QAC Urges All Residents to Prepare for 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Be Prepared: Know Your Zone, Have a Plan, Stay Informed and Have a Kit
The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts Thursday, June 1, and Queen Anne’s County officials would like to remind people who live, work, or visit Queen Anne’s County to Know Your Zone if a large storm requires evacuation.
Recent hurricane seasons have been unusually busy – 2020 set a record for named Atlantic Hurricanes – so it is important to Know Your Zone, and also have an emergency plan, a disaster supply kit, and multiple ways to receive warnings from QAC Department of Emergency Services, and the National Weather Service (NWS). In 2021, Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, still managed to cause tornadoes and flooding on the eastern shore.
“Remnants of a hurricane and storm surge are typically the biggest threat to Queen Anne’s County”, said Scott Haas, Director of the Emergency Services. “Queen Anne’s County has often faced consequences from flooding and wind damage without a direct hit from a hurricane. We ask all of our residents to Know Your Zone and prepare by having an emergency plan and supply kit.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the NWS, predict near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges.
The Know Your Zone program allows QAC Officials to issue evacuations by letter zones (A, B, and C) to more easily provide information to those in the area. To determine if you live, work, or visit an evacuation zone, please go to KnowYourZoneMD.com and click on the “Find Your Zone” link. Type in the address of the property you are interested in and you will find out if the location is in an evacuation zone.
Please note that the zones are for evacuations from storm surge or tidal flooding along the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, the coastal bay, and ocean on the Eastern Shore. The zones do NOT apply to inland and flash floods.
Here are some additional considerations while planning for hurricanes and other hazards:
• Plan now! Do not wait until the peak of hurricane season.
• Pay attention to emergency information and alerts.
• Determine your best protection for high winds and flooding.
• If you are not in an evacuation zone, make a plan to shelter-in-place if it is safe to do so.
• If you are in an evacuation zone, make a plan with friends or family to shelter with them where you will be safer and more comfortable.
• Only use outdoor generators that are at least 20 feet away from your home and away from windows, doors, and vents.
• Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
For more information about hurricane preparedness, including sample emergency plans and supply kit information, please visit these organizations online.
To sign up for Queen Anne’s County citizen alerts, visit https://member.everbridge.net/1332612387832222/login .