(September 15, 2014) – September marks the 11th Annual National Preparedness Month, and The Town of Ocean City is reminding residents, business owners and visitors that it is a perfect time to prepare for emergencies. National Preparedness Month is designed to educate the public to be ready with an “all hazards approach” to emergencies in their home with families, the community and in business.
National Preparedness month for 2014 focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging individuals and businesses to create an emergency preparedness plan. The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department encourages residents and visitors to be prepared by following these simple steps;
- Become knowledgeable about emergency preparedness in your community, town, county and state by identifying sources of information that will be beneficial before, during and after an emergency.
- Create a family plan for emergencies that includes an emergency supply kit customized to meet the needs of your family and pets. The key component of National Preparedness Month is to be prepared for any emergency preparing your family to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours but realistically 96 hours or greater to be without power, utilities, water service, supermarkets, gas stations and possibly no Police, Fire or Emergency Medical Services response.
- Understand that preparedness requires involvement from the public with government to create a whole community approach to disaster preparedness.
- Get involved with volunteer organizations that help citizens and the community before, during and after an emergency.
“National Preparedness Month is a great time to make sure you have the needed tools to survive a crisis or major disaster,” said Joseph Theobald, Emergency Services Director for the Town of Ocean City. “By taking a few simple steps – creating a disaster supply kit, making a family disaster plan and staying informed – citizens can help make preparedness a priority in the community.”
Ocean City residents and businesses should prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days after an emergency. After a major disaster, electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be working. Transportation routes and businesses may be closed. Services in the Ocean City area may also be impacted as staff may be handling serious incidents during the initial hours of the disaster. It also may take some time for public safety personnel to reach those in need.
The Town of Ocean City Department of Emergency Services offers presentations several times a year on preparedness and is willing to schedule presentations to organizations or groups. They also offer citizens training in the fall for the Community Emergency Response Team program. For more information or for helpful preparedness tips, call (410) 723-6646 or visit the Ocean City Emergency Management website www.ocmdemergency.com.
In conjunction with National Preparedness month, the revised Storm Survival Guide is available to the public. Copies are available in Town at City Hall, Public Safety Building, Ocean City Library, 15th Street Fire Headquarters, Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Northside Park and the Chamber of Commerce in west Ocean City. The cost of printing was reimbursed to the Town through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The brochure provides valuable information related to preparedness before, during and after a storm and includes the following text from the State:
“Part of your long term preparation for storm events can include mitigation measures to provide permanent protection from storm damages. Ocean City works in cooperation with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to develop hazard mitigation strategies for the city, and to provide opportunities for property owners to participate in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
The HMGP provides grants to State and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major storm disaster declaration. The purpose is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
HMGP funds may be used for projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters, and must provide savings greater than the cost of the project. All mitigation projects must be cost-effective, technically feasible, and meet Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation requirements in accordance with FEMA Guidance. In addition, all mitigation activities must adhere to all relevant state and local regulations, and requirements.”