Volume I | Issue 4| December 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
District 2 : State Of The District Address
Thank you for your support, feedback, and eagerness to help make my first year a success. With your voice and the outpouring support for our communities in District 2—we have achieved a myriad of accomplishments for Community Vibrancy, Education, and Personal and Public Safety- the pillars of my platform for the betterment of District 2. As I embark upon my second year as your County Council representative, I look forward to working diligently with my colleagues on the County Council and with the Office of County Executive to enhance our thriving village centers that support the surrounding communities. 

A special thank you to the Howard County Police Department, Howard County Sheriff’s Office, Howard County Fire and Rescue Services, Howard County Department of Public Works, Howard County Recreation and Parks, Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services, the Office of the Registrar of Wills, Grassroots, Rebuilding Together, Path, HopeWorks, and Foreign-Born and Informational Referral Network (also known as FIRN). Your dedication to assist residents is invaluable and I am honored for your support during my forum.

Plastic Bags in Recycling - Not Accepted!
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.

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.
Merry Mulch
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 New Year's
Howard County Government Offices, Courts, 50+ Centers, and Animal Shelters will be closed in observance of New Years on Wednesday, January 1st . 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 closing at 5:00 PM. 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 from Tuesday, December 24th through Wednesday, January 1st. 
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, January 7th
  • Tuesday, January 21st
  • Tuesday, February 4th
  • Tuesday, February 18th
History of Gardening - Master Gardener Series

Join Long Reach Community Association for a free presentation from the Master Gardeners of Howard County on Monday, January 13th at 7 PM at Stonehouse, 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia MD.

For more information, email or call (410)730-8113 .
Family Bingo Night
Enjoy a fun night of Bingo with your family and neighbors on February 21st from 7:30 to 9:00 PM . Play a variety of games with many chances to win prizes! Disposable bingo cards are 5/$1. There will be free snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase. No reservations required – just stop by for some fun!
To stay updated on Long Reach Community events, visit their  website and follow Long Reach Community Association on Facebook!
Oakland Mills 

Oakland Mills Community Association Office at The Other Barn Schedule

The Oakland Mills Community Association Office will be closed from Tuesday, December 24th through Wednesday, January 1st. 
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, January 14th
  • Tuesday, January 21st
  • Tuesday, February 11th
  • Tuesday, February 25th
Sleep In Heavenly Peace
Oakland Mills is partnering with Sleep In Heavenly Peace to collect bedding for children who don't have the comfort to sleep in a bed of their own. Sleep in Heavenly Peace is 100% volunteer and donation-driven. All donations received will go towards purchasing materials for beds, bed assembly, and delivery.

If you are able to donate visit The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD to drop off items.

For more information please email or call (410) 730- 4610.
Lively Arts for Little Ones Presents Pam the Kindersinger
Pam the Kindersinger   is a Parents’ Choice Award-winning music for kids. This interactive event boosts dancing, freestyle movement, and laughter. 

Come join Pam for a fun time on January 17th from 10 - 10:45 AM . This family event will be held at The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD .
Lively Arts for Little Ones Presents Chris Campbell
Chris Campbell's educational and lesson-oriented songs cover:

  • Alphabet
  • Numbers
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Animals
  • Clean up time
  • US presidents
  • 50 States
  • Exercise
  • Confidence
  • Dealing with bullies

Come join Chris for a fun time on February 28th from 10 - 10:45 AM . This family event will be held at The Other Barn, 5852 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD.
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  Michael Harris to update our database when changes occur.
Opel's Opinion
Season’s Greetings, family and friends of District 2! Over the past year it has been an honor to represent you and your family. This fall I have co-introduced and co-sponsored legislation that will benefit District 2 and Howard County. While the Board of Education (BOE) debated and spent months discussing the highly anticipated redistricting plan, my colleagues and I passed Council Resolution 112-2019, requesting the Howard County Public School System to draft, approve, and implement a lawful multi-year Integration Plan to ensure that Howard County Public Schools are integrated by socioeconomic factors. According to niche.com , Howard County Public Schools are ranked number one out of 24 school districts statewide. Our county currently boasts 55,626 students, with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Their standardize testing scores show that 59% of students are at least proficient in math and 55% in reading. Moreover, no school is greater than their rival as our county hosts the best public-school system in the state and one of the best nationwide.

While campaigning to represent you, many voiced concerns regarding realtor marketing strategies throughout District 2 and the County. Since March of 2019, my staff and I met quarterly with the Howard County Realtor Association to address directional and promotional real-estate signs which promotes certain school districts throughout the county. In September, I filed Council Resolution 134-2019, a Resolution calling on those offering homes for sale in Howard County to omit the references to schools and school zones in certain advertising. The resolution was passed unanimously by the County Council. Although, the CR 134-2019 is not legally binding, I believe this approach is a great start to provide clarity for future home-buyers and renters to know that school districts are not permanent due to the boundary review process by the Board of Education.

Recently my colleagues and I unanimously passed Council Bill 42-2019, which raised the rate for the school facilities surcharge paid by home builders in Howard County to fund school constructions. All revenue raised from this surcharge is dedicated to school construction for the Howard County Public School System. Council Bill 42-2019 is imperative to the success of county while ensuring that developers paying their fair share. Also recently, my colleagues and I heard public testimony for Council Bill 64-2019, an act permitting Howard County Council the authority to impose a five-cent fee on disposable plastic bags that are 2.25 mils thick. Revenue generated by the plastic bag fee, would go to the Disposable Plastic Reduction Fund. This historic legislation is critical for the advancement our communities and county by implementing changes in behavioral patterns, stream clean-ups, and educational resources for students through their academic curriculum. I am pleased to say that Council Bill 64-2019 passed!

The year flew by as my colleagues and I drafted, voted, and approved major legislation that would impact the county. I am proud of every vote and amendment I have introduced to enhance my commitment and vision of our community. As we roll into the new year, I encourage you to contact my office and let me hear from you on how I can further champion personal and public safety, education, and community vibrancy throughout District 2.

It is my pleasure to serve you, your family, and residents of District 2. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office by calling (410) 313-2001 or by emailing ojones@howardcountymd.gov . I hope you will continue to stay engaged by visiting my council website at https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/Districts/District-2 .
AN ACT requiring a specified fee of .05 cents on disposable plastic bags that are 2.25 mil thick. The county will remit 0.04 cents per disposable plastic bag sold creating a Disposable Plastics Reduction Fund to curtail behavioral practices, provide environmental educational programs, and ensure water pollution education and stream clean-up.
District 2 Updates
Back to School —Tuesday, September 3rd
September 3rd marked the first day of the 2019-2020 school year. Along with the County Executive, I visited Howard High School on their first day to commemorate the new school year.

I had an amazing time meeting with staff and students from seven schools throughout our district.
Meet Former US Secretary of Education John King — Wednesday, September 10th
On September 10th, I had the pleasure to meet John King, US Secretary of Education. During our informative meeting we discussed the education system throughout Howard County and America. Equity and learning experiences were discussed.
Constituent Coffee Series —Thursday, September 26th
Thank you for supporting my third “Constituent Coffee Series,” featuring the Howard County Police Department, Howard County's Sheriff Office, Howard County Fire and Rescue, FIRN, NAACP, and Indivisible/ CASA on "Know Your Rights". 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.
A Vintage Affair with Voices for Children: Howard County —Friday, September 27th
Late September, I joined my colleagues at A Vintage Affair with Voices for Children: Howard County at the Historic Oakland Manor. The event was sponsored by the Maryland CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) Association. During the event, a silent auction was held to benefit the voices of children in Maryland.
Athelas Institute 5K — Saturday, October 5th
This fall, I joined the Athleas Institute for their inaugural "A Mile in My Shoes" community event to support our community members with intellectual disabilities. It was a great walk/run to support an even greater cause!
Autism Society's Walk — Saturday, October 5th
I had the honor to present a County Council resolution to the Howard County Autism Society, for their annual walk/run. The event raised over raised over $65,000 to support, promote awareness, and advocate for autism.
Reservoir High School American Government Class Visit 
Thank you Matt Gresick for inviting me to speak your Government classes at Reservoir High School. I enjoyed the students' interests in our local legislative process and their questions on what it means to be an effective legislator.

This experience continues to inspire me in my journey as a representative for Howard County.
Community Events and Opportunities
Festive Families: A Symphony of Lights Event

Experience the Lights up close with your family, friends or group with the Symphony of Lights Festive Families walk-through open through January 1, 2020 !

The event will be begin at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the entrance. Children 3 and under are free.
Cured New Year's Bash
Cured will be hosting a New Year's Eve bash from 8:00 PM until l the ball drops featuring a buffet dinner, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight. The Monster Band, featuring John Teagle, will be performing that night.

Tickets are $75 per person and pre-paid reservations are required.

For more information please visit their website .
Midnight at 7!
Celebrate New Year's Eve with the entire family on December 31st from 5 to 7:30 PM . The event will feature food, activities, music, and fireworks, as well as the last chance to walk through the Symphony of Lights course.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. A family 4-pack of tickets is $50. Children 3 and under are free.

For more information please visit their website .
Raven's Tailgate
Visit Main Event at The Mall in Columbia on any Sunday in January wearing a Raven's jersey or purple and receive a 30 minutes time card for the arcade OR a free 15 minute session of laser tag.

For more information please visit thei r website.

The 45th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast
The Alpha Foundation of Howard County, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter of Columbia, Maryland are pleased to announce the 45th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast.The theme for 2020 is The Fierce Urgency of Now!

Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett, the first African-American male Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture at BSE Global with the Brooklyn Nets will be the keynote speaker. This event will be held on Sunday, January 13th from 8:30 to 10:30 AM at Martin's West; 6817 Dogwood Road; Baltimore MD, 21244.

For more information visit their website .
Baltimore Job Fair
Are you looking for a new job? Meet recruiters from Coast to Coast on Tuesday, January 14th at 11:00 AM at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia MD . During this event attendees will meet and interview with hiring managers at companies ranging from local businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.

This is a free career fair that will allow you to learn about the businesses that are hiring and what their hiring needs are.

Business attire preferred.

For more information and to register for this event, please visit their website .
Love Your Sweethearts Brunch
Are you looking for an event with good vibes, great food, and live entertainment? If so, this is the perfect event for you!

The 5th Annual Love Your Sweethearts Affair is a premier brunch for couples, family and friends in support of our health and educational initiatives.

Come out on Saturday, February 15th at 12:00 PM at Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD and enjoy our brunch buffet featuring ready to order omelets, fresh fruit, bottomless Mimosas, and more!

To purchase tickets visit their website.
Comcast Internet Essentials
Students' Spotlight
School Closures and Delays
Winter weather may bring road and driving conditions that cause changes in school operations such as delayed opening, early dismissal, or closure.

When winter or hazardous driving conditions result in school operations, the district will announce either a 2-hour late start or closed status with or without limited transportation.

School Closure Dates

  • December 23rd through January 1st: Schools closed for winter holiday and will reopen January 2, 2020.
  • Schools will also be closed February 4th for the special election. This is a change to the school calendar.

Two Hours Late

  • All schools will begin two hours later than normal.
  • Bus pick-up schedules will also be two hours later than normal.
  • Although buses will start their routes on the two -hour late schedule, road and traffic conditions may impede progress, so buses could be running later.
  • ALL BEFORE- SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, athletics and extra-curricular events are canceled.
  • Breakfast will not be served when there is 2-hour late start. Interested scholars may visit the school office for a light snack until lunch , which will be served at normally schedule times.

Notifying Families of School Closure or Delay

In times of emergencies/school closings, information will be shared with the community through the following:

Early Dismissals For Inclement Weather

If inclement weather conditions develop during the school day, the Director of Transportation follows the procedures used to determine late openings or school closures. Generally, a decision to close schools early is made no later than 10:30 AM. In deciding whether or not to close schools early, the Superintendent will consult with the Director of Transportation, the Deputy Superintendent, the Director of Operations, the Community Services specialist, the Coordinator of Athletics, the Director of Public Relations, and other staff members as appropriate.

Emergency Preparedness

Advance preparation and planning can minimize the risks inherent in any emergency situation. The HCPSS has worked closely with the Howard County Police Department, Howard County Fire and Rescue, and the Community Emergency Response Network (CER) to develop coordinated emergency response procedures. More information is on our School Safety & Security webpage .
Blessings in a Backpack for Talbott Springs Elementary
Talbott Springs Elementary School is in need of monetary donations to support an increase of students, receiving Blessings in a Backpack for the 2019-2020 school year.

The cost to feed one student over the entire the school year is $130. Visit online and specify that your donation is for Talbott Springs Elementary School, Columbia, Maryland.
HC DrugFree Teen Advisory Council Mtg (High School Students Only)
High school teens can earn community service hours through HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC). The first 2019-20 meeting will be held on Monday, Janurary 13th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM . at The Barn (Teen Center) located in The Oakland Mills Village Center. Please RSVP to Admin@hcdrugFree.org.

TAC is open to all Howard County high school students (public, private and homeschool), but everyon e must register. Forms can be found on the TAC page .

TAC provides the youth perspective to the staff and Board of Directors of HC DrugFree to increase the effectiveness of HC DrugFree's programs, newsletters, website and other services. Encourage the teens in your life to join TAC where they will have a safe place to learn and discuss what is happening in and around our community.

For more information all (443) 325-0040 or emai l Admin@hcdrugfree.org.
Spirit of Columbia Scholarship
Columbia Association's scholarship program offers up to six $2,500 education awards to graduating high school seniors who exhibit exceptional efforts in providing community service to benefit Columbia residents and those in the Columbia area. Application deadline : March 15, 2020 .

For more details, visit their website .
Winter Fun with Howard County Recreation & Parks
Welcome to the 2020 Winter 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.
Homecoming 2019
Howard High School Homecoming Football Game- Friday, September 27th
Howard High School played against Sherwood High School for their homecoming game. The match between the Lions and Warriors was fueled by a cheerful crowd of students. The marching lions premiered a full half time show, which included electric guitars, drum sets, and the school's Color Guard.
Oakland Mills High School Homecoming Football Game - Friday, October 4th
Oakland Mills High School played against Long Reach High School for their homecoming game. The Scorpions defeated the Lightening coupled with school spirit and a dynamic performance by their marching band.

To increase friendly competition each principal made a bet, that the losing school's principal would be duct- taped to the cafeteria.
Long Reach High School Homecoming Football Game - Saturday October 19th
Long Reach High School played against Wilde Lake High School for their homecoming game. Mardi Gras was the homecoming theme that featured a parade before the thrilling game between the Lightning and the Wildcats.
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:

  • Pop-top canned goods
  • Baby food and formula
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken,
  • Granola bars,
  • Cereal,
  • Pasta sauce
  • Juice,
  • Crackers,
  • Condiments,
  • Coffee and teas
  • Macaroni and cheese,
  • Boxed desserts
  • Diapers,
  • Toothpaste
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Grocery gift cards
  • Gas gift cards .

To donate, call (410) 997-0304 or email .

For information and updates, go online .
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service across Howard County
A county-wide Day of Service to honor Dr. King's life and legacy will take place as part of the Howard County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission's annual celebration in partnership with the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County and community organizations across Howard County.

Opening ceremony starts promptly at 9:00 AM  at the  Ascend One building, 8930 Stanford Blvd, Columbia, Md 21045 (same building as the Health Department) , building opens at 8:30 AM. Several organizations will have on-site volunteer opportunities and activities for individuals and families between 9:30-11:30 AM. 
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Rebuilding Together Howard County is accepting applications from Howard County residents in need of home repairs but whom are unable to afford to pay for the repairs. The possible repairs include new roofs, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, appliances, carpentry and other repairs to enable the homeowner to be safe, warm and dry. 

To apply, visit www.rebuildingtogetherhowardcounty.org . The application takes about 10 minutes to complete online. A representative from Rebuilding Together will call you to process your application. 
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 Winter
With cooler temperatures knocking, now is the time to prepare your home for winter 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 :

  • Prevent pipes from freezing. Insulating your water pipes is essential to prepare your home for the dropping temperatures. When water freezes it expands, which can increase pressure throughout your whole plumbing system. This can burst both plastic and copper pipes in your home and cause flooding.

  • Insulate your attic. If your home isn't well insulated, you are wasting heat and money. Up to 30% of your home's heat is lots through the roof, so a good place is the attic.

  • Insulate walls. As 33% - 45% of your home's heat can be lost through uninstalled walls, this is another important task to prepare your home for winter.
  • Clear your gutters. Clogged gutters prevent proper water drainage, which can damage your property. If rain and melted ice is not allowed to flow away easily, it can leak into your home and cause water damage.

  • Have your heating system serviced. Have your system, weather it is oil, solid fuel or geothermal services by a professional. It is important to have your boiler services annually to ensure it is operating properly. Boiler/heating system servicing should only be carried out by a qualified and experienced technician.

  • 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

  • Pet safety in the cold. Don't forget your beloved outdoor pets as the frost sets in. If you can't bring them in the out of the cold, ensure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and unfrozen water to drink.

If you require shelter, call Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center at (410) 531-6677
How to Stock a Pantry for Winter Weather
After heavy snowfall or blizzard conditions you could find yourself snowed in for days. Just in case your snowed in its best to prepare your pantry ahead of time. Here is some of the smartest essentials to purchase well in advance of an impending storm:

  • Bottled water ( at least 3 gallon per person, for at least 3 days )
  • Canned goods, especially cozy, warming foods like soups and stews
  • Cereal and granola
  • Anything jarred, from jellies to pickles to meats
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Peanut butter and other shelf- stable nut butters
  • Dried pasta and jarred sauce
  • Dried fruit
  • Jerky
  • Energy Bars
  • Instant coffee, hot cocoa mix
  • Extra paper products like toilet paper and paper towels
Adopt a Fire Hydrant - Keep them clear
Pledge to keep your hydrant clear for firefighters to access in case of an emergency.

In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed, or difficult to access due to snow, ice or other blocked obstructions can impede emergency fire response.

Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time.

Your help is needed! In the event of winter weather, you are encouraged to clear a three-foot area around the hydrant and ensure there is a path to the roadway. Exercise caution when clearing around the hydrant. Be cautious of vehicle traffic nearby.

How to adopt a hydrant :
To participate in the Adopt-A-Hydrant program, simply fill out and submit an online application. After registering, a crew from the participants closest fire station will deliver an "Adoption Certificate" identifying their hydrant. You can share photos of your hydrant using the hashtag #MyHocoHydrant .