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HEAVIEST SNOW ACCUMULATION OF THE SEASON EXPECTED IN NEXT WINTER STORM

Residents should take precautions now for storm that is expected to start late Wednesday

REISTERSTOWN, MD (February 11, 2014) – Maryland residents should prepare now for what is expected to be the largest snowfall of the season. Forecasters are predicting about 6-10 inches of snow – or more — for most of Maryland depending on the final track of the storm.

In anticipation of the storm, Governor Martin O’Malley has issued a State of Emergency Declaration, which will allow the state to deploy members of the Maryland National Guard, allow emergency contracting by the Department of General Services and waive certain rules and regulations to speed recovery from the storms.

Forecasters predict this will be a heavy, wet snow. Because many trees were weakened by last week’s ice storm, it is possible that some remaining trees may not be able to hold the added weight and could fall, impacting electric service. Residents are advised to prepare for potential power outages and to conserve power as much as possible.

“It’s been a long winter for many Maryland families. With the polar vortex, a bad ice storm and several snow storms already this year, it’s incredibly important for all Marylanders to remain vigilant and find smart ways to safely conserve energy,” said Governor O’Malley. “Once again we ask our residents to be prepared, avoid travel if at all possible, and remember to keep an eye on relatives, friends and neighbors.”

Residents should have a disaster supply kit with water, non-perishable food, a battery- or crank-operated radio and other necessities in case of an extended power outage. Now is also the time to make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged in case of a power outage.

If you must travel in bad weather, makes sure your car’s battery, tires and wiper blades are in good condition and always have more than half a tank of gas in the car. Add a car charger, blankets and extra snacks and drinks to your car’s supply kit, and if you must drive, make sure someone knows where you are going and your planned route in case you become stranded.

Do not leave pets exposed to cold and snow for long periods. If your pets must remain outside, make sure they have a dry shelter, plenty of food and drinkable (non-frozen) water.  Do not put blankets or pillows in their shelter as they may become wet and frozen in a snow storm.

Several websites can provide more winter preparedness information:

www.mema.maryland.gov

www.ready.gov

www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/index.shtml

emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.asp

www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Issues-Safety-Steps-for-Winter-Storm

Residents also can follow storm-related activity in Maryland at the MEMA website listed above or by following MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or following MEMA on Facebook.

There are also several ways to track road conditions in the state from the Maryland State Highway Administration:

For winter driving safety tips: www.roads.maryland.gov

For road condition updates and to view traffic cameras: www.chart.state.md.us

Traveler information at http://md511.org/default.aspx or by dialing 511

On Twitter @MDSHA or by following on Facebook

Here are some tips for conserving energy from then Maryland Energy Administration:

http://energy.maryland.gov/facts/est.html

Senior MEMA officials will be available for interviews during the day on Wednesday to discuss individual preparedness and preparedness efforts being done by the state. To arrange an interview, please contact Angela Bernstein at 443-865-9084 (cell) or atangela.bernstein@maryland.gov.

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