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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect

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

The National Weather Service (NWS) a "severe thunderstorm watch" for Prince George's County until 5:00 pm today.  This is a statement from the NWS about this afternoons weather:

1052 AM EST Wed Mar 1 2017

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for the Maryland portion of the
Chesapeake Bay, Tidal Potomac River, and adjacent counties in
central Maryland and northern Virginia as well as the District of

.DAY ONE...Today and Tonight
A severe thunderstorm watch is now in effect until 5 PM for the
Baltimore and Washington metro areas.

Scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail
are expected this afternoon. The most likely time for severe
thunderstorms is between 2 PM and 5 PM.

A Gale Warning is in effect for the waters today and tonight.

A wind advisory may be required tonight for winds in excess of 45

With high winds in the forecast the potential for tree falls and power outages will be high.  The combined civilian, volunteer and career members of your Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department want to remind you of some good common sense safety tips.

While these storm safety tips are for a "worst case" scenario they are always good to have on hand and be aware of.

Stay informed by monitoring local news broadcasts on TV and radio as well as reliable news  Internet sites about approaching weather.  Sign up to ALERT - Prince George's and receive important news and storm updates on your mobile device.  Follow @PGFDPIO on Twitter,  www.PGFDNEWS.com  and PGFD Facebook for up to the minute Fire/EMS news and safety advice.  

Have all mobile devices fully charged before and during the storm.

Have your emergency kit prepared, stocked and ready.  For additional information on what should be in your kit go to: www.ready.gov

Your emergency kit should include a battery operated radio and flashlights.  We do not recommend the use of candles during power outages.

Ensure your Smoke alarm and CO detector are tested and have fresh batteries.

Consider purchasing bags of ice that can be stored in your freezer.

Ensure your cell phones, lap tops and tablets are completely charged.

Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.

Consider having a quantity of cash on hand in the event that ATM's and banks are out of power.

Remove any objects in your yard that could become airborne during periods of high winds.  Secure larger items by tying them down.

Clean and clear your storm and outdoor basement drains of any debris that could clog and back up rain water.

Management companies should safely inspect their rooftops to ensure all gutters and roof top drains are clear and clean up any debris that will clog drains when it rains.  Pooling water on roof tops could cause water damage inside and cause a possible collapse.

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. 

Check with your work location on what is the plan and notification for cancellations.

Set up a communications plan with family members and friends.  Remember that "texting" has been more reliable then cell phone calls and emails during times of high usage and outages.

If you have a generator - follow manufacturer's instructions on how to use it safely, position it far enough away from your residence to avoid CO finding it's way inside, refuel after cool-down, use approved outdoor heavy-duty extension cords that are free of any rips and tears. 

NEVER use a generators indoors or in garages - carbon monoxide will quickly build up and could kill you and anyone else in the house.

Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe.  Don't panic, stay calm and prepare.

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