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State Officials Urge Marylanders To 'Know Your Zone' As Hurricane Season Starts

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- With hurricane season now underway, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management is reminding residents to "Know Your Zone" in the event of an evacuation order due to severe weather.

The state has three zones -- marked A, B and C -- covering coastal areas along the Eastern and Western Shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the beach areas of Wicomico and Worcester counties, and southern counties on the Potomac River.

According to the agency, 2020 set a record for named hurricanes on the Atlantic coast. Last September, the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought severe winds -- including tornados -- and flooding to Anne Arundel, Cecil and Montgomery counties.

"Hurricane Ida taught us yet again that you don't need to live in a coastal community to feel the impacts of tropical systems," said Maryland Secretary of Emergency Management Russ Strickland. "While coastal storm surge and hurricane force winds are vivid images of hurricanes, in our area, inland flooding and tornadoes can be the biggest threats to life and property."

Emergency officials are urging residents to identify their zone in the event their home or business is part of an evaucation. (You can search on the state map here.)

Additionally, Marylanders should develop a shelter-in-place plan if it is safe to do so and an evacuation plan, check with local officials about evacuation shelters, and assemble a supply kit and other necessary provisions in advance.

Residents are advised to position outdoor generators at lest 20 feet away from their home and to avoid walking, swimming or driving through flood waters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center forecast 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes — of Category 3 strength or greater.

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