OCEAN CITY – As the 2007 hurricane season approaches,
Ocean City residents are encouraged to make their preparations now.
The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 through Nov.
30. As a barrier island, Ocean City closely monitors all tropical storms and
stays in touch with the National Weather Service during any pending storms.
"We urge all citizens to take precautions now and be
prepared," said Joseph Theobald, Ocean City’s Emergency Management
Director. "The town has an emergency plan and citizens should also have a
family plan in place."
Hurricane watches and warnings are issued by the National
Hurricane Center in Miami. A "watch" is issued for an area that could
experience the effects of a hurricane within 36 hours. A "warning" is
issued for an area that will experience the effects of a hurricane within 24
hours. Due to population density and the time required to evacuate Ocean City
during the summer months, evacuation recommendations may begin before a
hurricane watch is issued.
Local emergency officials evaluate hurricane information
to determine when to issue appropriate safety recommendations to the public. If
necessary, the Mayor through the Emergency Management Director will issue
recommendations and evacuation orders. It is important to note that an
evacuation order may be given while the sun is shining. This is because vulnerable residents must be moved to safety
prior to the arrival of high winds or flooding roadways.
Your family emergency plan should include where you would
go should an evacuation order be issued. Leave your home immediately when
requested. Should you have a special medical or social services need you should
evacuate early and go to a relative or friend’s location away from the
projected impact area of the storm. Remember local shelter space is limited.
When an evacuation order is given it will be issued over local radio and TV
stations, on the Internet at www.ocmdemergency.com, on the local government
access channel and, when necessary, law enforcement, fire and other emergency
officials will begin notifying people as well.
The evacuation order will be issued in phases.
Phase 1: Anyone traveling to Ocean City is asked
to delay their visit until the situation improves. Mobile home residents and
residents of known flood-prone areas should secure their homes and prepare for
possible evacuation. Secure or move all watercraft.
Phase 2: Non-residents and vacationers are asked
to evacuate. All mobile home and low-lying area residents are asked to
evacuate. The Mayor closes the beach. Municipal bus service will be used as
transportation to temporary shelters. The drawbridge on U.S. Rt. 50 is closed
to boat traffic.
Phase 3: The mayor declares a local state of
emergency. Sale of alcohol is banned and businesses are asked to close
immediately. Everyone other than emergency personnel is asked to evacuate.
Incoming traffic to Ocean City is limited to emergency personnel. All temporary
Ocean City shelters will be relocated to the mainland. Municipal buses used as
transportation to shelters.
Phase 4: Mayor requests a complete evacuation as
quickly as possible. No incoming traffic allowed into Ocean City. Public
transportation is shut down. Remaining city personnel are ordered to seek
The following is what else your family emergency plan
Survival Kit: Non-perishable food (don’t forget
non-electric can opener), water (a half-gallon per person per day), eating and
cooking utensils, personal toilet articles and sanitary needs (diapers, etc.),
medications (prescriptions), portable radio and batteries, flashlight and
batteries, bedding (sleeping bag, blankets)
Public Shelter Kit: Change of clothing, portable
cooler and ice, first aid kit, personal toilet articles and sanitary needs,
medication, sleeping bag, blankets, pillows
For visitors, don’t let your awareness go on vacation.
Keep in touch. When you come to the beach keep your eyes and ears open.
The town will try to get your attention for emergencies
such as hurricanes through local radio and television, cable television audio
override (Ocean City officials can override all cable channels with emergency
messages), computer signs owned by local businesses, direct notification
through business, community organizations and emergency officials, banner
planes and the internet at www.ocmdemergency.com.
emergencies, Ocean City updates a recording for residents and visitors at