September is National Preparedness Month
The City of Annapolis Asks Residents to Take Action Now to Prepare
for Emergencies and Natural Disasters
Annapolis, MD (8-30-18) 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. This year, National Preparedness Month will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Mayor Gavin Buckley and the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) want to make sure you are prepared for any disaster. "We cannot control the weather or prevent disasters from happening but we can make efforts to minimize the risk” says Mayor Buckley. “Let National Preparedness Month be reminder for all to prepare our families for extreme weather events and other disasters."
“You and your family should be prepared for a variety of disasters” says Deputy Chief Kevin Simmons, Director of the Office of Emergency Management, “these include weather events such as hurricanes, snowstorms, flooding tornadoes, extreme heat and extreme cold.” There are other disasters that can have devastating effects if not prepared for such as pandemics, active assailants, cyber security and long-term power outages. As a lead into National Preparedness Month, the City of Annapolis engaged all City department directors, administration, and many essential employees in a Hurricane Preparedness exercise.
The Office of Emergency Management recommends the following four steps to plan and prepare well in advance of a disaster.
Step 1: 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?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
- Different ages of members of within your household.
- Responsibilities for assisting others.
- Dietary needs.
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment.
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment.
- Cultural and religious considerations.
- Pets or service animals.
- Households with school aged children.
Step 3: Fill out a family emergency plan
Step 4: Practice the plan with your family/household
- Once you have developed a plan for your family, test your plan to make sure what you write down works! Testing your plan allows you to see what works well and what can be changed before a real emergency.
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.
Preparedness Month Activities
In addition to planning and preparing using the 4 steps, OEM is encouraging residents to attend and participate in some of the events that will be held in our community this month:
OEM is collaborating with some local schools and conducting its Annual Poster Contest, which aims to work with some local elementary school children to educate them about preparedness. As part of the poster contest, the students illustrate how their families prepare for different kinds of severe weather.
Pet Preparedness – September 15th
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) would also like to encourage Annapolitans to remember that your pet’s needs should always be included in your emergency plan. As a part of National Preparedness Month, on September 15th, the Office of Emergency Management will join the SPCA of Anne Arundel County (1815 Bay Ridge Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403) at their free Vaccination Clinic from 8:00AM-12:00PM. Bring your pets to receive free pet emergency supplies!
Anne Arundel County Emergency Preparedness Fair – September 22nd
The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management will also be in participating the Anne Arundel County Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Marley Station Mall on September 22nd from 10:00AM-2:00PM. This is a free, fun, and family-friendly way to BE PREPARED! Over 45 different hands-on displays and live demonstrations from County, State, Federal, and volunteer public service organizations. Fire trucks, police cars, a police helicopter, public works equipment, drone demonstrations, canine demonstrations, and much more!
Hurricane Preparedness – September 25th
The Office of Emergency Management is partnering with West Marine (113 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403) on September 25th for their free Hurricane Preparedness Event from 10:00AM-4:00PM. Attendees will learn about boating preparedness and receive emergency kit giveaways!
Are You and Your Family Connected?
The City of Annapolis also wants to encourage Annapolitans to be informed with the latest information. The City of Annapolis offers the following tools for citizens to stay prepared:
CodeRED – This system allows the City to send out automated telephone messages, text messages, or emails quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency. The brief message will provide information on the emergency and any important instructions. To sign up for CodeRED, please go to the following site https://www.annapolis.gov/OEM/CodeRED.
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.