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EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | Box 4117 | Gaithersburg, MD 20878
240-777-2300 (voice) | 240-777-2345 (fax)

Major snow and ice storms have the potential to create significant problems, including high snow drifts, downed power lines, hazardous driving and freezing temperatures. ajor snow and ice storms have the potential to create significant problems, including high snow drifts, downed power lines, hazardous driving and freezing temperatures.

Prior to the Emergency

  • Ensure that you have enough food water, medication (if needed) and batteries to last 2 to 3 days. See DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
  • Check portable radio, smoke detectors and flashlights to ensure they are properly operating and that the batteries are fresh.
  • Check heating equipment. If you use propane or fuel oil make sure that levels are near full
  • Have a snow shovel ready.
  • Run necessary errands now, don't wait until the storm strikes.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is properly winterized and that snow tires and/or chains are ready. Also, keep a blanket, snow shovel cellular telephone (if applicable), sand or cat litter and flares in the vehicle.

During the Emergency

  • Stay indoors. Only travel when absolutely necessary. If travel conditions become difficult, seek refuge and remain there until the storm has passed.
  • Remove snow and ice from doors, decks and gutters. If heavy snow accumulates on roof do not attempt to use a ladder or climb onto the roof to remove it. Call a contractor instead.
  • When going outside, ensure that you have proper clothing to protect you from the elements. A heavy coat, gloves, boots and a hat are a must.
  • When shoveling snow, avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks.

After the Emergency

  • Watch for downed power lines due to the accumulation of snow and ice. If lines are down, do not touch wires or anything that the wires may be in contact with. Contact your local utility and report the condition.
  • Unless there is an emergency, do not drive immediately after the storm Give transportation workers a chance to remove snow or ice off highways and residential streets.
  • If snow has covered fire hydrants, shovel it away so firefighters can easily locate them in the event of an emergency.

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Last edited: 10/11/2011