This weekend's snowstorm is expected to bring strong winds. Residents should be prepared to deal with power outages. Here's what you need to know before the lights and the heat go out.
1. Call your power company. If you're a BGE customer, call (877) 778-2222. Do not call 911, unless you see wires down.
2. Dress in layers to stay warm. Wear a knit hat and gloves.
3. Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer as much as possible. Your food will stay cold for hours, if the door is left closed.
4. If you're cold, take a warm shower. Your hot water heater, even if electric, will stay warm for a few hours.
5. Unplug some of your major appliances. When the power comes back on, a power surge could damage those appliances.
6. If you have a generator, do not connect it to your home's power system unless it has been properly installed and disconnects you from the main power grid when it is operating.
7. Check on your elderly neighbors. Make sure they are dressed appropriately warm.
8. If you have a regular wood stove or fireplace, you can use it for heat. Do not use kerosene heaters, BBQs, or any outdoor type heater inside. They can create dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide.
9. If you have to go out, drive carefully. Remember that traffic signals may be out during a power outage.