Harford County Emergency Services Urges Planning During National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 26 – June 1

From the Harford County Department of Emergency Services:

(Bel Air, MD) – - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26 – June 1, 2013. The focus of National Hurricane Preparedness Week will be to highlight the importance of planning in helping to protect families and communities prior to the upcoming hurricane season.

Locally, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services is proud to join and promote the 2013 National Hurricane Preparedness Week in an effort to spread the word and to encourage the citizens of Harford County to be prepared. The Harford County Department of Emergency Services is committed to being a leader for weather-readiness by knowing the risk, taking action and setting the example for the community with respect to emergency preparedness.

“When disasters strike, as we witnessed with Hurricane Sandy and the recent tornadoes in the mid-west, preparation and pre-planning is essential to saving lives and property,” said Russell J. Strickland, Director of the Department of Emergency Services. “We strongly recommend individuals, families and businesses in our community take time now to prepare for severe storms including hurricanes this summer,” Strickland remarked.

According to Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers, having an updated and accurate Family Emergency Plan is a key component in planning for hurricane season. “The needs of family members, especially the elderly and the very young as well as those with mobility related issues should be carefully considered when developing a Family Emergency Plan”, Ayers said. “Additionally, families should discuss what to do, where to go and other emergency preparedness information to help ensure everyone knows what to do when a severe storm or hurricane occurs”, Ayers added.

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services suggests individuals, families and businesses consider the following action steps:

? Know your risk: Understand how hurricanes can affect where people live, work and go
to school, and how severe weather can impact a community.

? Take action: Develop an Family Emergency Plan and practice how and where to
evacuate if instructed by emergency management officials.

? Be an example: Once you are prepared to take action, talk to friends, neighbors,
professional colleagues and others on what steps to take to help them be better prepared for severe storms and hurricanes.

To assist citizens and visitors to Harford County with their emergency preparedness plans and preparations, the DES has uploaded a FEMA developed “Jeopardy” game to the Department’s website. The “Jeopardy” game’s focus is hurricane and emergency preparedness and provides a wide range of useful storm ready tips. Additionally DES has also published the annual “Surviving the Storm” guide which is available on-line at www.harfordpublicsafety.org.

For further severe storm and hurricane preparedness information visit www.Ready.gov, www.FEMA.gov or www.harfordpublicsafety.org.

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