Employee Status Updated: 1/22/2019 12:00 AM Normal
Office Status: Normal
Employee Information

Emergency Shelters

During emergencies, St Mary’s County Government may open public shelters for citizens who may be required to evacuate their homes or workplaces.

St Mary’s County Primary Shelters are located in public high schools (Chopticon, Great Mills, and Leonardtown).  Different shelters can be opened depending upon the emergency. To find out which shelters have been opened, listen to the radio, watch Channel 95, check the county website and/or call the emergency information hotline at 301-475-4911.

The Department of Emergency Services works with many partner agencies - Health Department, Department of Social Services, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, and Department of Aging staff support the shelters to provide services for sheltered citizens. Make plans to have your pets cared for while you are in the shelter as they are not allowed in public shelters.  The St Mary’s County Emergency Pet Shelter is normally open when a shelter is opened and it is located at the St Mary’s County Fairgrounds. Click here for more information on pet sheltering. Only service animals are allowed in the Leonardtown High School shelter, **Remember to bring food for your service animal to the shelter**

What to bring with you to public shelters:

check mark Be sure to bring food if you require special diet foods, as food may not be readily available at the Shelter.

check markInfant formula/food/diapers.

check markMedical equipment—wheelchair, glasses, dentures, eye care supplies etc.

check mark**Have a 2 week supply of your prescription medications** Prescription medications will not be supplied in shelters, you must bring
your own.

check markSleeping bags, blankets, pillows, folding chairs. Bedding is not provided in public shelters.

check markPersonal hygiene items and changes of clothing.

check markEntertainment items—cards, games, etc.

In-Place Sheltering

Many emergency situations occur without warning, but still require emergency protective actions to take place. Chemical accidents are good examples of incidents that happen without warning. In the event of a chemical incident, you may be asked to take shelter within your home. There are precautions you must take to make your home safe. To reduce the possibility of chemical vapors entering your home you should take the following precautions:

Close and lock all windows. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels, duct tape, or similar thick tape.

Seal any gaps around window air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fan grills, and stove and dryer vents with tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper, or aluminum wrap.

Close all fireplace dampers.

Close as many doors as possible.

Turn off all ventilation systems, including furnaces, air conditioners, vents, and fans.

Close all drapes, curtains, and shades, if local authorities warn of potential explosions. Stay away from windows to prevent injury.

Remain in protected interior areas of your home and stay tuned to radio or television so that you will be informed when it is safe to leave your home.

Have building superintendents set all ventilation systems at 100% recirculation so that no outside air is drawn into the structure.

Students in School

In the event of a county emergency, or ordered evacuation, parents should listen to local radio and television stations or check the county and/or school website (www.smcps.org) for announcements about changes in school closings or openings. Parents may pick up their children from school during the day, but during a crisis the best place for children may be the school itself. Unless an evacuation of a school is ordered, students will be kept at school until they can be safely transported home on normal bus routes.

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