During emergencies, St Mary’s
County Government may open public shelters
for citizens who may be required to evacuate their homes or
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,
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.
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**
bring with you to public shelters:
Be sure to
bring food if you require special diet foods, as food may not
be readily available at the Shelter.
equipment—wheelchair, glasses, dentures, eye care supplies etc.
a 2 week supply of your prescription medications** Prescription
medications will not be supplied in shelters, you must bring
bags, blankets, pillows, folding chairs. Bedding is not provided
in public shelters.
hygiene items and changes of clothing.
items—cards, games, etc.
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.
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.
all fireplace dampers.
as many doors as possible.
off all ventilation systems, including furnaces, air
all drapes, curtains, and shades, if local authorities warn
of potential explosions. Stay away from windows to prevent injury.
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.
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.