LEONARDTOWN, MD – With sustained, bitter cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills predicted this weekend, the Department of Emergency Services reminds all community members to be treat extreme temperatures just as you would a coming snow or ice storm – Be prepared.

Prolonged cold conditions like those expected this week raise the risk of freezing home plumbing, community water main breaks, automobile failures, transportation interruptions, power outages, home heating system failures and more.

How to prepare:

  • Assemble an emergency kit – Include a flashlight, batteries, extra blankets, warm clothing, a battery-operated radio, food that is easy to open and prepare, and plenty of clean drinking water (at least one gallon per person per day) in case water supply lines are compromised.
  • Know where the main valves and switches are for gas, water, and electricity – and ensure you or someone you trust can operate them in case you need to shut them off.
  • If you must use portable space heaters to warm your home, check that yours has been tested and certified to the latest safety standards.
    • Keep heat sources at least three feet from combustible items, like paper, blankets, and curtains.
    • Never leave a fireplace or portable heater unattended; turn off heaters and extinguish flames when you leave the room or go to bed.
    • Never use appliances that weren’t designed to heat your home, such as cooking stoves and ovens, for that purpose.
  • Have a plan for a safe, warm place to go, and a way to get there, if it becomes unsafe to stay in your home.
  • Check on older loved ones and neighbors to ensure they are safe, warm, and healthy, and have the means to stay that way.

Visit prepare.stmarysmd.com or cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html for additional tips and resources to prepare for severe weather and other emergencies.

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