Harford urges residents to be prepared for hurricane season

This year's hurricane season is expected to be busier than ever and Harford emergency managers are urging residents to be prepared.

While Harford was spared from much of the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, images of it and the damage it caused are still fresh in people's minds.

Six to nine hurricanes are predicted during the peak hurricane season, which runs from mid-August through mid-October, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"Hurricane season is upon us," Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers said in a press release. "It is everyone's responsibility to plan for and make appropriate preparations for severe weather, including hurricanes."

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services recommends citizens prepare for severe weather events, especially hurricanes, by reviewing their storm survival plans as well as restocking supplies, including food, water and other items, to help get through a storm. Additionally, Harford County emergency management officials suggest citizens' test their battery-powered flashlights and radios to ensure they are storm ready.

In preparation for the peak of the 2013 hurricane season, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services recommends the following precautionary measures be taken to help ensure safety during such storms:

■ Ensure homes are equipped with portable flashlights and fresh batteries. In the event of the loss of electricity from a storm, use flashlights in lieu of candles for emergency lighting;

■ Have at least a three-day supply of fresh water and canned goods available;

■ Have at least one battery powered portable radio available, and in good working order, to monitor news and weather information; and

■ When using portable generators, should the loss of electricity occur, keep generators outdoors, away from the home or an enclosed area to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning to the occupants of a home or business.

For storm preparedness tips, go to the Harford County Department of Emergency Services website at http://www.harfordpublicsafety.org and click on "Surviving the Storm" icon. Additionally, citizens can learn more about preparations for hurricanes at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Residents are also encouraged to add their cell phone numbers to the Harford County Emergency Notification System by clicking the "Sign Up Now for Notifications" icon on the main web page or by contacting the Department of Emergency Services at 410-638-4900.

"The Department of Emergency Services is the coordinator of emergency management as well as storm response and mitigation efforts in Harford County," Director Russell J. Strickland said in the release. "Surviving a storm is everyone's responsibility and the best way to do so is early planning and preparation which are keys to successfully meeting the challenges of the severe weather which we often find in Harford County and throughout the mid-Atlantic region."

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