2007 Hurricane Season Begins

2007 Hurricane Season Begins
Marylanders Should Prepare Now

Reistertown, MD (May 31, 2007)- The 2007 Hurricane season officially begins tomorrow, June 1, and as two hurricane forecasting services predict a busier than usual Atlantic season, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency is urging all Maryland residents to take action now.
"The State of Maryland and our local first responders are ready to respond to a major storm, but we need families to also have a plan and be prepared at home," said John W. Droneburg III, director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). "The scenes from Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast are fresh in our memories, but please don't forget how even the remnants of Hurricane Isabel damaged our state back in 2003."
MEMA has worked with other state agencies, local and federal governments, nonprofit groups, utilities and other private agencies to prepare for the storm season. During the past two months alone, MEMA hosted its annual severe storms conference, participated in a multi-state hurricane preparedness drill, hosted a stop on the East Coast tour of the National Weather Service Hurricane Hunter plane and organized a communications drill involving nearly two dozen mobile command post vehicles from across Maryland.
Droneburg remembers how some Maryland residents were without electric power for more than a week following Isabel. "It is important that residents have an emergency supply kit to help them survive for up to 72 hours before help arrives," he said. "Families also should create an emergency plan and make sure they have purchased the appropriate flood insurance." Flood insurance policies don't take effect until 30 days after purchase, so you cannot wait until a storm is headed this way to purchase the coverage.
The National Hurricane Center says there is a 75 percent possibility of greater than normal Atlantic hurricane activity this year, and predicts 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes (Category III or higher). That follows a similar prediction earlier in the spring from the forecast center at Colorado State University.
To learn more about what you can do to be prepared, please visit the following web sites:
www.mema.state.md.us : MEMA's web site has state-specific information about hurricane preparedness, including a copy of the state's Hurricane Preparedness Guide, along with general preparedness information and links to a number of other helpful sites.
www.familyfirst.md : preparedness information geared to Maryland families.
www.fema.gov and www.floodsmart.gov : general preparedness information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and details about the National Flood Insurance Program.
www.nhc.noaa.gov : current hurricane forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, with links to other appropriate pages on the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sites.
If you don't have Internet access, you may receive a copy of the Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Guide by calling 800-422-8799.