. MEMA:mema.maryland.gov
  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency:www.ready.gov
  3. National Weather Service:www.weather.gov/safety

While this year’s hurricane season has been quieter than last year thus far, September and October mark the height of the mid-Atlantic hurricane season. Conditions in the Atlantic Ocean do not appear favorable for storm development, but it only takes one storm hitting our area tothreaten lives and destroy property, “and it does not need to be a Hurricane,” added Strickland.

“I want to remind those who live, work or visit Maryland to also learn about our newKnowYour Zonestorm preparedness and evacuation campaign. We are simplifying evacuation plans if they are needed in parts of Maryland that could be affected by storm surge or tidal flooding for hurricanes or other large storms.”

The new system features three evacuation zones–A,BandC–along the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, the Atlantic Ocean, and the coastal bays.Ais the most flood-pronearea, withBandCfollowing respectively. If local officials call for an evacuation, they can do so by zones, which have been determined by state of the art technology not available a few years ago.

To find out if you live in one of the zones, please go to www.KnowYourZoneMD.com, click onthe “Find Your Zone” button, and type your address into the search area in the upper left corner.That will tell you what, if any, evacuation zone you are in. The website also containsuseful information about hurricanes and preparedness tips.

MEMA will be involved in preparedness events around the state throughout September. For updated information on these events, follow us on Twitter, @MDMEMA, and our Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/MDMEMA