MCFRS News Release

Hurricane Survival Guide

The most important thing you can do is be informed and prepared.

Rockville - - - Area residents are encouraged to be prepared for the possible impacts of severe weather as Hurricane Irene heads north and expected to hit the region this weekend. Hurricane Irene is the first major storm of the Atlantic hurricane season and officials are monitoring its projected path closely.
As with any weather-related emergency, residents are urged to take steps now to ensure that their homes and families are prepared for a possible close encounter with Hurricane Irene. Hurricane hazards may come in many forms including lightening, flooding, storm surge, tornadoes, high winds, etc. With the month of September designated as “National Preparedness Month,” it’s the perfect time to review and restock your Emergency Kit supplies and ensure everyone is familiar with your family’s Emergency Communication Plan.

Before the storm

During the storm

After the storm

  1. Listen to the authorities. Remain indoors until an official "all clear" is issued.
  2. Use extreme caution when cleaning up storm damage on your property. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully - especially if you'll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw.
  3. For downed trees on public property, Montgomery County residents should call -311 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays (or 240-777-0311 from outside the county or from a cell phone), or file a report at If live wires are involved, the tree is blocking a roadway, the tree is on a structure or if anyone is trapped under a fallen tree, call 911.
  4. Know your limits. Many storm-related deaths and injuries involve existing health problems exacerbated by the physical demands of cleanup activities.
  5. Drive with caution. Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road, which could lead to becoming stranded or trapped because the depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious.
  6. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers, downed wires and other hazards.
  7. Call 911 for life threatening situations only.
  8. Call authorities to report any hazards such as downed power lines, leaking gas mains, broken water mains and overturned gas tanks.
  9. Watch what you eat. If power was off during the storm, check refrigerated and frozen foods for spoilage. When in doubt, throw it out.
  10. Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Never attempt to drive on a flooded road.   
  11. Replenish supplies used from your emergency kit as soon as possible, you might need it again next week.
  12. Check on your neighbors - especially the elderly, those with special needs or the disabled.

Important utility company numbers:
PEPCO:  To report an outage: 877-PEPCO-62 (877-737-2662) and press 1
                To report a downed wire: 877-PEPCO-62 (877-737-2662) and press 2

BG & E: To report an outage: 877-778-2222
                To report a downed wire: 410-685-0123

Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power): 1-800-255-3443

Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-366-4357

Washington Gas: 800-752-7520

WSSC: 1-800-828-4002

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