From Harford County Public Schools:
Harford County Public Schools CLOSED Tuesday, January 7; Employees Code BLUE
Based on information received from the National Weather Service and the Harford County Emergency Operations Center regarding dangerous weather conditions, Harford County Public Schools will be CLOSED tomorrow, Tuesday, January 7, employees CODE BLUE.
From Harford County Government, Department of Emergency Services:
Harford County Braces for Frigid Temperatures; Safety precautions issued in light of subfreezing temperatures
Record-setting cold temperatures are gripping much of the country and Harford County is part of the deep freeze affecting the mid-Atlantic region.
“We are in the midst of a critical threatening situation due to below normal temperatures and wind chill,” said Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers. “Hypothermia is a major concern, particularly for our elderly, the very young and homeless population,” Ayers added.
In light of the frigid sub-freezing temperatures, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) is issuing several safety precautions to area residents.
• Keep the thermostat of the home at 65 degrees at a minimum. Consistently check to ensure the home is warm. Although heating cost may be rising, health and safety during extremely cold weather conditions should be a priority.
• Place weather stripping around windows and doors to help prevent drafts.
• Keep doors to unused rooms closed and close curtains at night.
• Add an extra blanket to the bed as opposed to using electric blankets.
• Dress in layers of loose fitting clothing. If venturing outdoors, make sure the head is covered.
• Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. When travelling drive during daylight hours and keep others informed of your schedule and planned destination.
• Have a safety kit in the vehicle. This would include, but is not limited to, a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom or brush, working flashlight, battery powered radio, water, snacks or food items, emergency road flares and blankets.
• Keep the gas tank full to help prevent gas line freezing.
• Keep extra hats, gloves as well as a sweater or coat in the car
General Safety Precautions:
• Keep cellphones fully charged if possible to help ensure they are ready in the event of an emergency.
• When going outdoors, cover exposed skin to help prevent frostbite. Look for signs of hypothermia and seek medical attention immediately if symptoms develop.
• In the event of a power outage, avoid using generators in the home or garage. Generators produce carbon monoxide and should only be located outside in well ventilated areas to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning to occupants of a home.
• Avoid the use of portable grills, camp stoves, or other propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, or any partial enclosed area. Such equipment should only be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and away from doors, windows or vents which could allow carbon-monoxide to come indoors.
• Remember to check on and help neighbors and those with special needs, including infants, senior citizens, those with chronic illnesses and people with disabilities.
• Don’t forget the safety and well-being of pets. Do not keep pets outdoors during sub-freezing, harsh weather conditions. Pets should be brought indoors.
• If leaving the home for an extended period, place pets in an interior room that is heated, along with food and water to help ensure health and well-being.
“Harford County is experiencing some of the harshest weather conditions we have seen in decades,” Emergency Manager Ayers said. “We urge everyone to take the opportunity to prepare themselves, their family, and loved ones for several days of sub-freezing temperatures,” Ayers added.
At this time Harford County Government has not opened any shelters. Emergency management personnel are closely monitoring weather conditions, and should a large-scale power outage occur or other situation develop requiring the need for shelters, officials will respond accordingly.
The Harford County Department of Community Services, working in conjunction with the Department of Social Services is helping members of the homeless community during this exceptionally cold weather period.
For further information on winter and storm preparedness, visit the Harford County Department of Emergency Services website at www.harfordpublicsafety.org or the Federal Emergency Management Agency website at www.fema.gov or call 410-638-4900.
From Emergency Manager Rick Ayers:
Wind Chill Advisory
Good Evening, this is Emergency Manager Rick Ayers with an emergency message. Harford County is getting prepared for the coldest weather in decades and we are currently under a Wind Chill Advisory by the NWS. The wind chill later tonight is expected to be (minus 5 to minus 15)F. Therefore, Hypothermia is a major concern and anyone exposed to the cold weather should take extra precautions. At this time, we are not expecting major power outages; however, we will monitor the situation carefully. The wind is expected to blow 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph tonight and most of the day on Tuesday. In light of the frigid temperatures, I’m asking that our citizens have a plan. Also, as a reminder do not use generator’s, grills, etc inside your home for heat. If possible, remember to check on your neighbors and those with special needs. Thanks and be safe.
From Harford County Council District C Councilman “Capt’n” Jim McMahan:
Extreme Weather for Harford
Good morning, we need to prepare for the coldest weather to impact Harford County in decades. The dangerous cold weather will arrive in Harford County this afternoon and the wind chill will drop to as low as (-5 to -20) degrees. The wind chill will remain in the negative range throughout Tuesday. On Wednesday, the winds will diminish but the high temperature will remain in the high 20’s. Therefore, we will not get out of this arctic air mass until Thursday.
I participated in a conference call with Rick Ayers, emergency manager for Harford County Emergency Operations at 1100 hrs this morning. He emphasized numerous times that the coming weather event is a:
Life threatening situation not to be taken lightly.
I also spoke with community services who have a cold weather plan in place and have already reached out to the homeless population.
At this time, we don’t know if we will have any major power outages; however, we are expecting wind gusts up to 35 mph. Therefore, we will be prepared should we have to open a shelter.
Animals: all animals should be brought inside during this event. Should power be interrupted and you would be forced to leave your home put the animal in the warmest part of the house with food and water and it should make it through the event.
Emergency generators and heaters.
Make sure all heaters and generators are well ventilated. Death can occur silently when proper precautions are not followed. Never use charcoal grills inside your house. (basement or garage)
Emergencies only should be called to 911.
Non-emergencies, you can call 410-638-4900.
Just a follow up for your information. Harford County has already put up 12 homeless families representing 23 children and 19 adults.
Over the weekend, Harford county firefighters battled 4 working fires. Should a call come for a major fire in the next three days, a special support unit will be dispatched to protect firefighters from the frigid temperatures so they can work on the scene in limited exposure shifts.
Please take all the warnings seriously.
Exposed flesh can receive frost bite in 30 minutes or less.
For council president Boniface and the Council, please use caution.
Yours in service,
Capt’n Jim McMahan
Councilman District “C”
From Maryland State Police:
TROOPERS URGE CAUTION AS OLD MAN WINTER BLOWS
Maryland State Police are urging drivers to use caution and to think twice before heading out during the expected blast of cold weather from ‘old man winter’.
Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police has directed all personnel to be on high alert for disabled vehicles with the anticipated record low temperatures. Troopers will be working with the State Highway Administration’s, Coordinated Highway Action Response Team, to assist disabled motorists as quickly as possible.
With cold weather advisories across the state and weather forecasters predicting bone chilling temperatures, state troopers are encouraging motorists to make sure they and their vehicles are prepared and properly equipped. Motorists ought to keep a survival bag in their car which should include a blanket, a flashlight (with batteries) or flares, jumper cables, and an extra bottle of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
The cold weather can wreck havoc on a vehicle, so check the following before traveling:
– Check the tire pressure and tread
– Check the battery
– Check the car fluid levels
– Make sure you have a good spare tire
Drivers are reminded their cell phones can be used to call 9-1-1 in emergencies or #77. Additional personnel have been reassigned to assist with road patrol duties to supplement regular patrol forces across the state.