LEONARDTOWN, MD – As the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 2023, St. Mary’s County Government’s Department of Emergency Services has introduced a tool to aid residents in preparing for potential storms.

The “Know Your Zone” initiative provides a color-coded interactive map enabling individuals to determine their storm evacuation zone based on their street address. By familiarizing themselves with their designated zone, community members can effectively plan and make informed decisions during emergencies.

The primary objective of the Know Your Zone program is to mitigate unnecessary evacuation travel, alleviate highway congestion, relieve overcrowding at local storm shelters, and enhance overall public safety. By accurately identifying their zone, residents can streamline evacuation efforts, ensuring that those in imminent danger receive prompt assistance while minimizing disruption for others.

Accessing the map is a straightforward process. Interested individuals can visit the official St. Mary’s County Government website at mdem.maryland.gov/Pages/know-your-zone-md.aspx. Once on the website, users are prompted to click the “Find Your Zone” button, leading them to a map interface. By entering their address, residents can instantly view their color-coded evacuation zone.

In the event of an approaching storm, community members must follow the instructions provided by local officials. Should an evacuation order be issued for their zone, residents are strongly advised to comply for their own safety. Signing up for local emergency notifications through the County’s CodeRED system, available at stmaryscountymd.gov/codered, is highly recommended to receive timely alerts and stay informed about any developments that may affect their area.

The Know Your Zone initiative emphasizes the importance of preparedness for potential disasters. St. Mary’s County residents are encouraged to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their families. By visiting stmaryscountymd.gov/prepare, individuals can access comprehensive resources and information on emergency preparedness, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools to navigate various crisis scenarios effectively.

As climate change continues to impact the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, communities must enhance their readiness and response capabilities. St. Mary’s County’s Know Your Zone initiative is a valuable resource in the collective efforts to promote resilience and safety among its residents. By knowing their evacuation zones in advance and staying informed, community members can play an active role in reducing risks and ensuring a more secure future.

The Know Your Zone program aligns with broader emergency management strategies implemented nationwide, emphasizing the significance of proactive measures and community engagement. As hurricane season progresses, residents are urged to remain vigilant, stay informed through official channels, and prioritize their safety by following evacuation orders and emergency guidelines. St. Mary’s County can withstand potential storms with resilience and unity through collective preparedness.

For more information about the Know Your Zone program and other preparedness resources, please visit the official St. Mary’s County Government website at stmaryscountymd.gov/prepare.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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