Tips for surviving the storm

February 07, 2010

Surviving the storm
Here are some tips for coping with the impact and aftermath of a snowstorm like the one that slammed Baltimore and the surrounding area this weekend.

If you must travel
•Let someone know your timetable and your routes.

•Stay on main roads. Avoid back-road shortcuts.

•Carry a winter storm survival kit, including mobile phone, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, food, water and a shovel.

•If you get stranded, don't leave your vehicle. You could become disoriented in the snow and cold.

•Stay in your car. Your chances of survival greatly increase if you stay put.

•Run the engine periodically for about 10 minutes each hour for heat.

•Make sure your exhaust is cleared of snow and ice and crack a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Move arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating.

•Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Take frequent breaks.

•Dress in layers and wear mittens (which are warmer than gloves) and a hat.

If your power goes out
•Do not call 911, unless there is an emergency.

•Notify the power company. Don't assume it knows. BGE's number: 877-778-2222.

•Do not go near downed power lines.

•Stay indoors. Dress warmly and wear a knit hat, since you lose heat through your hands and the top of your head.

•If you're cold, take a warm shower. Even if your water heater is electric, the water will stay warm for a few hours.

•Unplug computers, TVs and similar devices to guard against a power surge - and leave at least one light switched on, so you'll know when the electricity comes back on.

•Do not use outdoor-type heaters inside. They give off odorless carbon monoxide, which can kill.

•Check on elderly neighbors and others who might have medical conditions that require equipment that runs on electric power.

•Make sure portable generators are adequately ventilated.

Sources: National Weather Service; American Red Cross; Federal Emergency Management Agency; power companies.

Surviving the storm

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