by Mark Hubbard
Director of the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Ready? Set? Good!
That's the theme for personal preparedness when it comes to planning and being ready in the event of a local community or countywide emergency. Several years ago, emergency management agencies throughout the Baltimore region developed the “Ready? Set” Good!” campaign as a way to spread the word that every household is responsible for disaster preparedness.
As you may know, June 1 is the start of hurricane season. And, of course, spring and summer weather increases the risk of severe storms. These storms often cause power loss, local flooding or other community-specific problems. Navigating the recovery process can be much easier if you take a few steps to prepare.
Don't laugh, but in my garage you will find a 30-gallon trash can filled with water. Why? Because in the event of a water outage, I need a ready supply of non-potable water to flush toilets.
Generally, you should have the following emergency supplies available: a gallon of drinking water, per person, per day, for three days; a battery-operated flashlight (kept within reach); and a battery-operated portable radio. This simple kit will ease the pain of the first three days in the event of a prolonged power outage.
Many people also have portable generators, but you must be extremely careful to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide fumes entering your home. Always operate generators outdoors and at least 15 feet from the home.
So here's your homework: Try to go three days without turning on a light switch or any electrical appliance and don't use the faucet. See my point? It's not fun.
To learn more about preparedness tips and plans, visit the Emergency Management web page at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/emergency
Have a safe and happy summer season, and let's hope for a calm hurricane season.