On Thursday, Sept. 1, in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold handed out executive citations honoring citizen volunteers as Hurricane Heroes for their outstanding efforts during and after the wrath of Hurricane Irene. Some of our Hurricane Heroes who received awards were my husband, Tim Reyburn; Edward Vasquez; John Horton; Jennifer Odenwald; Jim Martin; Maryland City Baptist Church; and The Salvation Army. All in all, there were approximately 50 executive citations awarded to citizen volunteers.
According to Karen Sank, community outreach and volunteer coordinator for the County Office of Emergency Management, the Emergency Operations Center during the weekend of Hurricane Irene had 22 volunteers answering calls during different shifts, logging in approximately 173 and a half total work hours. Another four volunteers worked at the shelter in Annapolis.
In addition, regular reports were called in from the field by the Citizen Emergency Response Team members, who assessed conditions in their respective communities as well as at different areas. Anne Arundel County CERT was activated from 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 27 until 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28. CERT works under Citizens Corps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and helps out where it can.
My husband, Tim, who is CERT-trained and the CERT team leader for West Anne Arundel County, along with fellow teammate Edward Vasquez, of the Seven Oaks community, drove through Russett to assess any damage done by fallen trees and cleared trees out of the travel lanes on two county roads, Oxbow Place and Little River. Homeowners came out and helped to clear debris from the roadway on Little River and were very happy to see our CERT team members there.
Overall, Russett fared well during the hurricane and had no significant structural damage; the trees that did fall went in the right direction. Brickman, the landscaping company for Russett, was on site Aug. 28 doing high-risk tree removal and debris pickup. It was nice to see our community spirit wasn't dampened by Hurricane Irene, and neighbors helping each other out during this disaster made everything a little easier to deal with.
Remember, September is National Preparedness Month, and the second annual Preparedness Fair will take place Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Glen Burnie Improvement Association's Fairgrounds on Post 40 Road.