by Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson, Prince George’s County, Maryland
Over the next several days Hurricane Sandy will approach the mid-Atlantic, with the exact landfall location still uncertain. Wherever the storm comes on shore, the National Capital Region, including Prince George’s County, will feel the impact of the storm with high winds and heavy rain early next week. Power outages and flash flooding are a strong possibility. Citizens, residents, and businesses should be making preparations for the storm now. Do not panic, the storm is still days away and taking action now will allow plenty of safe preparation time. The National Weather Service is forecasting we could start seeing some rain and wind as early as Sunday and weather progressively worsening through Tuesday and into Wednesday.
Citizens, residents and businesses are advised to take appropriate precautions now to stay safe.
Stay informed by monitoring local news broadcasts about approaching weather. Have all mobile devices fully charged before and during the storm.
Have your emergency kit prepared, stocked and ready. For additional information on what should be in your kit go to: www.ready.gov
Your emergency kit should include a battery operated radio and flashlights. We do not recommend the use of candles during power outages.
Ensure your Smoke alarm and CO detector are tested and have fresh batteries.
Consider purchasing bags of ice that can be stored in your freezer.
Ensure your cell phones, lap tops and tabletsare completely charged.
Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
Consider having a quantity of cash on hand in the event that ATM’s and banks are out of power.
Remove any objects in your yard that could become airborne during periods of high winds. Secure larger items by tying them down.
Clean and clear your storm drains of any debris that could clog and back up rain water.
Management companies should safely inspect their rooftops to ensure all gutters and roof top drains are clear and clean up any debris that will clog drains when it rains. Pooling water on roof tops could cause water damage insideand cause a possible collapse.
Stay ready to take quick actions in the event of severe weather including remaining indoors and going to the lowest possible level or floor and if possible in a room with no windows. Have your emergency kit ready.
Check with your work location on what is the plan and notification for cancellations.
Set up a communications plan with family members and friends. Remember that “texting” has been more reliable then cell phone calls and emails during times of high usage and outages.
If you have a generator – follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it safely, position it far enough away from your residence to avoid CO finding its way inside, refuel after cool-down, use approved outdoor heavy-duty extension cords that are free of any rips and tears.
Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe. Don’t panic, stay calm and prepare.
For more info on Prince George’s Couty, visit www.PGFDNEWS.com.