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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Flash Flood Watch for Friday

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Prince George’s County and surrounding jurisdictions from Friday morning, June 7,  through Friday evening.

*Heavy rainfall of 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals up to 6 inches can be expected. Excessive runoff from heavy rains may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas and small streams. The greatest impact for heavy rainfall is expected to occur between 10 am and 8 pm.*

Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.


The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.  Help us by helping yourself and heed warnings and safety tips.

Floods begin when soil and vegetation cannot absorb falling rain or melting snow, and when water runs off the land in such quantities that it cannot be carried away quickly enough in normal stream channels or cannot be retained in natural ponds and man-made reservoirs.

Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days; however, flash floods can develop quickly within a few minutes or hours of heavy rainstorms or a dam or levee failure. It's important to be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, in a densely populated area, near water or downstream from a dam.

Flood Facts...

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall or a dam failure. Flooding is a longer-term event and may last a week or more.

Most flash flooding is caused by (1) slow-moving thunderstorms, (2) thunder-storms repeatedly moving over the same area or (3) heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.

Densely populated areas have a high risk for flash floods. The construction of buildings, highways, driveways, and parking lots increases runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground.

Water can erode the roadbed creating unsafe driving conditions.

Many flash floods occur at night when flooded roads are hard to see.

2 feet of water will float your car, truck or SUV!!! 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related. If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5-6 feet of water.

Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.


Training Opportunity - Capnography

Redskins and Baysox Provide Assistance with Home Escape Planning Contest

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Many were inspired by the words of a young student, following her escape from a fire in her Glenarden home in February of this year. She told the firefighter, who found her in a neighbor’s yard, that the teachers at her school and firefighters had instructed students on how to make and practice a home escape plan. When the fire occurred in her home, she remembered what she had been taught in school. She used that information to escape out of her second means of egress, a bedroom window. She then went to a neighbor’s front yard and waited, just as she had learned.

The student’s actions confirmed that the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department’s community outreach and fire prevention efforts do work. This resulted in a long-standing program, “Escape Drills in the Home,” already a staple of fire safety education in schools, to be expanded in a renewed effort to reach out to all County elementary schools. After the selection of one school to participate in the expanded effort, students were given a take home assignment.

Fire/EMS Department Community Outreach Coordinator, Teresa Ann Crisman, visited Apple Grove Elementary School in Fort Washington, where she worked with the staff, teachers, and students in grades 3 through 5. Ms. Crisman educated them on how to plan, identify 2 ways out of every room, and designate a safe meeting place outside. Students were asked to sketch their plan and include the location of smoke alarms in their home. As part of the homework assignment, the smoke alarm had to be tested and working.

Students were given a little over a week to complete their home escape projects before turning them in. Nearly 3 dozen projects were submitted and evaluated by a group of fire service professionals, who ranked the top 3 entries. Clarity, the diagram’s overall effectiveness and ability to be understood by others, was a factor in the judging. Three winners, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, were identified; and each of the other participants received an Honorable Mention certificate.

To highlight the Home Escape Poster Contest and emphasize the importance of having a plan in place, the Fire/EMS Department sought the assistance of the two professional sports teams whose home games are played in Prince George’s County. The National Football League Washington Redskins and the AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, Bowie Baysox, demonstrated once again that they are our partners in community service.

“We are honored to partner with the Fire/EMS Department on this very worthwhile effort,” said Lon Rosenberg, Washington Redskins, Senior Vice-President of Operations. The Redskins provided the winners of this program with 2 tickets to a pre-season home game, parking, a tour of their command post, and on field recognition.

The Bowie Baysox awarded the recipients of the winning submissions with 4 tickets to a home game, an opportunity to throw out the first pitch before the game, and a gift pack. Brandan Kaiser, Director of Marketing of the Bowie Baysox, said, “We look forward to having the winners come out to a game and throw a first pitch!!!”

Our partnerships with both the Redskins and Bowie Baysox, goes a long way in helping us keep “Safety First – Everyone Goes home.”

Fire/EMS Department Chief Spokesperson Mark Brady and Community Outreach Coordinator Teresa Crisman had the pleasure of attending the start of school on Wednesday, June 5, at Apple Grove. Working in concert with the school’s principal and staff, the names of the 3 winners were announced over the school’s PA system. The recipients are:

1st Place – D. Marcus Holmes – Ms. Wright, Teacher

2nd Place – Ashley Marcelo – Mrs. Kirby, Teacher

3rd Place – Ethan Martin – Ms. Crisman, Teacher

Congratulations to all of our student participants in this contest, everyone is a winner and each student will bring home a Honorable Mention certificate and their home escape plan to practice with their family.

Parents looking for a summertime assignment to keep their kids busy??  Families can download a blank home escape form and have their children plan their escape in the event of an emergency. Simply click here for your form.
1st place is D. Marcus Holmes – Ms. Wright is the teacher

2nd place is Ashley Marcelo – Mrs. Kirby is the teacher

3rd place is Ethan Martin – Ms. Crisman is the teacher

Prince George's County Recognizes 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season - "Be Prepared"



For Immediate Release: June 04, 2013

Contact: Rhonda D. Jackson, Division Manager; Carol Terry, Public Information Officer, 301-780-8180; 301-883-5961
Prince George's County Recognizes 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season - "Be Prepared"

Upper Marlboro, MD - The 2013 Hurricane Season for our region officially started on June 1 and ends on November 30, 2013, with the peak of the season from mid-August to late October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an active hurricane season with a 70 percent chance of 13 to 20 tropical storms. Although it is estimated that 7 to 11 of these storms could become hurricanes with wind speeds of 74 mph or higher, there is no prediction of how many storms will actually hit landfall or where the storms will strike.

“Since taking office two and half years ago, Prince George’s County has faced two hurricanes, a tropical storm, and a microburst during hurricane season,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I encourage all Prince George’s County residents to have a hurricane preparedness plan that will protect their family and property during a severe weather event. The best protection against natural disaster is preparation.”

“As we remember the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and its impact along the east coast, we want to remind residents to be “Emergency Ready”, be prepared with a plan and have a Kit,” said Ronald E. Gill, Jr., Director, Office of Emergency Management. “Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive storms of 2012. Homes and businesses were destroyed by flooding, fire, rainfall and high winds. There is no way to predict the impact that hurricanes can have on communities, so we’ve got to be ready.”

“Flooding is also one of the most common hazards that can happen anywhere, during any weather condition,” said Adam Ortiz, Acting Director of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER). “Although most flooding occurs because of hurricane-related storms, citizens need to know the risks and how to protect themselves and their property.”

- Know your risks - Determine if your property is located in a risk area. Visit www.floodsmart.gov or contact DER at 301-883- 5834.

- Protect yourself and your property - Check with your insurance agent regarding flood insurance. Prince George’s County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a related program known as the Community Rating System (CRS). Through the County’s flood management activities and Class 5 rating under the CRS, residents can receive up to a 25 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums. For information on the NFIP, call 800- 427-4661.

In addition, take preventive measures around your home by fixing leaks, foundation cracks, and clearing gutters and drains. To learn more about protecting your home from flooding, visit http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/disaster-insurance/protect-yourself-and-your-home-flooding/#ixzz2UtnPQ1oy .

The Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management wants everyone to know that awareness and good preparedness are essential to surviving major storms. Here are a few helpful reminders:


Register for Notify Me Prince George’s to receive real-time information and notifications of severe weather watches, floods, significant power outages, and other storm related updates. Register by logging onto https://notifyme.princegeorgescountymd.gov or by texting 411912

• Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.

- A Watch is issued when the threat of hurricane conditions exist within 24-36 hours.

- A Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are specified to 24 hours or less. (Actions to protect life and property should begin immediately).

• Have Preparedness Kits available in your home and vehicle.

- Have non-perishable foods for up to three-days, 1 gallon of water per person, per day and don’t forget your medications or prescriptions.

- Ensure that your vehicles have a full tank of gas.

• Know and practice your Family Communications Plan.

• Ensure copies of important documents are stored in a safe place.

• Have some cash on hand.

• Secure or bring inside exterior items that might become windborne.

• Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting in anticipation of a power outage. Open the doors only when necessary and close quickly.


• Please remain calm and do not call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency.

• Do not go outside. Flying debris from high winds is a danger.

• Try to stay in an interior room; stay away from windows or soft spots in the home.

• Use flashlights. Avoid using candles for lighting due to fire hazards.

- Never use a candle when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. Candle flame can ignite fumes from the fuel.

• If flooding occurs, turn off electricity at the main breaker.

• During a power outage, turn off major appliances. This will minimize losing power again through a power surge and protect the equipment when the power returns.

• Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.


• Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines to avoid electrocution.

• Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas, water mains or overturned gas tanks.

• Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road – motorists can be stranded or trapped. The depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious; therefore, do not make assumptions.

• Be very cautious at night as it is harder to recognize flood dangers, downed wires and other hazards.


Remember to store important utility numbers. This information may be helpful during recovery.

Pepco: 1-877-737-2662

Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E): 1-877-778-2222 or 1-800-685-0123

Washington Gas: 1-800-752-7520

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC): 1-800-828-4002

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) 1-877-747-6326

For more information about the 2013 Hurricane Season, visit the (NOAA) website. To obtain information on flood prone structures, flood management, and how to purchase flood insurance, please call DER at 301-883-5834. For tips on how to prepare before, during or after a hurricane, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 301-780-8183.