Emergency agencies recommend that Maryland residents take measures to protect themselves, their homes and their pets.
Clean out gutters.
Remove outdoor antennas, if possible.
Keep trash cans sheltered.
Store valuables and personal papers in waterproof container.
Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting in anticipation of power outage. Open door only when necessary and close quickly.
Bring in lawn furniture, toys and garden tools. Anchor objects that might be wind-tossed.
Keep on hand:
Flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
A basic first-aid kit.
Emergency food and water and a can opener.
For pets, a three-day supply of food and water.
Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers for pet transport, along with towels and blankets for warmth. (Many evacuation shelters won't accept pets, so the Humane Society urges people to plan early where they will take their pets in case of an emergency.)
In the storm:
Avoid low areas; don't atempt to drive over flooded roads.
Use battery-powered lights for lighting. Avoid using candles, especially if using a kerosene heater or lantern.
More information is available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site: www.nws.noaa.gov.