Carroll County Times

Editorial: Storm season upon us

With hurricane season upon us, experts are reminding families of the importance of having a family plan to deal with emergencies, as well as a supply kit containing items essential for getting through any situation that may arise.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2012 ends June 2. The National Weather Service took the opportunity this week to offer suggestions to residents on how to prepare for and deal with severe weather events from now through November, the end of hurricane season.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency notes that the two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

To prepare, everyone should have a kit containing basic emergency supplies. In a press release last week, BGE noted that those items include flashlights and fresh batteries, a battery-operated clock radio, a corded telephone, non-perishable foods and blankets. A water supply sufficient for at least three days should also be included.

Families should have a plan of what to do in the event of a tornado or severe storm warning, and they should have a list of contact numbers for police, emergency management, hospitals and local utilities.

Additionally, pet owners should also ensure that they have a plan to care for their animals in the event of an emergency.

In its press release, BGE noted that the company had been working proactively to help minimize the chance of extended power outages due to storms.

BGE said it has reviewed its emergency response plans and made sure that employees have a clear understanding of their responsibilities in the event of a major storm.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has predicted that the 2012 storm season will fall in the normal range. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center predicted a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms - with four to eight reaching hurricane strength - this season.

It only takes one storm to wreak havoc on an area. Take the time now to ensure that you and your family are prepared for any emergency.