September is National Preparedness Month
You and your family’s lives can change with one emergency situation. In September, take time to prepare your home, business and school for emergencies. One way to prepare is to register for the county’s Citizen Notification System (CNS) so you will be informed in the event of an emergency. Charles County Government and affiliated agencies, such as the Charles County Public Schools and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, use CNS to send important notifications.
When you register for CNS, you will be able to subscribe to notification categories of interest to you, such as:
• School closings/delays
• Inclement weather updates
• Public health advisories
• Crime alerts
• Emergency alerts
• Road closures
• Utility service delays During the registration process, you will choose what kind of notifications you wish to receive, and the way you would like to receive them. CNS notifications can be sent via text, phone call or email. CNS notifications can be accessed on any computer or mobile device with internet access, and through the free Android or iOS Everbridge mobile applications, available for download from the Apple Store or Google Play.
To register for CNS or for additional information, go to www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS. Before a disaster or emergency, help ensure you and your family’s safety by taking the following precautions:
1) Create a family emergency plan.
2) Prepare emergency supply kit for your home and car.
3) Tune into your local radio and television weather stations for severe weather and emergency updates.
4) Visit www.Ready. gov and learn what to do before, during and after an emergency.
The National Weather Service designated Charles County as “StormReady” for being prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. The Department of Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management offer the SKYWARN Spotter class, which trains individuals to recognize features associated with developing, mature and dissipating thunderstorms. The department’s Community Emergency Response Teams and County Animal Response Teams are trained on disaster preparedness.
To learn more about the Department of Emergency Services, go to www. CharlesCountyMD.gov/ ES/Welcome.
William Stephens is the Charles County Director of the Department of Emergency Services.