With another storm approaching this evening and the possibility of more hazardous road conditions and power outages, residents are encouraged to be prepared and take safety precautions. This is a good time for residents to fully charge their cell phones, fill their gas tanks, and make sure they have on hand a battery-operated clock radio, non-perishable food and a can opener, a corded telephone, flashlights and batteries, and blankets.
Sign Up for Alert Montgomery
Email, text and pager alerts about emergency weather and traffic are automatically sent to those who sign up for the free service at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov . The service is intended for residents, businesses and visitors who want timely information about impending and current County weather conditions, traffic situations, program closures and schools.
Slippery driveways and sidewalks can be particularly hazardous, and residents are encouraged to keep them well shoveled and apply materials such as rock salt, sand or kitty litter to improve traction.
Pedestrians should be especially careful when crossing the street, and should wear appropriate shoes and brightly colored clothing while walking in snowy conditions. Reflective clothing or stickers provide maximum protection, particularly at dawn and dusk when visibility is poorest. Pedestrians and drivers are reminded to “walk with care and drive with caution.”
Downed Trees and Wires
To report downed trees on public property, County residents should call 311 or the Police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000. To report downed live wires, call 911.
Safety Tips When Power Is Out
In the event of a power outage, avoid using candles for lighting. Having a sufficient supply of flashlights and fresh batteries on hand to provide lighting is a better choice. Also, never use a candle when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern, since the candle flame can ignite fumes from the fuel.
Residents who use a home generator when power is out are reminded to keep the generator outdoors, because generators operated indoors can produce carbon monoxide -- a colorless, odorless, tasteless and potentially toxic gas that is produced by incomplete combustion of liquid fuels (gasoline, kerosene or propane), solid fuels (wood, coal, charcoal), or natural gas. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in injury or death before anyone knows that it is present. Gas or charcoal grills, propane heaters and stoves, and kerosene space heaters are also a source of carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
If traffic signals are rendered inoperable by a power outage, slow down and treat intersections as three or four-way stops. Be courteous and advance slowly through the intersection when it’s your turn.
In the Event of a Power Outage
Residents should report any power outages directly to their local power company:
PEPCO, call 1-877-737-2662 or go to the PEPCO website
Baltimore Gas and Electric, call 1-877-778-2222 or go to the BG&E website
Allegheny Power, call 1-800-255-3443 or go to the Allegheny Power website
Food Safety Tips
A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. In a prolonged power outage, dry ice or a block of ice will keep your refrigerator as cold as possible. Check with local retailers for ice supplies.
For more information about when to save and when to throw out certain foods, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food safety website
Go to the Snow Map for Plow Status
To check on the status of snowplows in your neighborhood, report a missed street or report a damaged mailbox, go to the County’s snow map .
Call 311 For Information and Assistance
For information about the status of County programs and services, to report unshoveled sidewalks or to acquire assistance, call 311 to speak to a call center representative or go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/311 for online help.
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