BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officially declared a State of Emergency for Baltimore in order to ensure comprehensive preparations for Hurricane Sandy and to help allow for future federal reimbursement of potential storm costs. Mayor Rawlings-Blake and city agencies are coordinating efforts to ensure that all necessary emergency response vehicles are in-service and fully fueled, and that adequate police, fire, EMS, public works, and forestry staffing plans are in place going into the expected storm period.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake will activate Baltimore’s Emergency Operations Center beginning at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The Emergency Operations Center remains on watch-level until that time. The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management will continue to work with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Sandy.
The three sandbag locations remain in operation for city residents Saturday until 9:00 p.m. The locations are Rash Field, Broadway Pier in Fells Point and the parking lot of 401 Thames Street.
Residents should prepare for a severe weather event with these three essentials first:
* A battery-powered radio with extra batteries. If the power goes out, a battery-powered radio may be the only way to receive information.
* Flashlights or battery-powered lanterns with extra batteries. These are essential, even during relatively brief power outages. Don’t use candles! They pose a serious fire risk.
* Enough water to last three days. That’s at least one gallon per person, per day for drinking and sanitation.
* City residents with special medical needs, prescription drug needs, or important medical appointments should plan ahead now and make arrangements that may be needed in the event of severe weather, prolonged power outages, and possible flooding.
* City residents are also encouraged to clear any debris from neighborhood storm drains to ensure proper drainage and prevent flooding.
* To protect your food during a power outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food will stay frozen for 36 hours or more in a fully-loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. Residents are also advised to stock up on non-perishable items.