City Prepares for Winter Storm
Annapolis, MD (2-11-14) Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides is making sure the City is prepared for the forecasted winter storm that could bring 6-12 inches of snow to the City.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness & Risk Management (EPARM) is monitoring a winter storm that is expecting to bring up to 12 inches of snow Wednesday night through Thursday evening.
All cancellations and notifications will be posted on the City website at www.annapolis.gov. In the meantime, the Department of Public Works has 900 tons of salt on hand with Public Works crews working all day today preparing its fleet of vehicles, including some ancillary vehicles such as a John Deere tractor and Bobcat. The City ordered 4,500 gallons of diesel and 4,000 gallons of regular gas to ensure full tanks. Ten crews will work 12-hour shifts and the City has also called on its contractors to check on their availability for snow removal.
Here are some snow preparation tips:
1. Pick up basic survival items. You should have enough supplies to survive without leaving your house for a few days, as well as tools to help you leave if necessary. Stock up on these necessities:
· A shovel: Even if you live in an apartment you should own a shovel as you may need to dig yourself out before your ground crew gets in, and they are unlikely to dig out your car.
· Flashlights and batteries. Make sure you have good quality flashlights and lamps with fresh batteries. You can also purchase self-powered flashlights and self-powered radios. Some models will also charge your cell phone.
· Candles. In case your flashlight suddenly gives out or you run out of batteries, you can light your home the old-fashioned way.
· Non-perishable food. Stock up on canned soups and vegetables, powdered food, and grains like rice and pasta. Make sure you have enough to last your family at least three or four days. Make sure you have a manual can-opener, as well.
· Bottled water. If you're worried about the pipes freezing, stock up on some water. You can buy it bottled, or simply purchase a few gallon jugs and fill them from the tap.
· Blankets and warm clothing. You may already have these items, but remember you will need enough blankets to keep you warm without any heat and in adverse conditions. Consider purchasing mittens, thick woolen socks, and a hooded sweatshirt, if you don't already own these items.
· A camping stove or grill. A gas-powered camping stove is a wise investment for any emergency situation. If you have an electric stove in the kitchen a camp stove is almost a necessity. Be sure you use it with proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and have plenty of backup fuel.
· Matches to light your gas range/camping stove/candles. Do not rely on lighters that can run out of fuel or break down all too easily.
· A battery operated radio. This way you can get news without wall power. Make sure the batteries are good. It is also possible to buy a motion charging radio, as you can with a flashlight.
· Prescription medications. Like food, it is always wise to have enough to last you a few days.
· A first aid kit. You never know what kind of injuries or emergencies will happen, so make sure you have sterile bandages, disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, and over-the-counter painkillers available.
· A cell phone with a cord, or a portable cell phone charger. Cordless home phones will not work when the power is out. Many states require at least one wall plugged phone, which receives power from the telephone connection, in all households.
· Anything else vital to your household. You should always have ample supplies of items like diapers, formula, pet food, and so on before the storm hits.
· Make sure your car is full of gas. You may need to go out before everything is operational.
2. Keep yourself warm and secure your home. Here’s what to do:
· Stop your pipes from freezing. Before you settle into a nest of blankets, go around your house and turn on every faucet so that it's dripping just slightly. Keeping the water moving through the pipes should help prevent them from freezing.
· Seal up any drafts. Put towels at the bottom of any doors that have a gap, or around loose windows. If your windows are single-pane, close the curtains or pin a blanket up over them to keep the heat in.
· Dress in layers. Put on a thin layer of cotton clothing close to your skin, and cover as much as your body as you can. On top of that, wear as many layers as you need to keep warm, finishing with one (or two) pairs of warm woolen socks and a sweatshirt or coat with a hood.
· Wear a hood. You lose a lot of heat from the top of your head, so keep it covered.
3. Stay updated. Having current information is vital in an emergency, so make arrangements to stay informed.
· Watch updates on the news or listen to the radio for as long as you can before power goes out.
· Use social media for updates. If you don't have access to a battery-operated radio, follow national and local disaster agencies (such as FEMA) on Facebook and Twitter. Check periodically.
· Use SMS messaging if land-line service is down. You can send an SMS via basic text messaging, or through Twitter updates. Get the phone numbers or Twitter handles of all your family members, and make sure they know how to reach you.
· Keep tabs on your family members. Try to find out where everyone is before the storm and make a plan to stay in a safe location. If you're going to be separated from anyone, set up a pre-determined time and method for touching base again, such as connecting via text message every 12 hours.
4. Anticipate a long power outage. By preparing you can make a power outage bearable.
· Keep the fridge closed. This will help it stay cool in spite of the lack of power, and keep your food from spoiling as quickly. Only open it when it's absolutely necessary, grab what you need, and close it up.
· If temperatures are below freezing, you can keep refrigerated items in an enclosed porch.
· Entertain yourself with games, puzzles and crafts.
For more information on the City’s snow plan, go to http://bit.ly/1ffBAcW