For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 2, 2020
Media Contact: Hannah Thomas
September is National Preparedness Month
The City of Annapolis Asks Residents to Take Action Now to Prepare.
for Emergencies and Natural Disasters
Annapolis, MD (9-2-20) September is National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. As the City of Annapolis continues to respond to COVID-19, National Preparedness Month is a great time to build our readiness. National Preparedness Month may look a little different this year, and it’s even more important to take preparedness efforts to ensure that you and your family are ready for anything.
This year, National Preparedness Month will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Don’t Wait. Make a Plan Today. Mayor Gavin Buckley and the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) want to make sure you are prepared for any disaster.
“As City government, we have a role to play in terms of keeping residents safe,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “But residents have a role to play too. We know that we have to be prepared for weather emergencies, but we also need to remain vigilant for health disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic we are living through. We offer the following tips to help you be prepared for emergency events of all types -- before they become emergencies.”
Office of Emergency Management Director Kevin J. Simmons added, “we know people are stressed due to the pandemic, but hurricanes and other severe weather events can happen at any time.These weather emergencies, compounded with the challenges of the pandemic, highlight the importance that every Annapolis resident be prepared. We urge our City of Annapolis residents to stay connected, to listen to warnings and watches and take them seriously. Annapolis public safety agencies are here to help, but we ask that you put forth the effort to be prepared, which can help to make a devastating event survivable.”
Each week of Preparedness Month is broken down into different sections in an effort to help making preparedness efforts easy and fun!
Week 1 September 1-5: Make a Plan
Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to COVID-19.
Put together a plan by discussing these four questions with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
What is my shelter plan?
What is my evacuation route?
What is my family communication plan?
Week 2 September 6-12: Build a Kit
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
Include the following items in your emergency kit:
First Aid Kit and medications.
Masks and/or Face Coverings
Canned food and can opener.
At least three gallons of water per person.
Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
Pet food and supplies.
Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise (a professional should turn them back on).
Week 3 September 13-19: Prepare for Disasters
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
Week 4 September 20-26: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
Face Covering Distribution to Annapolis Businesses and Community Partners
As a part of National Preparedness Month, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will be distributing a supply of face coverings specifically designated for businesses and other community partners (ie: houses of worship) within the City of Annapolis to give to their customers, clients and congregation members. Face coverings are a critical component of preventing the spread of COVID-19. OEM will collaborate with the Office of Economic Development and the Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) to distribute these coverings.
City businesses should contact the Office of Economic Development with their requests for coverings. All other community partners can send a request to OEM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Face coverings are available on a first come, first serve basis, while supplies last.
Annapolis Residents with Functional Needs
Citizens with functional needs and who might need assistance during a disaster should contact OEM to be registered on our special assistance roster. This will allow OEM the ability to check on your welfare before, during and after an emergency event.
To register or to get additional information regarding emergency preparedness or assistance with information and notification services, call OEM at 410-216-9167.
Are You and Your Family Connected?
The City of Annapolis also wants to encourage Annapolitans to stay informed with the latest information. The City of Annapolis offers the following tools for citizens to stay prepared:
Alert Annapolis – This system allows the City to send out automated telephone messages, text messages, or emails quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency. To sign up for Alert Annapolis, please go to the following site http://alertannapolis.civicready.com/.
Prepare Me Annapolis Mobile App – This free app from the Office of Emergency Management provides information for Annapolitans to be prepared. The app delivers push notifications that include important information regarding City functions and other important notices. Prepare Me Annapolis is available, free of charge, on both the Apple Store and on Google Play.
Annapolis Police Mobile App - This free app is managed by the City of Annapolis Police Department. The app provides real-time alert notifications pushed to the user’s smartphone, as well as immediate access to the latest police department news, crime maps, and social media accounts. Annapolis Police Mobile App is available, free of charge, on both the Apple Store and on Google Play.
For more information on being prepared, and developing a plan for your family, check out this information found at www.annapolis.gov/OEM, the MEMA website at mema.maryland.gov, and the National Preparedness month website at www.ready.gov/september.