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Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Storm of February 5th-6th-7th, 2010

Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics handled 1823 calls for service over a 3-day period starting on Friday, February 5, 2010 (475 calls) while up to 29 inches of a heavy and wet snow blanketed the area. The busiest day was Saturday, February 6, 2010, when 752 calls were handled including nearly 200 for power lines down and transformer fires/arcing. Sunday, September 7, 2010, the snow ended the night before and the big dig out was underway with increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic sharing the roads. We logged 596 calls for service on Sunday.

Fire/EMS units faced numerous challenges in dealing with accumulated snow, ecspecially on neighborhood streets, to reach our destination. It was not unusual for a 4-wheel drive unit to reach a patient first and deliver them to a transport unit waiting on a main street. Nor was it unusual to have multiple Fire/EMS units snowbound at any given time over the weekend. Four-wheel drive vehicles equipped with plows were detailed to each of the seven battalions and were routinely dispatched to help units out of high snow.

Another winter storm is forecast starting Tuesday, February 9, 2010.
National Weather Service - Sterling has issued an updated Winter Storm Watch. The updated forecast now calls for at least 8" snow, with over 10" quite possible. The NWS Storm Prediction Center currently shows a 10-40% chance of the storm generating over 12". The D.C. Metro area is close to the south edge of this storm, so to some degree the storm totals will depend on the exact path of the storm. The storm is currently forecast to arrive around 2-3PM Tues, and will last into Wed late afternoon. Temperatures will start near freezing, but will drop into the mid-upper 20's during the storm. Wed high is 33-36. NW winds at 15-25 MPH. A Winter Storm Warning is highly likely to be issued later today.

Safety Tips for Power Outages

Top Safety Tips for a Power Outage

• Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting.
• Never use candles!
• Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
• Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
• Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
• If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
• Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they are
prolonged due to Mother Nature.

The Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants
you to know the following when handling generators in the case of a power outage.

Using Portable Generators Safely

• The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

• Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

• Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

• Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can.