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Monday, September 17, 2012

Stay Informed-Stay Ready-Stay Safe for Possible Severe Weather

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

The National Weather Service is forecasting potential severe storms moving through Prince George’s County Tuesday with the biggest threat coming between 3:00 pm and 10:00 pm. These storms could produce damaging winds, torrential rain, thunderstorms and flooding.

Citizens and residents are advised to take appropriate precautions now to stay safe.

Stay informed by monitoring local news broadcasts about approaching weather.

Stay ready to take quick actions in the event of severe weather including remaining indoors and going to the lowest possible level or floor and if possible in a room with no windows. Have your emergency kit ready. For additional information on preparing your emergency kit click here.

Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe.

Flood Safety Tips... • Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet. • If you come upon flood waters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!! • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. • If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely. • Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio, Internet or television.

In the event of a power outage – do not use candles!!! – Use battery powered flashlights and lanterns. Ensure that all power switches on electrical appliances are in the “off” position. This will avoid a fire hazard when power is restored.  Have a battery powered radio available to monitor weather and changing conditions.  Ensure your cell phone, lap tops, tablets, etc. are fully charged before the storm arrives.

Treat all downed utility lines as if they are energized. Deny access to the area of the downed wire and notify 911. Never touch or handle a downed utility line.

If you are driving on wet roads; windshield wipers/headlights on, reduce your driving speed, increase the space between you and the car in front of you and give yourself plenty of room to come to a stop.  Driving in severe weather brings additional risks; you should immediately seek shelter in a building.


The NOAA National Weather Service
wants to remind us all that it is very hazardous to
walk or drive a vehicle through flood waters.

Why is Turn Around Don't Drown® So Important?
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or ear flood waters. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.
What Can I Do to Avoid Getting Caught is This Situation?
Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: Turn Around Don't Drown®.

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when your vision is more limited.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don't Drown®
Follow these safety rules:
  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don't Drown®
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don't Drown®
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Information provided by NOAA National Weather Service

PGFD PROFILE - Bridgette P. Wilson

You just never know where you will see or hear Bridgette P. Wilson, a 25-year employee of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department. Bridgette is an Administrative Assistant assigned to the Office of Information Management; where she has worked for the past 15 years. The office of Information Management is located at the Fire/EMS Department Headquarters in Largo. She handles a myriad of technical issues which includes email issues, employee self-service, computers, printers, cellular telephones, and Department incident reports, just to name a few.

Bridgette enjoys photography and singing in her spare time. She is often heard singing the National Anthem at Department events; recruit graduations, promotional ceremonies, ribbon-cuttings, opening ceremonies at the IAFF Local 1619 Softball Tournament, as well as the Bowie Baysox Stadium.

Bridgette was hired and assigned her first 10 years on the Department to Human Resources and Recruitment office and to the Bureau of Fire/Rescue Operations (BFRO). Her office was located at the Stone Building in Upper Marlboro, which was relocated to Brightseat Road in Landover. One of Bridgette’s first assignments included working at BFRO, when the Fire Service Building was located on Rhode Island Avenue in Brentwood.

Bridgette Wilson resides in Brookside Park in Oxon Hill. She is a very proud mom of her only child, Phillip; 22 years of age, who recently graduated with Honors from South Carolina State University with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry.

When asked what her favorite thing to do when not working for the Fire/EMS Department, Bridgette said, “I sing in a gospel band 'Posse 4 Christ' with my two brothers and a few friends. We celebrated 10 years in ministry in April 2012. We perform at Community Days, and various venues throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia. We released our current album on July 20, 2012, entitled 'Grateful'. It’s filled with various genres of music in the 11 songs on the release. I have been singing in the church choir since I was a child. As I grew up and started singing solo, I was invited to sing only at funerals. Some would think that’s awful, but when one realizes that you can bless people with your voice in their lowest times it’s great! Weddings are great too though!” said Wilson.

Being a part of the gospel band is very demanding and Bridgette sacrifices her time, talent and energy just about every weekend, “Serving the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area in song,” said Bridgette.

Bridgette’s future plans include continuing to work for the Fire/EMS Department and ministering when she has the opportunity.