Volume I | Issue 3| August MMXIX
District 2
The Opel Jones Digest

Office: 410-313-2001
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

"We Win Together!"
District 2 News
" Constituent Coffee Series "
Thank you for supporting my second “Constituent Coffee Series,” featuring the American Heart Association, Accessible Resources for Independence (ARI), Howard County Autism Society, Howard County Health Department, Howard County Department of Community Resources (DCRS), and National Alliance on Mental Illness. The Constituent Coffee Series is a great opportunity for the community to learn about programs and resources available for residents in District 2 and throughout Howard County.
Plastic Bags in Recycling - Not Accepted !
Effective  Saturday, June 15th , Howard County’s Department of Public Works Bureau of Environmental Services will no longer accept curbside recycling placed out in plastic bags. Items placed out for recycling should be placed loosely in the county assigned recycling bin/cart. Plastic bagged recyclables will not be collected curbside.

Plastic bags and plastic film get wrapped around recycling equipment machinery and jam the screens. Small plastic fragments also become air- and water-borne litter. Due to these factors, our contracted processor will not accept plastic bags. This includes loose and bundled plastic bags. The regional marketplace has contributed to this change.

Residents with County-provided service will  receive a postcard  in the mail alerting them of this change.

Moreover, the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center will no longer accept items for recycling bagged in plastic. If you choose to transport your items in a plastic bag, please empty your items into the recycling compactor and take the bag with you.

County residents who wish to recycle their clean plastic bags and film may do so at participating local grocery stores, big box stores, and other retailers who have collection bins set up.
Know Before You Throw
Recycling reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill and plays an important part in preserving the quality of the environment. Eleven percent of Howard County residents assume what is recyclable. For a detailed list of what does and does not belong in your blue bin, check this link out.

Government Closings
Happy Labor Day!
Howard County Government Offices, Courts, 50+ Centers, and Animal Shelters will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 2nd . Regular trash, recycling, and food scrap services will not be in effect. The Alpha Ridge Landfill will not be open.

While county parks, community centers, Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, Cedar Lane, and Schooley Mill Park Activity Rooms will be open. The Robinson Nature Center will be closed.

The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will operate on a regular weekday schedule. For more information on RTA call 1(800) 270-9553 or visit the RTA website . All parking regulations and fees will be in effect.  

The 9-1-1 Call Center, Police, and Fire departments will remain staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergencies call 9-1-1 ; for non-emergencies, call (410) 313-2200 .
Columbus Day
Howard County Government Offices, Courts, 50+ Centers, and Animal Shelters will be closed in observance of Columbus Day on Monday, October 14th . However, regular trash, recycling, and food scrap services will be in effect. The Alpha Ridge Landfill will not be open.

While county parks, community centers, Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, Cedar Lane, and Schooley Mill Park Activity Rooms will be open. The Robinson Nature Center will be closed.

The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will operate on a regular weekday schedule. For more information on RTA call 1(800) 270-9553 or visit the RTA website . All parking regulations and fees will be in effect.  

The 9-1-1 Call Center, Police, and Fire departments will remain staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergencies call 9-1-1 ; for non-emergencies, call (410) 313-2200 .
Village Voice
Long Reach
Stonehouse Holiday Schedule
Stonehouse will be closed September, 2nd for
Labor Day
Upcoming Board Meetings

Interested in learning about what is going on in the Long Reach community? All upcoming board meetings will be held at Stonehouse , 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, MD 21045 , at 7:30 PM unless noted otherwise. The following are upcoming meeting dates:

  • Tuesday, September 2nd
  • Tuesday, September 17th
  • Tuesday, October 1st
  • Tuesday, October 15th
Block Party Kits Now Available!
Block parties are a great way to get to know your neighbors and enjoy summertime!  Stonehouse  now has Block party kits available until  September 2nd .

How Do They Work?

  • Pick up a block party kit from Stonehouse or find a copy here
  • Fill out a guest list with names and addresses
  • Send out invitations (Stonehouse can make black and white invitations for free)
  • Record RSVP responses on the guest list
  • Return your completed guest list with a copy of your invitation a week before your party 
  • Go to Stonehouse and pick up your $50 grocery store gift card
Paper Shredding Event
Shredding paper helps to protect forests, to prevent identity theft, and to minimize clutter and fire hazards. Meet at  6100 Foreland Garth (the parking lot behind Stonehouse & the Art Center)  to safely and securely dispose of sensitive information. There will be a three bag limit per household and identification will be required. This is a free paper shredding event for Long Reach residents. If you do not reside in the Long Reach community it will be $5 to shred your paper.

This event will be held on  September 14th  beginning at  9 AM  and will end at  noon
Columbia Archives BikeAbout
Join us for the 19th annual Columbia Archives BikeAbout — a free, fun, and informative tour spotlighting Columbia’s history and the connectivity of its pathway system. This year, we’ll ride on a well-marked, family-friendly easy six-mile route that begins and ends at Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, MD 21045.

This year’s theme — Village Voyage — will enable participants to learn and enjoy the pathways within the village of Long Reach and discover historically exciting aspects of the Columbia story.

Join Columbia Archives BikeAbout on September 28th at 9:30 AM until 10 AM. This family fun-filled event ends at noon.

For more information and to register, please call (410) 715-6781 .
Long Reach Village Yard Sale

Conducting a yard sale and need advertising? Don't worry about it, the Long Reach Community Association will take care of advertising! The Long Reach Community Association will advertise all participating streets in local newspapers and on social media. The community association will give you a red ribbon to tie onto your street sign notifying shoppers of sales on the street. The yard sale will be held on October 12th beginning at 8 AM. To prepare for your yard sale stop by Stonehouse, 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, MD 21045 or call (410) 730-8113 for more information.

Halloween Party

Join the Long Reach Community Association for spooky family fun on October 26th at the Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia, MD 21045 . Costumes encouraged! There will be a magic show, pumpkin decoration, and light refreshments. The fun will begin at 12:30 PM and end at 2 PM. This event is intended for children under 10 with adult supervision. No registration is required for this free event. 

For more information email   events@longreach.org  or call (410) 730-8113.

To stay updated on Long Reach Community Association events, click here , or follow the Long Reach Community Association on Facebook and Twitter !
Oakland Mills 

Oakland Mills Community Association Office at The Other Barn Schedule

The Oakland Mills Community Association Office will be closed September, 2nd for Labor Day!
Upcoming Board Meetings

Are you interested in learning about the Oakland Mills community? All upcoming board meetings will be held at The Other Barn , 5851 Robert Oliver Place , at 7 PM unless noted otherwise. Upcoming meeting dates are the following:

  • Tuesday, September 7th
  • Tuesday, September 24th
  • Tuesday, October 8th
  • Tuesday, October 22nd
Jazz in the Mills Presents "Eric Byrd Trio"

Jazz in the Mills 2019 presents four performances featuring Eric Byrd Trio. This event features Jazz performances in a relaxed "club-like" setting at The Other Barn in the heart of Columbia on September 15th . The event starts at 5 PM . For more information please contact Sandy Cederbaum at
(410) 730-4610.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 online or $25 at The Other Barn.
Free Shredding Event
Shredding paper helps protect forests, prevents identity theft, and minimizes clutter and fire hazards. Meet at The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place , Columbia, MD to safely and securely dispose of sensitive information. There will be a three bag limit per household and identification will be required.

This is a free event for all Oakland Mills residents. This event will be held on September 21st beginning at 8:30 - 11:30 AM . For more information Brigetta Warren at (410) 730- 4610.
Oakland Mills Fall Festival
Let's welcome Fall at The Other Barn in our beautiful courtyard on Saturday, October 5th . The fall festival is from 11 AM - 4 PM.  There will be live entertainment in the Courtyard, festival food, a children’s area, community craft vendors, and much more.

If you are interested in being a vendor, please review, complete, and return the  Vendor Packet to events@oaklandmills.org or visit The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD.
Lively Arts for Little Ones Presents Mr. Jon and Friends
Mr. Jon & Friends  is a Parents’ Choice Award-winning music for kids. This interactive event boosts dancing, freestyle movement, and laughter. Come join Mr. Jon, his wife Carrie, and their silly friend George the Monkey for a fun time on October 11th from 10 - 10:45 AM . This family event will be held at The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD .
Oakland Mills Farmers Market
Come join the Oakland Mills Farmers Market on Sundays, at the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD . To view, a list of local vendors and guest vendors look online for daily updates .

Market Dates:   May 12th - November 24th
Market Hours :  9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
To stay updated on Oakland Mills Community events, visit their  website and follow Oakland Mills Community Association on Facebook !
Connecting with Our Home Owner Associations
If you are an Executive Board member or member of a Home Owner Association (HOA) please forward your up-to-date officer contact and meeting information to  Najee Bailey to update our database when changes occur.
District 2 Updates
Circuit Courthouse Groundbreaking—Monday, June 24th
It was an honor attending the groundbreaking ceremony for Howard County’s new Circuit Courthouse. The new courthouse will replace the existing 175-year-old building in Old Ellicott City. The Courthouse is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The new courthouse is symbolic for the progress of our citizens and our county.

To see a computer-generated model of the new Circuit Courthouse, please click on the link included:  link
Howard County’s Inaugural Pride Festival—Saturday, June 29th
During National Pride Month, Howard County celebrated  Howard County Pride 2019 ! The inaugural festival's theme was, “Remember, Resist, and Rejoice." The festival honored trailblazing members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ communities. On this day we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that advanced the fight for the rights of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.

Thank you to the  Howard County PRIDE   planning committee and  PFLAG Howard County  for your dedication to make Howard County Pride 2019 an outstanding event!  #HoCoPRIDE .”
Lights for Liberty—Friday, July 12th
Thank you IndivisibleHoCoMd and the ACLU of Maryland for inviting me to give opening remarks at the Lights for Liberty Candle Light Vigil at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center. Expressing our county and nation’s concerns regarding immigration reform, detainee facilities, and the general welfare of all undocumented citizens are of the highest importance. As your District 2 County Council representative, I am proud to stand with the Howard County Police Department as we continue to promote and protect the rights of our most vulnerable communities.

Please click the following link if you or anyone in your community needs assistance, knowing their rights. Link: KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS
National Night Out—Tuesday, August 6th
National Night Out, open ceremony was held at Long Reach Village this year. Meeting neighbors while supporting our first responders was truly exciting and much needed. As your County Council representative, I look forward to continuing to build a strong cohesive community with law enforcement.

Thank you to our dedicated first responders from the  Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services  and the  Howard County Police Department  for working with our communities to promote safety throughout Howard County.  #HocoMD   #NNO2019
Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter Annual Cookout—Sunday, August 11th
Recently, the Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hosted their annual community cookout. This event promotes the chapter's mission to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence while providing service, and advocacy for our communities. The cookout was hosted by new members of the Kappa Phi Lambda chapter. This year the annual cookout was held at Cedar Lane Park East in Columbia, MD. To stay updated regarding upcoming events please email KPLPresident@yahoo.com.
Fire Station 12: Thursday, August 29th
It was an honor representing District 2 yesterday, as Governor Larry Hogan, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Chief Uhlhorn, and I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the 12th Waterloo Fire Station-- located in Jessup, MD, off of Route 1. The six-acre fire station is truly needed to support the growth and vibrancy of our community!
Maryland Associations of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference: August 14th-17th
This summer the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) summer conference theme was, “Winds of Change.” The annual conference focused on legislative and constituent services concerns at every level of government for the betterment of all Marylanders. Topics at the conference included transforming approaches to economic trends, climate change, land use, millennials in the workforce, and education.
A special thank you to the MACo staff for your hard work and preparation for a successful conference.

Community Events and Opportunities
Food Truck Festival at St. John Baptist Church
Hungry? No problem! Don't bother cooking dinner, come to the parking lot of St John Baptist Church, 9055 Tamar Drive, Columbia, Maryland . Stop by and sample food from 8 different vendors at the Food Truck Festival.

Sit outside, listen to music and enjoy the food, fun, and fellowship on:

  • Friday, September 20th, 4 PM - 8 PM
  • Saturday, September 21st, 11 AM - 6 PM
Hidden Howard County: African-American Hidden Sites Tour
Explore the hidden past and legacy of African-Americans in Howard County through the lens of history and archaeology. Visit some of the County’s most significant sites showcasing stories of freedom and perseverance from the 18th through 21st centuries. The tour will be on September 14th and will meet in the Howard County Courthouse parking lot.

For more information contact Kelly Palich by email or (410) 313-0423.
Transportation 101 Workshop Series
Transportation 101 is a FREE workshop open to anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of regional transportation issues and the critical role transportation plays in our lives and communities. The workshop will be held at 2 East Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21202 , on every Wednesday beginning on October 9th and ending on November 20th .

For more information please visit www.cmtalliance.org/transportation-101
Hops & Harvest Festival
F all is the perfect time for a festival, and a festival is a perfect place to showcase the finest craft beer, music, and food. This year's Hops & Harvest Festival will be, the first to be held at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods will take place on October 5th . This year, there will be one session from 12-5 PM.

There are three ticket options available for purchase --- General Admission, Designated Driver, and Youth. The General Admission option includes entry, souvenir cup, unlimited tastings, live entertainment, games, and more. The Designated Driver and Youth options include entry, live entertainment, games, and more. Children eight and under are free.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit online.
Master Aging - Engage Educate Inspire
What has been known in Howard County for two decades as the 50+ Expo will be updated with a name change and will now be known as Master Aging. The next event will be held on Saturday, October 19th , at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, Maryland 212044 from 10 AM to 3 PM.

The former event featured roughly 160 booths, it will now have about 62 vendors, and sponsors, to defray the cost of the event. “Major county agencies have been very supportive and will be involved, and will have their staff on hand,” said Kim Henry, spokesperson for the Howard County Office on Aging.

For more information, visit   online .
Activities for Senior Citizens
Physical activities provide the foundation for all other forms of senior wellness. Being socially and physically active can reduce the risk of stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia. It also arrests the deterioration of overall health and allows seniors to maintain their independence longer. Howard County provides senior citizen activities to enhance a healthy lifestyle. 

These are some sample activities that are located at Howard Community College :

  • Beginning Swimming - "Adjusting to the water and learn basic swimming breathing." Instructor: Patricia Colabucci, Fridays, September 20th - December 13th (no class Nov. 29th), 11 AM-12 PM, Athletic, and Fitness Center, $72.
  • Better Health and Wellness for Senior Adults- Learn how to improve your cardiovascular system, muscle strength and endurance, coordination, and balance. The instructor will combine fitness training with health education, September 17th - October 24th and November 5th - December 17th, Brain 50+ Center, $88.
  • Flourish! Journaling- This course explains and provides practice in the universal four-step process in each of the six stages growth and development. The process begins with awareness, continues with acknowledgment of what is true for you, deepens with appreciative inquiry and results in "right action." Bring paper, pencil, a folder, and join Senior Adult Summer Institute (SASI) presenter and instructor: September 19th - October 24th, 1:30- 3:30 PM, Ellicott City 50+ Center.
Sweet Tooth Costume Carnival
St. John Baptist Church welcomes Howard County students and their families to enjoy a fun-filled evening with loads of candy and carnival rides for only $1. Food trucks will be on site. The is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, October 31st from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at St. John Baptist Church, 9055 Tamar Drive, Columbia, Maryland 20145.

Save your spot(s) by registering online.
Students' Spotlight
Get Ready for the 2019-2020 School Year!
The first day of school is fast approaching! Here’s what you need to know for the  2019-2020  school year.

School Calendar
Make sure you know when schools are closed or have early dismissals! There will be no printed 2019-2020 calendars. Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by:
  • Going to https://www.hcpss.org/calendar/
  • Scrolling down to Subscribing to a Calendar
  • Right-clicking on the calendar you wish to subscribe to
  • Selecting Copy Link Location/Address/Shortcut
  • Adding to your calendar of choice

You also may view and/or download printable PDFs of the full calendar and/or important dates only. Updates to the PDFs will be noted on the  HCPSS calendar page .  The calendar is subject to change. The online calendar reflects the most recent version.


All incoming kindergartners and students new to the school system must be registered before the first day of school.   Enrollment requirements  can be found online. Please contact your child’s school for office hours.


All children must have the required State of Maryland immunizations to attend school. Students out of compliance or without evidence of an appointment for necessary immunizations may not be admitted to a school. Details, including  healthcare forms and immunization information , can be found online.

Emergency Card Procedures with Family File

HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to  complete emergency information . Each school year, parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child and can do so by logging in to HCPSS Connect, selecting the Family File tab on the left and then selecting Family File.  Resources and instructions  are available online.

Bus Schedules

Our  bus stop locator  is now updated. Users can locate bus stops by entering their street address and zip code in the search field.

School Supplies

Elementary and middle  school supply lists  are available on school websites and been compiled on the HCPSS website for your convenience. High school students will be given lists by their teachers at the start of the year. Please contact your child’s school with any questions.

Back to School Night

The  back to school night schedule  for all HCPSS schools is available online. Last-minute changes may not be reflected online so please double check dates and times with your child’s school.

Student Drivers

All students drivers and a parent or guardian must attend a  safe driving program for  students to receive a parking permit. Students may attend a presentation at any location.
SAT / ACT Preparation Classes
Are you preparing for college and taking the SAT/ACT exams? Howard County Community College offers SAT/ ACT preparation courses that will help develop an understanding of the actual exam.

High school students ages 15 and above are welcomed to enroll in SAT preparation courses at Howard County Community College, 1901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia Maryland 21204 . These courses are available on Saturdays until October 26th for the cost of $375.
Friday Night Football!
To celebrate back to school and the fall season, the following are dates of each school's opening football game of the 2019-20120 season! Come out and show your support for the school whether it is the Howard Lions, Long Reach Lightning, or the Oakland Mills Scorpions.

  • September 6th, 2019 at 7 PM Reservoir at Howard
  • September 6th, 2019 at 7 PM Hammond at Oakland Mills
  • September 6th, 2019 at 7 PM Long Reach at Woodlawn
Fall Fun with Howard County Recreation & Parks
Welcome to the 2019 Fall Activity Guide ! This year Howard County Recreation and Parks celebrate 50 years of service. We invite you to find the perfect family fun for your household in this year's guide! At Howard County Recreation & Parks , the guide offers a variety of activities that will provide an opportunity for kids to try new things, and to sharpen their skills at the activities they already know and love. Choose from exciting morning, afternoon, and full-day activities that fit your family's summer schedule.

For more information on the variety of camps visit Howard County Parks and Recreation website.
Non-Profit Resources
In Need of Crisis Intervention?
Grassroots is a private, non-profit agency that empowers people in crisis to make positive changes by offering professional 24-hour crisis intervention, shelter, and outreach services. They provide programs and services including 24-hour crisis intervention hotline, Maryland Crisis Hotline, Walk-in Counseling, Mobile Crisis Team, Suicide Prevention, Outreach and Education, a 33-bed Family Shelter, an 18-bed Men's Shelter, a Motel Shelter, Cold Weather Shelter, and a Day Resource Center. The Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc. is located at 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia, MD For more information, please call (410) 531-6006 or visit the Grassroots website . The 24-hour hotline is (410) 531-6677 and the MD Crisis Hotline is 1(800)422-0009
Intimate Partner Violence Women's Support Group
The Women' s Support Group provides an opportunity for women who have experienced emotional, sexual, and/or physical abuse to connect with and receive support from fellow survivors.

Facilitates by counselors who specialize in trauma, each week the group explores different ways to cope with the pain caused by abuse and violence. This is an ongoing weekly group; participants may come every week or whenever they are free every Tuesday from 6 PM to 7:30 PM .

This is a free program, but you must register in advance.

For more information or to register, call (410) 997-0304 and ask to speak with an Advocate about participating in the Women's Support Group.
HopeWorks Pantry Needs
Help restock the HopeWorks pantry! Items needed include: gas gift cards, grocery store gift cards, diapers, baby wipes, rice, gluten-free items, pasta sauce, pasta, canned beans, canned tuna, canned chicken, cereal, granola bars, sugar, creamer, coffee, juice boxes, pop-top canned pasta, mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, school lunch type items, pop tarts, cookies, laundry detergent, full size toothpaste, full size shampoo, baby shampoo, baby wash, baby lotion, and full size body care products. To donate, call (410) 997-0304 or email . For information and updates, go online .
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Rebuilding Together Howard County (RTHC) was established in 1992 when a group of committed Howard County Residents and businesses joined together to mobilize volunteers and provide free home repairs to low-income families in Howard County. Today, Rebuilding Together Howard County has repaired and renovated over 650 homes in Howard County-- at no cost to the homeowner. Rebuilding Together Howard County connects volunteers with homeowners in need of repairs.

If you own a home in Howard County and can't afford home repairs, suffered an injury or illness, and need home modifications contact RTHC by calling ( 410) 381-3338 . Applications are accepted year-round. Anyone can volunteer and RTHC seeks skilled trades as well! Call ( 410) 381-3338 to find out how your company or group can sponsor a home! To learn more, visit their website .
Donate or Sponsor Events
HC DrugFree depends upon the generosity of individuals, PTSAs/PTAs, organizations and businesses in the community to support our free services to the community. Please donate today! Consider contacting HC DrugFree to sponsor an event or make a one-time or monthly donation.

HC DrugFree is a 501(c)(3). Donate online or mail checks to HC DrugFree, 5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206, Columbia, MD 21044.

For more information, contact HC DrugFree's Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi by email or call (443) 325-0040.
Howard County Tips
Preparing For Fall
With cooler temperatures knocking, now is the time to prepare your home for fall weather. Utilize this checklist to ensure you’ve got every corner of your house covered inside and out. 

To prepare yourself and your family for cooler temperatures follow the tips below :

  • Clean out the gutters. No one loves this job, but we all need to do it annually. A few hours of work can prevent big problems later on. 

  • Turn off outdoor plumbing. Drain outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, and cover them to protect them from the freezing weather to come. 

  • Clean outdoor furniture and gardening tools. It may not yet be time to put them away, but go ahead and clean your outdoor furniture and gardening tools so they're ready for storage over the winter.
  • Plant bulbs for spring-blooming flowers. Plant bulbs in October, as soon as the soil has cooled down, to reap big rewards next spring. If you've never planted bulbs before, select a spot in your yard that gets full sun during the day.

  • Prepare your furnace for winter duty. If you didn't already do it last spring, consider getting your furnace professionally serviced in the time for the cold season. At the minimum, though, visually inspect your furnace and replace the furnace filter before turning it on for the first time. 

  • Clean the fireplace and chimney. Clean out the fireplace, inspect the flue, and ensure the doors and shields are sound. Have the chimney professional swept, if needed. Now's also the time to stock up on firewood. 

  • Keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside. Inspect your windows and doors. Check weatherstripping by opening a door, placing a piece of paper in the entryway and closing the door. The paper should not slide back and forth easily. If it does, the weather stripping isn't doing the intended job. 

  • Home safety check. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. A good way to remember to do this is to always replace the batteries when you change the clock for daylight saving time. 
  • Create a family fire escape plan, or review the one you already have. Put together an emergency preparedness kit so that you ready for winter power outages.

If you require shelter, call Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center at (410) 531-6677
Flood Preparedness
Floods are unpredictable and destructive, and they can happen in regions that have never seen rain.
They can cause death and injuries, isolate communities, damage major infrastructure, cut essential services, destroy property and livelihoods. Apart from the physical damage to property, experiencing a flood can be an extremely emotional time. If you are not prepared for the possibility of a flood, recovery can be slow, stressful and costly.

A few hours spent making your home secure, preparing an emergency kit and flood plan can help you to survive the effect of a flood.

You can prepare for flooding by:

  • Checking with your local council about local flood plans or records which detail problem areas.
  • Ask authorities about relocation routes and centers.
  • If your area is flood-prone consider alternatives to carpets.
  • Prepare an emergency kit.
  • Prepare a household flood plan.
  • Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on display.
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered for flood damage.
Know Your Rights
During these pivotal times as a nation, you must know your rights as a private citizen. It is your right to protect you and your family and follow the correct protocols so that you remain safe and unharmed.