County officials are stressing preparation in advance of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
"It's all about preparing," said Elise Armacost, a county spokeswoman. "This could turn out to be a really nasty couple of days. We just don't know yet but we don't want to wait until it's on us and say 'Wow, this is a serious emergency.'"
Hurricane Sandy Thursday night was off the coast of Florida. Forecasters at the National Weather Service believe the storm could track up the east coast and possibly join with another weather system moving in from the Great Lakes region.
County agencies are running through pre-storm checklists and preparing for the worst, said Armacost.
Earlier this month county officials stressed personal preparedness in the wake of the derecho that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in the Baltimore metro area.
A complete checklist of preparations can be found on the county emergency preparedness website.
Armacost highlighted a few tips:
- Stock up on batteries for flashlights and battery operated lanterns. County officials discourage the use of candles because of the risk of fire.
- Plan for relatives who have health issues that require access to electricity and have a backup plan or alternate place to take them in the event of an extended power outage.
- Have a plan for pets.
- Stock up on water. The minimum is one gallon per person per day for three to five days though Armacost said more would be needed for cooking and sanitary reasons. Count each pet as a person.
- If you're worried about refrigerated or frozen foods, stockpile ice and dry ice before the storm. The county and BGE do not provide dry ice.
- If you have a generator, make sure to use it outside the home, at least 15 feet from the building.
- Keep tabs on the storm and government related information through the county's emergency website or the county's Twitter account.