BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With much of Maryland under a winter storm warning or advisory Thursday and many parts of the U.S. facing severe weather issues, Marylanders are being told to prepare for anything.
A winter storm warning is in effect for the entire state of Maryland from 3 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 through 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19.READ MORE: TIMELINE: When Will It Snow In Maryland?
Snow will likely overspread central Maryland by the pre-dawn hours on Thursday morning, arriving from southwest to northeast. Up to ten inches of snow is possible for portions of central and western Maryland. The I-95 corridor, including Baltimore, is in the three- to six-inch range.
Much of our state is under a winter storm warning or advisory as we anticipate another significant weather event late tonight through Friday morning. Snow, sleet, wintry mix, and icy conditions are likely, with the highest likelihood for heavy snow near and northwest of I-95. pic.twitter.com/yUDi1PqqDj
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) February 17, 2021
How can you prepare?
Stay off the roads if you can.
Avoid all non-essential travel. For those who have to, the Maryland Department of Transportation is asking drivers to give their crews as much space as possible.
If you are heading out to the roads, you should fully winterize your car and keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines, Maryland Emergency Management Agency says.
Keep some extra clothes and blankets in your car as well to keep you warm, including gloves, hats, scarves, extra coats, and other winter weather wear.
With the forecast quickly changing every day this week, stay aware by following our WJZ Weather Team on-air, online and on social media for any changes that may affect your day.
Prepare for possible power outages.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency is reminding Marylanders to be prepared for any power outages. Keep your mobile devices charged and have as many ways as possible to get weather alerts and warnings.
If you lose power, MD MEMA warns to never use a generator inside of your home or garage. You also should not use a gas stove to heat your home.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Up To 10 Inches Of Snow Possible For Western Parts Of State Thursday
Gather COVID-19 safety supplies.
MD MEMA is encouraging people to stock up on your hand sanitizer, masks, paper products and anything you may need in case you’re stuck at home for the next few days.
Limit your outdoor exposure.
As temperatures start to drop Wednesday, be aware of your outdoor exposure. Baltimore City warming centers are open for people experiencing homelessness or who do not have access to shelter during the storm. You can learn more on where to find these centers here.
For up-to-date warming center information not in Baltimore City, contact your local health department.
Keep your house insulated.
Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
Keep your pipes from freezing.
If your pipes do freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all the faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, MD MEMA says, starting where they were most exposed to the cold.
If you’re shoveling snow:
Avoid overexerting yourself. MD MEMA says overexertion can bring on a heart attack- a major cause of death in the winter. They suggest stretching before you go outside to shovel.
Watch out for signs of frostbite. It could be anything between loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. Get medical help as soon as possible if you feel any of these symptoms.
Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia 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 as soon as possible.
Some other things to consider:
- Keep enough food, water and medication for your household to last for at least 72 hours, MD MEMA says, adding people should remember to do the same for their pets.
- Build a kit full of enough supplies, including flashlights and extra batteries.
- Be careful with your candles.
- Keep a backup energy source, such as a mobile charger.