Residents should prepare now for what is expected to be the largest snowfall of the season, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. Forecasters are predicting about 6 to 10 inches of snow -- or more -- for most of Maryland, depending on the final track of the storm.
Forecasters predict this will be a heavy, wet snow. Because many trees were weakened by last week’s ice storm, it is possible that some remaining trees may not be able to hold the added weight and could fall, impacting electric service. Residents should prepare for potential power outages and conserve power as much as possible.
“It’s been a long winter for many Maryland families. With the polar vortex, a bad ice storm and several snow storms already this year, it’s incredibly important for all Marylanders to remain vigilant and find smart ways to safely conserve energy,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Once again we ask our residents to be prepared, avoid travel if at all possible, and remember to keep an eye on relatives, friends and neighbors.”
Residents should have a disaster supply kit with water, non-perishable food, a battery- or crank-operated radio and other necessities in case of an extended power outage. Now is also the time to make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged in case of a power outage.
If you must travel in bad weather, make sure your car’s battery, tires and wiper blades are in good condition and always have more than half a tank of gas in the car. Add a car charger, blankets and extra snacks and drinks to your car’s supply kit, and if you must drive, make sure someone knows where you are going and your planned route in case you become stranded.
Do not leave pets exposed to cold and snow for long periods. If your pets must remain outside, make sure they have a dry shelter, plenty of food and drinkable (non-frozen) water. Do not put blankets or pillows in their shelter as they may become wet and frozen in a snow storm.
Several websites can provide more winter preparedness information:
Residents also can follow storm-related activity in Maryland at the MEMA website listed above or by following MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or following MEMA on Facebook.