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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area from 10 p.m. this evening to 11 a.m. tomorrow morning and the Calvert County Department of Public Safety urges citizens to prepare.

“We are never certain how much snow will fall in these events,” said Calvert County Department of Public Safety Director Jackie Vaughan, “But this time we are certain that temperatures will be dangerously low for a few days due to high winds and wind chill factors.”

During extreme cold weather events, the primary concern is the potential loss of heat, power, telephone service or a shortage of supplies if storm or weather conditions continue for more than one day. Residents should have the following items available:

• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Battery-operated NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information; these may be your only links to the outside
• Extra food and water; high-energy food and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best
• Extra medicine and baby items
• First aid supplies
• Heating fuel
• Emergency heating source (fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc.)
• Fire extinguisher and smoke detector

If travel or outside activity is required, citizens should:
• Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
• Watch for frostbite. Symptoms include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
• Watch for hypothermia. Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help immediately.

Residents are encouraged to consider family members or neighbors with special needs and assist them in preparing for the winter weather.

Citizens are also urged to bring their pets inside for the duration of the impending snow event and cold snap. Learn more about how to make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following guidelines provided by the humane society at their website. Please visit: www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html

To stay informed on the approaching weather event, residents should monitor local television channels, radio stations and the Internet. Stay tuned to this website and the Calvert County Government Facebook page for have updates on local preparations and county government closures should they become necessary.