Hurricane Sandy: How to prepare for the storm

October 25, 2012

Here are tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross to help you prepare:

How to report power outages

Pepco: Visit www.pepco.com or call 877-PEPCO-62 (877-737-2662).

Dominion Virginia Power: Visit www.dom.com or call 866-DOM-HELP (866-366-4357).

Baltimore Gas and Electric: Visit www.bge.com or call 877-778-2222.

What to prepare before the storm

Family emergency plan. If you live in an older home, make arrangements to stay with friends or family members who have sturdier shelter. If you live or work in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor. Elderly or disabled people may need extra assistance. Remember that many shelters do not accept pets. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Emergency contacts. Make a list of emergency phone numbers. Keep it in a plastic bag.

Water. At least one gallon per person per day for three days.

Food and other provisions. A three-day supply of non-perishable (canned or dried) food per person. Baby and pet supplies as needed.

Flashlights and extra batteries.

A first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications and medical items such as glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane, etc.

Personal documents. Medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies and contact information for your home insurance agent. Keep in a plastic bag.

Extra cash.

Charged cellphone, plus a charger and extra battery.

Fill your car’s gas tank. Have an extra set of car and house keys.

Secure your property. Bring inside bikes, lawn furniture and anything that can be picked up by the wind.

Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters if you have them.

Clean out gutters.

Smoke detectors. Check that they are working, put in fresh batteries.

Generators. If you have one, review the instructions and make sure you have the right fuel and equipment.

What to do during the storm

●Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve food.

●Turn off or unplug propane tanks, electronic equipment and appliances.

●Stay indoors. Drive only if necessary.

●During power outages, do not use candles — they can be a fire hazard.

●Do not use gas cooking ranges for heating your home because of carbon monoxide hazards.

●If you go outside during the storm, stay away from loose or dangling power lines. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.

●Wear protective clothing and closed-toed shoes.

●Use your cellphone for emergency calls only, to conserve battery life.

●Do not bring generators indoors.

●Stay calm and do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

Other emergency contact information

District of Columbia Shelter Hotline: 800-535-7252

washingtonpost.com

8Check washingtonpost.com for continuous updates on weather, road conditions and more emergency information.

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