Governor O'Malley advises residents to take appropriate safety precautions as moderate to heavy snow showers make their way across Maryland. As road conditions continue to deteriorate, the focus turns to the evening commute.
"It is extremely important that Marylanders take the appropriate safety measures to ensure safe travels during this evening's commute," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "If you do not have to be on the roadways, we encourage you to limit travel. If you must travel in these conditions, keep a family member or friend informed of your route and take a fully charged cellphone."
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has been monitoring the weather forecast all day and has been in touch with the four National Weather Service offices serving the State as well as local emergency management offices. MEMA and other state agencies are closely monitoring conditions to support local efforts.
"We want all Marylanders to be safe during this winter weather. Once the snow showers move out of the area we are expecting very cold temperatures to remain with us" said MEMA Executive Director Ken Mallette. He offers the following tips for dealing with the upcoming cold snap:
Wear layers of clothing that can be easily removed if you become overheated, and make sure to use socks, hats and scarves to protect feet, head and exposed skin.
Make sure your car's radiator and windshield washer fluid tanks are full and watch for black ice when driving.
In addition to normal supplies in your car, keep some extra blankets and snacks, such as energy bars, available in case you become stranded.
Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
Consider SAFE alternative heating methods in case you lose power, or see if friends or relatives can provide a place to stay. Avoid using heaters with open flames or heating methods that produce carbon monoxide gas.
Limit the time pets stay outdoors in these conditions, including pets that normally live outside. If they must remain outside, please make sure they have a dog house or some other type of shelter available and plenty of non-frozen water to drink. (Avoid leaving blankets outside for pets to sleep on in the winter as they may become wet and icy.)
If some of your pipes are susceptible to freezing, leave a trickle of cold water running from the sink on the lowest level or your home. If possible, insulate pipes.
Tune in to your local news and radio stations for the most up-to-date information in your jurisdiction. Be sure to follow MEMA, local officials, and the National Weather Service on Facebook, Twitter, and regularly check websites for updates.