In light of the National Weather Service “Blizzard Watch” from January 22 at Noon through January 24 at 6:00 a.m., the Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness reminds citizens to take preparedness steps and safety precautions now.
DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT John (Jack) E. Markey, Director
Department of Emergency Preparedness Seamus Mooney, Director
Contact: Seamus Mooney, 301-600-1746
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date: January 20, 2016
Citizens Reminded to Prepare for Winter Storms
FREDERICK, MD – In light of the National Weather Service “Blizzard Watch” from January 22 at Noon through January 24 at 6:00 a.m., the Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness reminds citizens to take preparedness steps and safety precautions now. Heavy accumulations of snow can bring down trees, utility poles and power lines. Snow can disrupt communications and power for days while utility companies repair damage. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous because they freeze before other surfaces. A mild winter, like Frederick County has experienced so far, can cause people to be unprepared for a sudden winter storm.
• A supply of clean drinking water and foods that can be eaten without cooking are important emergency supplies in any season. Consider special needs such as medicine - keep enough on hand for several days.
• Keep an eye on neighbors, particularly those who are elderly, caring for young children or living alone.
• Stay indoors during the storm.
• Walk carefully on snowy and icy walkways.
• Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. Let someone know the destination, the route, and when expected arrival time.
• Park vehicles away from trees and power lines when possible.
• Dress in layers when going outside.
In case of loss of power:
• Closing off unneeded rooms and congregating in the warmest room with a supply of blankets will help conserve the heat in the house.
• DO NOT use candles for light. Candles are a leading cause of houses fires. Instead, stock battery-operated lights, such as flashlights, and a good supply of batteries.
• Keep a battery-operated radio and batteries on hand to keep abreast of news and information. A corded telephone that is plugged directly into the jack can operate without electricity.
• Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
Signs of hypothermia:
• Shivering, although as hypothermia worsens, shivering stops.
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination.
• Slurred speech or mumbling.
• Confusion and poor decision-making, such as trying to remove warm clothes.
• Drowsiness or very low energy.
• Lack of concern about one’s condition.
• Progressive loss of consciousness.
• Weak pulse.
• Slow, shallow breathing.
Tips for safe snow shoveling:
• If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.
• Choose a snow shovel that is right for you. Be sure that your shovel has a curved handle, this helps you to keep your back straighter when shoveling.
• Push the snow, do not lift it.
• Be sure your muscles are warm before you start shoveling. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain or strain than warm, relaxed muscles.
• When you grip the shovel, make sure your hands are at least 12 inches apart.
• Never throw snow over your shoulder.
• Remember that snow can be very heavy. One full shovel load can weigh as much as 25 pounds.
• Pace yourself by taking frequent breaks to gently stretch your back, arms and legs.
For additional preparedness tips, visit the Frederick County Government website www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/READY or contact the Department of Emergency Preparedness at EM@FrederickCountyMD.gov or 301-600-1746.
All Frederick County residents are strongly encouraged to sign up to receive emergency notifications at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT.