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Monday, February 16, 2015

Current Forecast, Warnings and Safety Tips for Presidents Day Snowstorm

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
509 AM EST MON FEB 16 2015

...WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS
MORNING...
...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING
TO NOON EST TUESDAY...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...5 TO 10 INCHES.

* TIMING...SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP EARLY THIS EVENING AND
  CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY MORNING. HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED
  THROUGH TONIGHT.

* WIND CHILL...AS LOW AS 10 BELOW.

* TEMPERATURES...4 TO 24 ABOVE.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES
  WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS THAT CAN QUICKLY
  CAUSE HYPOTHERMIA AND FROST BITE THROUGH THIS MORNING. BEGINNING
  THIS EVENING...ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY WITH
  VISIBILITIES BEING REDUCED TO ONE HALF MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.
  THE COMBINATION OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITY WILL
  MAKE TRAVELING DANGEROUS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW
ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN
EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS...MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND
GLOVES.


The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Prince George's County. The men and women of your Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you to help us by staying safe yourself.  This is a storm everyone needs to stay informed, stay ready and stay safe.   Some of our highest concerns during a winter weather event is everyone driving, staying warm and power outages. Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe

• Stay prepared by bringing out your emergency preparedness kit and having a supply of essential items (food, water, warming items, radios, batteries, flashlights, etc.) available.

• Stay informed by monitoring TV news, news radio, National Weather Service radios and the Internet. Important information may be broadcast that could affect you and your family. Ensure your cell phones and lap top computers are fully charged now – before the storm occurs.

• Stay safe by keeping fire safety and injury prevention a priority in your activities. It is important to remember that fire apparatus and ambulances will be slower to respond to your emergencies due to the weather and hazardous driving conditions. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now to ensure they are working. In the event of an emergency, have an escape plan and call 911 immediately from a safe location. 

• If possible, stay indoors and off the roads at all costs. Reduced traffic on roadways will allow public works crews an opportunity to clear a path that can be used by first responders to handle emergencies. If you must venture outdoors, dress warm and in layers, wear a hat and gloves, and cover your face with a scarf. 

• A winter storm always has the potential to cause power disruptions as snow and ice will collect on power lines and tree branch’s that will then come in contact with power lines. Do not approach a downed power line – always consider downed power lines to be “live.” Restrict access to the downed lines and call 911. 

• Speaking of calling 911 – please – only call 911 for emergencies. Activity for Fire and EMS service could be high. If you do not have an emergency you should call 311 for assistance.
 
• In the event of power outages – use flashlights and battery powered lanterns for illumination – do not use candles. Ensure you have a battery powered radio. 

• Give space heaters space – keep space heaters at least 3-feet away from anything combustible like bedding, furniture, paper, etc. 


• Use only seasoned wood products in your fireplace and use extreme caution when disposing of fireplace ashes as they can remain hot for days after the fire is out. Dispose of ashes in a metal container outside and away from the house.

• Some winter storms produce enough snow and ice that will make it difficult to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition or anyone over the age of 50. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts, and take frequent breaks. 

• It is time to be a good neighbor – check on your senior citizen neighbors and ensure they have heat and food. Shovel their sidewalks and check on them frequently.

• Clear away snow from the fire hydrant on your street. If the fire hydrant is on your property; you are required to clear away the snow. 

• If you must drive – reduce your speed, increase the distance between you and the car in front of you, turn on your headlights, and do not be distracted by cell phones. Keep an eye out for pedestrians as they will venture out into the streets as sidewalks disappear.This information especially applies to 4-wheel drive SUV operators.

Finally, remember to think of our four-legged furry friends and keep your pets indoors. 

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Fire Department stands ready and prepared to provide the best emergency and non-emergency services available. We ask you to help us by preventing emergencies from ever occurring to avoid the need for us to have to respond to that emergency. Remember, Safety First ensures Everyone Goes Home.

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