The Maryland Emergency Management Agency on Thursday evening urged residents to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which some forecasts project will hit Maryland as early as Sunday.

"If the storm hits our area, it is expected to move slowly and could bring as much as 48 hours of heavy rain and strong winds," a statement released by the emergency agency said.

Even if the storm does not strike Maryland, MEMA warned residents to be cautious of falling trees as well as stream and coastal flooding.

In order to prepare, MEMA recommended residents prepare for prolonged power outages, keep extra blankets and warm clothing available to keep warm after the storm hits, charge cell phones and electronic devices, secure loose yard furniture, have a battery-operated or crank radio, and stock up on water, non-perishable food items, and other essential items before the storm hits Sunday.

Baltimore County government is holding an emergency preparedness press conference at 1:30 p.m. Friday, in which county emergency personnel will update residents on response plans and Baltimore Gas and Electric Vice President for Corporate Communications Rob Gould will detail the utility company's preparedness plans.

Baltimore County residents can receive the latest storm-related updates on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bacoemergency.