July 10, 2020

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Hurricane Season Officially Starts June 1

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The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services reminds the community that the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1, 2020, and goes through November 30.

Though the season’s official start is about a week away, the first tropical storm of the season has come and gone. Tropical Storm Arthur passed over the North Carolina Outer Banks on Monday.

Disasters won’t wait, and neither should you. “As we continue our efforts with all of the country to respond to and recover from coronavirus, we are also leaning forward and preparing for our county for the upcoming hurricane season,” reads a county news release.

Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University are predicting an above-average 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Specifically, they expect it to be 140% above average hurricane seasons.

Experts are calling for 16 total named storms; of those storms, CSU is forecasting eight hurricanes, four of them to be major hurricanes (category three or higher) because of the anticipated lack of El Nino conditions and warmer than normal tropical Atlantic.

Here are some suggestions for stocking a basic disaster supplies kit. To assemble a kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put an entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

For more information about preparing for emergencies, go to the county’s website.

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