Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner encourages residents and businesses to be prepared for very low temperatures over the next three nights, as forecast by the National Weather Service. Such frigid weather creates a higher risk of hypothermia, frostbite and carbon monoxide poisoning, especially for older adults, young children and those with chronic medical conditions.
During cold weather, the Emergency Management Division advises residents to:
- Stay indoors and dress warmly. Wear layers of clothing if there is a need to go outside.
- Prepare for power outages.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators away from windows. Never heat a home with a gas stovetop or oven.
- Check on neighbors.
- Fill vehicle gas tanks.
- Recharge cell phones and other electronic devices.
- Do not use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
- If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.
- Keep a battery-operated radio and batteries on hand to stay abreast of news.
- Do not leave pets outdoors for a long time during cold weather, as they can suffer hypothermia and serious illness.
People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce.
Resources are available in The City of Frederick and county to assist people affected by severe weather. The Frederick Community Action Agency’s Day Shelter is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the FCAA Soup Kitchen serves a meal from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. daily. The Alan P. Linton, Jr., Emergency Shelter operates daily from 6:30 p.m. – 7 a.m.
As with any emergency, citizens and businesses should have a kit, a plan, and know where to find local information. Those with kits should check them now. For those without kits, now is a good time to take action.
- Make a kit: Include a three-day supply of water for each individual in a household and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods. Don’t forget a manual can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries. The kit should also have a first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription medications and copies of important documents.
- Make a plan: Identify two meeting places — one near home and one outside the area in case it’s not possible to return home. Make plans for seniors, persons with disabilities and pets. Select an out-of-area emergency contact person.
- Businesses should be prepared for flooding and water damage, check their insurance policies and be prepared for power outages that may impact them. Sand bags can be used to block rising water. 4. Be informed: Emergency messages are broadcast on WFMD 930 AM, WFRE 99.9 FM, WAFY 103.1 FM, Frederick County Government cable channel 19 and 1085, Frederick County Public Schools cable channel 18, municipal government cable channel 99 (in The City of Frederick and where available) and WDVM TV.
Residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to register to receive emergency information specific to Frederick County from county and municipal officials via the ALERT notification system at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT.
For more information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and hazards, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/READY.
The Department of Emergency Preparedness can be contacted at 301-600-1746 or EM@FrederickCountyMD.gov.