Area Prepares for Winter Storm
Snow and winter weather predicted for region
Washington D.C. (March 5, 2013)
A large weather system is predicted to move through Maryland this week. Large snow totals are expected across western and central Maryland, and those along Maryland's coast may see snowfall as well.
For area residents who live in areas that are expected to receive heavy snowfall, State Farm® recommends:
- Stock a three-day supply of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person in your home.
- Listen for weather alerts and updates on a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
- Prepare alternative heat sources such as a wood-burning fireplace or stove, or a space heater certified by an independent testing laboratory.
- Purchase a generator.
- Check batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
- Check that your fire extinguisher is full.
- Know how to shut off water valves so that you can take action if a pipe bursts.
- Cover sidewalks with sand, rock salt or non-clumping cat litter.
- Bring pets indoors. Put horses and livestock in a protective shelter with food and water.
- Gather supplies, including batteries, blankets, flashlights and a first-aid kit.
- Check your antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid levels and fill your tank with gas.
According to a recent State Farm survey, only 9 percent of people had all the necessary safety items in the trunk of their car. Be prepared and make sure your car has:
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Hazard triangle/road flares
- First aid kit
- Small shovel, ice scraper and brush
- Tow and tire chains
- Basic tool kit
- Bad of road salt or cat litter
- Extra windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze
- Wooden patches
- High-energy, non-perishable food
- Cell phone charger
- Blanket and warm clothing
During the storm, your safety is our first priority. It's important that you stay inside and off the road. Other things you can do to ensure your safety during the storm:
- Listen for weather updates.
- Eat regularly to give your body energy to produce heat.
- Stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia, and alcohol slows circulation; both cause dehydration.
- Lower the temperature inside your home, and close off the furnace registers to unoccupied rooms (and then close their doors) to conserve heat.
- Allow a slow drip from hot and cold faucets to relieve pressure that may build up inside pipes and cause them to burst.
- Use flashlights instead of candles if you're without electricity.
- Do not use a generator inside your home or close to your home's exterior.
- Plug space heaters directly into wall sockets and unplug them when they're not in use. Keep space heaters 3 feet away from flammable materials. Be sure to properly ventilate alternative heaters to avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Periodically clear snow from around exhaust pipes or vents outside your home.
Winter driving conditions can turn treacherous in an instant. Snow, ice, poor visibility, and extreme cold can disable your vehicle or make roads impassable. Even on a relatively short trip, you can find yourself stranded for several hours. It's important to plan ahead for such a situation.
- Pull off the highway, if possible, turn on your hazard lights or light flares, and hang a distress flag from an antenna or window.
- Call 911 if you have a phone and describe your location as precisely as possible.
- Remain in your vehicle so help can find you.
- Run your vehicle's engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Exercise a little to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion and sweating.
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Conserve your vehicle's battery. Use lights, heat, and radio sparingly.
- At night, turn on an inside light when you run the engine so help can see you.
State Farm Public Affairs
Office: (202) 263-4404
Cell: (202) 674-9374
About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.