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Editorial: Plan now for storms

Maryland typically doesn't see the full wrath of hurricanes that is seen elsewhere in the country, but with the hurricane season starting Sunday, the state's Emergency Management Agency's reminder is particularly apt.

"Even if it is a relatively quiet season, one storm hitting the mid-Atlantic can disrupt the lives of thousands of Marylanders, as we saw when Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012," Ken Mallette, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, said in a press release this week.

At its height in October 2012, Sandy knocked out power to almost 8 million people across 15 states and the District of Columbia. Other hurricanes over the years have brought similar devastation to the areas across the country.

The National Weather Service last week said that this year's hurricane season will be quieter than in recent years. But as Mallette noted, it only takes one major storm hitting an area to cause tremendous problems.

In Carroll, we're more apt to experience severe thunderstorms, as we saw earlier this week, and perhaps flooding. The storms that roll through the area typically bring heavy downpours, making driving dangerous, and can down trees or power lines, knocking out electric service to the areas impacted.

May 25-31 has been designated National Hurricane Preparedness Week by the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials say it is a good time to learn about the differences between watches and warnings, to develop a family disaster plan and to put together an emergency supply kit.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency also has developed the Maryland Prepares app for mobile devices, to provide preparedness information and location-specific emergency alerts. You can download the free app to your device from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices.

Additional preparedness information can be found on MEMA's website at http://www.mema.maryland.gov.

Take the time now to prepare yourself, and your family, for possible severe summer weather.

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