Storm prep tips for res­i­dents as hurricane sea­son be­gins

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Hurricane sea­son has of­fi­cially pic­tured up and with it comes tips for how to pre­pare for and deal with hur­ri­canes and other se­vere storms.

Se­vere weather prepa­ra­tion is a year-round ef­fort in Bal­ti­more County, with of­fi­cials ad­her­ing to an Emer­gency Op­er­a­tions Plan that cov­ers all man­ner of crises, in­clud­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Of­fi­cials also urge res­i­dents to plan for dis­as­ters such as hur­ri­canes and other se­vere weather.

“Ev­ery Bal­ti­more County house­hold should have ba­sic dis­as­ter sup­plies and a home pre­pared­ness plan,” Bal­ti­more County’s web­site notes.

Res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to pre­pare an emer­gency plan in ad­vance of fore­casted se­vere weather and to have three days worth of sup­plies on hand in case of se­vere weather. An emer­gency kit should in­clude such sup­plies as wa­ter, non­per­ish­able food, flash­lights, bat­ter­ies and back-up sources of elec­tric­ity for de­vices such as cell phones.

BGE is also pre­par­ing ahead of po­ten­tial sum­mer storms or hur­ri­canes.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease, BGE has in­vested ap­prox­i­mately $1.1 bil­lion into elec­tri­cal sys­tem op­er­a­tions, main­te­nance and up­grades in 2017.

“BGE con­tin­ues to in­vest in our sys­tem and train as a team to en­sure we are pre­pared to meet the de­mands of ex­treme sum­mer weather. We also ask our cus­tomers to pre­pare for ex­treme weather sit­u­a­tions,” said BGE Pres­i­dent and Chief Oper­at­ing Of­fi­cer Steve Wo­erner.

He added, “We em­pha­size in­no­va­tion in ev­ery as­pect of our busi­ness, which helps us de­liver the qual­ity elec­tric power that our cus­tomers ex­pect and need in their

daily lives, not just dur­ing the sum­mer storm and heat sea­son, but year-round.”

Ac­cord­ing to BGE, prepa­ra­tion for the sum­mer sea­son in­cludes var­i­ous up­grades, in­clud­ing the in­stall­tion of “more durable poles and wiring, ex­panded op­tions for rerout­ing ser­vice to de­crease the num­ber of cus­tomers af­fected by an out­age, and au­to­mated equip­ment that re­sponds to sys­tem dam­age,” al­lowed BGE work­ers to fo­cus on ar­eas where hands-on work is re­quired.

Like Bal­ti­more County, BGE also en­cour­ages res­i­dents to keep bot­tled wa­ter and non-per­ish­able foods on hand in case of emer­gency.

Be­fore a storm, charge cell phones and other mo­bile de­vices, and be sure to have flash­lights and ex­tra bat­ter­ies in case of power out­ages.

Those who need elec­tric­ity for re­frig­er­a­tion of med­i­ca­tion or to run med­i­cal de­vices should have a plan in place in case of a longert­erm out­age.

The Bal­ti­more Metropolitan Coun­cil also of­fers ad­vice to res­i­dents seek­ing to pre­pare be­fore sever weather strikes.

In ad­di­tion to the afore­men­tioned tips, res­i­dents are urged to pay close at­ten­tion to re­li­able weather sources, such as the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, for up­dates on weather con­di­tions and such alerts as flood warn­ings.

Dur­ing a storm, stay in­doors away from doors and win­dows. Those liv­ing near the wa­ter, espe­cially, may ex­pe­ri­ence some flood­ing.

Mo­bile home res­i­dents should be pre­pared to evac­u­ate in case of high winds, and all res­i­dents are urged to fill a bath­tub of large con­tainer with wa­ter for clean­ing and flush­ing toi­lets, if nec­es­sar y.

For their part, county of­fi­cials of­fer real-time up­dates on traf­fic, road con­di­tions and more on the Bal­ti­more County Storm­fighter web­site at www.bal­ti­more­coun­tymd.gov/Agen­cies/pub­lic­works/Storm­Fighter/.

Res­i­dents are also en­cour­aged to fol­low the Bal­ti­more County Emer­gency Man­age­ment Twit­ter @BACOe­mer­gency.

In­for­ma­tion on state roads and in­ter­state road con­di­tions can be found at http://chart.mary­land.gov/in­ci­dents/in­dex.php.

In case of se­vere storms, BGE cus­tomers can view an out­age map, re­ceive alerts and more at www.bge.com.

For more emer­gency pre­pared­ness tips from the Bal­ti­more Metropolitan Coun­cil, visit www.readyset­good. org.

PHOTO BY TAMMY AUGUSTYNIAK

Heavy rains caused flash flood­ing ear­lier this year in Bal­ti­more County..

COURTESY BGE

BGE crews are pre­par­ing for po­ten­tial se­vere weather.

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