From Harford County government:
Harford County has been placed under a Blizzard Watch by the NWS for Friday afternoon into Saturday evening. At this time, we can expect heavy snow, winds gusts in excess of 45 mph and wind chills in the low teens. This could have a major impact on Harford County and I ask that you plan accordingly. Based on this forecast, we could expect power outages as well. I will provide a daily update on the storm; however, today’s reminders to our citizens include the following: please refrain from parking on the street if possible, clear fire hydrants near your home, if using a generator…please make sure it is only used outside in a well ventilated area.
From Maryland State Police:
Caution Urged As Snow Storm Moves In
Maryland State Police are urging drivers to use caution and think twice before heading out this weekend due to the potential snow storm.
Here are recommendations from state troopers:
– Stay home this weekend unless the nature of your employment requires you to travel (emergency responder, medical profession, snow removal etc.);
– Maryland State Police will begin towing vehicles currently abandoned more than 24 hours prior to the storms arrival;
– Once the snow emergency plan is put in place for a particular county, abandoned vehicles will be towed immediately;
– If you have to drive, ensure you are driving a vehicle equipped for snow travel;
– Don’t abandon your vehicle on a snow emergency route (interstate, MD or US route) without notifyingMaryland State Police or the police agency responsible for that particular roadway;
– If you have called a private tow to remove your vehicle, let Maryland State Police know so we don’t dispatch resources to have it removed;
– If you have an accident, move your vehicle out of the travel portion of the roadway if possible and contact Maryland State Police;
– Give snow plows room to work and do not try to pass a plow train;
– If your vehicle is towed, contact the State Police barrack or local police agency where it was abandoned with a full description (make, model, tag number and exact location) so the tow truck company information can be provided to you for pickup;
“For this snow storm, drivers should make informed decisions before they leave home because once you are on the highway, it may be too late to change your mind,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William M. Pallozzi said. “Make every effort to say off the highways if at all possible during the snow storm. Troopers are ready to address traffic crashes and delays and will be working in coordination with the State Highway Administration, Maryland Emergency Management Agency and other related agencies.”
Drivers can take advantage of the live traffic cameras made available by the State Highway Administration. The traffic cameras are positioned at various locations throughout Maryland and can give drivers important information about their route of travel before leaving. The cameras and other real-time traffic information can be found by visiting www.roads.maryland.gov and clicking on “commuter” and then clicking on “live traffic.” Additional information concerning road conditions can be obtained on line at www.511md.org or by calling 5-1-1.
Citizens are urged not to call Maryland State Police barrack to simply check on road conditions. Calls to police or 9-1-1 centers during the storm should be for emergency situations only.
Troopers will again be working with State Highway Administration’s Coordinated Highway Action Response Team and tow companies throughout the state to remove abandoned vehicles so that snow removal operations can be efficiently conducted. When snow emergency plans are placed into effect, motorists are not permitted to park on the shoulders of an interstate or state highway and vehicles left there will be towed.
Motorists whose vehicles are towed from an interstate or a state highway by State Police can determine where their vehicles were taken by contacting the Maryland State Police barrack in the county where they abandoned their vehicles. A complete list of barracks can be found at the Maryland State Police website at www.mdsp.maryland.gov . Commercial vehicles are invited to wait out the storm at one of the Maryland State Police scale house parking lots that will be available overnight. These locations are also available on the State Police website at http://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/InspectionFacilities.aspx.
From the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal:
STATE FIRE MARSHAL REMINDS ALL MARYLANDERS OF FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY ISSUES DURING THE UPCOMING WINTER STORM
The potential impact of the coming winter storm may cause disruption in electrical service to our homes. State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is cautioning residents when using alternative light and electrical sources during power outages. “These easy to follow tips will help all Marylanders avoid injury or death during possible power outages,” said the State Fire Marshal.
• Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles. Keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand at all times. If you prefer the look of candles, consider flameless battery operated candles that offer the flickering light without the potential fire hazard.
• If using candles, make sure they are placed on a stable piece of furniture in sturdy holders that will not tip over. Candles should fit in the holders securely and the holders should be made of material that will not burn.
• Keep candles away from anything combustible, such as; clothing, books, papers, curtains, decorations or anything else that can burn.
• Do not place candles where they can be knocked over by children or pets.
• Always extinguish all candles when leaving the room or before going to sleep.
• Never use candles, matches or lighters if medical oxygen therapy is used in the home.
• Check portable electric heaters for frayed/damaged wires and ensure they are clean and placed on a flat level surface. Use only “listed” by an approved testing laboratory equipment and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
• Do not use extension cords with portable space heaters. The extension cord can overheat and cause a fire. Always plug the cord directly into the outlet.
• If you use kerosene fuel fired heaters, use only “K-1” kerosene fuel. Never fill the unit inside, remove it to the exterior after it has cooled before refueling.
• Open a window enough to provide proper ventilation for fuel burning appliances.
• Keep combustibles (furniture, curtains, clothing, paper goods, etc.), at least three feet from all heat sources.
• Fuel burning appliances can produce the deadly, tasteless and odorless gas known as carbon monoxide. Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of carbon monoxide.
• Always turn off portable heating equipment when leaving the room for extended periods. Portable heaters should never be operated unattended.
• If you are depending on portable generators for electricity during power outages, use extreme caution when refueling. Fuel splashed on a hot muffler could ignite, causing severe burns and serious injuries.
• Never attempt to refuel a generator while it is running. Always allow the unit to cool before attempting to refuel.
• Operate generators outside of the home and outside of garages. Carbon monoxide gas produced by operating generators is poisonous and can quickly cause severe injury or death.
• Ensure placement of the generator does not allow carbon monoxide to enter the home through windows, doors or other openings.
Please make every attempt to reach out to elderly family members and neighbors to ensure they are prepared and safe as well. Offer to pick up essential items and test their smoke alarms and CO detectors. Remove snow and ice from around the exterior doors in case a quick escape is necessary.
During and after the storm, please try to clear snow away from fire hydrants in your neighborhood to help ensure quick access by the fire service if needed. Additionally, monitor your own health by drinking plenty of fluids and take appropriate breaks to avoid over exertion issues.
The State Fire Marshal offers one final tip that is just as important. “Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These early notification devices are some of the most effective fire and life safety tools for preventing injury or death from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning”.