ROCKVILLE — An American Red Cross disaster officer and a meteorologist from the National Weather Service advised residents to prepare for natural disasters such as hurricanes and resulting power outages this summer.
Regional disaster officer of the American Red Cross National Capital Region Paul Carden and National Weather Service meteorologist Howard Silverman spoke to media at Pepco Watershed last Thursday about emergency preparedness measures residents should take this month.
“This is not something that is difficult, [or] complex,” said Carden.
Carden said residents should keep a few supplies in an accessible place at home in case of an emergency weather situation. In what Carden called a “Have I” kit, residents should include bottles of water, flashlights, extra batteries for their flashlights, a first-aid kit, a way to recharge a cellphone or mobile device, and a battery-operated AM/FM radio.
“The kit – don’t let it frighten you,” Carden said. “It’s stuff you can do. it’s stuff you have around the house – you just want to set it off to the side.”
He encourages everyone to take a few minutes to put together this type of survival kit and to form a plan of how to keep one’s family safe, in the event of a hurricane or summer storm.
“What am I going to do to take care of myself? What am I going to do to take care of my immediate family?” Carden asked.
Both Carden and Silverman encouraged residents to make sure they have more than one way to tune in to National Weather Service updates. Silverman said it is important to be able to receive up-to-date weather warnings.
“While we can’t stop bad weather from coming, if we all get the National Weather Service warnings, [and] have a plan to keep our family safe, when that warning does come we will go a long way to reducing the impact to our region, moving ever closer to a weather-ready nation,” Silverman said.
“Anytime there is a weather [element] such as a flooding rain, such as damaging winds, such as tidal flooding, those are impacts to the local area and to the country, and that is what we need to be planning for, to mitigate any possible problems that could occur,” Silverman added.
Pepco spokesperson Ben Armstrong said emergency power outages occur more frequently in the summer than during fall or spring.
Pepco is an Exelon Corporation-owned, public utility that provides electric energy to more than 842,000 customers in Maryland and D.C.