Leonardtown, MD – With Hurricane Florence barreling down on the east coast and a summer full of rain-induced emergencies around the area comes to a close, the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services reminds citizens the time to review their preparedness plans is now.

“The flooding in many parts of the mid-Atlantic earlier this year reminds us that emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere,” said Stephen Walker, Emergency Services Director. “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.”

Preparedness Month reminds us to prepare throughout the year. This year’s theme is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Emergency Services has a clear message for all Marylanders:

  • Prepare for an emergency before it happens.
  • Have a plan in place. This includes a communications plan, an evacuation & reconvening plan and a plan for your pets.
  • Know Your Zone (It only takes one storm to change your life).
  • Be a good neighbor and check on them before and after a storm.

Making preparations when threats are not imminent can make communities more resilient. In addition to flooding, some hazards common to St. Mary’s County 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:

Until this point, this year’s hurricane season has been quieter than last year. September and October mark the height of the mid-Atlantic hurricane season (and multiple storms are currently in the Atlantic). It only takes one storm hitting our area to threaten lives and destroy property, “and it does not need to be a Hurricane,” added Stephen Walker. “I want to remind those who live, work or visit Maryland to also learn about our new Know Your Zone storm 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.”