The National Weather Service is stating it is too early to predict the exact impact of Hurricane Joaquin in our area; however, Queen Anne’s County is forecasted to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Joaquin this weekend into early next week, said Scott Hass, director of Emergency Services.
“Our department of Emergency Services will continue to closely monitor the storm which could produce an enormous impact in our county,” Haas said.
Residents in low-lying areas with a history of flooding during storms should prepare immediately. For your own safety, be prepared to evacuate if needed. Make alternative arrangements to stay with family or friends whose homes are not prone to flooding for the course of this event and until the flooding threat subsides.
“As with any major storm that may impact the county, we are continuing to monitor the conditions and coordinate response efforts. If the weather conditions warrant, we will activate the County’s Emergency Operation Center,” said Haas.
To automatically be notified of Emergency Citizen Alerts, sign up on the county’s webpage www.qac.org.
Before the severe weather arrives, Haas also recommends the following preparation tips:
· Sign up for Emergency Citizen Alerts, the county’s emergency text and email system at www.qac.org
· Monitor the National Weather Service forecasts at http://weather.gov/phi
· Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and any other outdoor items that are not secure.
· Fill up your vehicle with gas before the storm, in case you need to evacuate.
· Check your supplies in your “Family Emergency Supply Kit” a list of recommended items can be found here http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist3.pdf
· Refill any medications that could possibly run out during the storm.
· Update your Family Emergency Plan, a template can be found here. http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m18066257_Family_Disaster_Plan_Template_English.pdf
· If you live in a flood susceptible area, determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate.
· Don’t forget to include your pets in your emergency plans.
· Follow Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services at qacdes on Facebook and QueenAnneEM on Twitter. Updates will also be posted at on Queen Anne’s County Government Facebook page and website – www.qac.org.
If you are driving and encounter flood waters or standing water, turn around; don’t drown. Stay safe. Take another route or wait until the water recedes. It only takes eighteen inches of water to lift a car or SUV.
If your home is susceptible to basement flooding you should:
· If possible, seal any floor drains in your basement, as they are the lowest points of entry of sewer backup.
· Do not store anything of value in your basement. If you have time before the heavy rainfall, relocate your valuables.
· Never enter a flooded basement – the risk of electrocution is present. Wait for the water to subside.
For information about severe weather and how to sign up for Queen Anne’s County Citizen Alerts visit the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services @www.qacdes.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/qacdes or on Twitter @QueenAnneEM.