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Hurricane Irene Info & Resources
And Updates as of Aug 27 2011

UPDATE 2011.08.29 2230: Insurance  Commissioner Goldsmith activated emergency regulations requiring all health insurance carriers in the State to waive any time restrictions on payment for prescription medication refills and replacement of durable medical equipment or supplies, eyeglasses and dentures while the State of Emergency declared by Governor O’Malley is in effect. This means that consumers forced to evacuate because of Hurricane Irene can obtain prescription refills or replace their eyeglasses, for example, regardless of the refill date or benefit plan time limitations. Link
UPDATE 2011.08.27 1030 NOAA near real-time hurricane Irene tracker
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UPDATE 2011.08.27 0930 Hurricane Preparedness info from Prince George's County Council District 1, Mary Lehman
(My reformatting to fit this page)

Hurricane Update
Mary Lehman


County Seal 

Councilwoman Mary Lehman
County Council District 1
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Be Smart, Stay Safe.

Dear Neighbors:

As Hurricane Irene approaches, I want District 1 residents to come through safe and sound, so please read on and prepare for this storm. Officials expect multiday outages after an 18-22 hour long tropical storm with winds of 50 mph and 4-6" of rain in our area. First, please visit  our stateEmergency Management Agency for storm prep tips. 
   
Power
We know many in District 1 are concerned about being without power. We will be in touch with PEPCO and BGE regularly. Please report outages promptly to your utility company. If you need additional help, please call our office at 301-952-3887. Please speak slowly and repeat your phone number twice. We will check this line regularly and will work as fast as possible to address your concerns.

Those utility customers (individual or institutional) currently registered as special needs or medical needs have been prioritized. This registration process is not currently possible as it requires medical certification.

BGE
BGE is dedicating additional resources and personnel to storm preparation. More than 850 out-of-state and contract linemen and support staff have either arrived or are expected to arrive today and tomorrow, with an additional 200 overhead linemen requested.

Customers should call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 and may check every 4 hours or so to receive the latest available information regarding service restoration. Storm and outage map

Customers may also stay informed of BGE's restoration efforts via Twitter and Facebook.

PEPCO
PEPCO has an additional 480 linemen on hand and is working to increase this number. They have held over all staff and PEPCO contractors. See PEPCO's website for storm prep tips.

Customers should call PEPCO at 1-877-737-2662 to report outages. You may check this number--choosing the non-emergency number--for updates regarding service restoration. Choose option 2 only for an emergency, such as a downed wire.

Please report your outage once and choose the call back option to confirm power has been restored. This way, if power has not returned, you can report again as there is likely another problem.  Work crew and outage map 

Customers can also report outages online. You may visit PEPCO on Twitter and Facebook.

DPW&T
County crews and command staff will work 12-hour shifts to address any emergencies resulting from the storm.  To report flooding, downed tree debris or other hazards on county roadways or in public rights-of-way, please call DPW&T at 301-350-0500.

Residents and travelers are urged to proceed with caution. During heavy rainfall or flooding, residents and citizens are reminded of the following safety tips:
  • DO NOT try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater.
  • Should you find yourself in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving.
  • Should you find yourself in a car approaching a flooded area, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!
  • DO NOT attempt to drive on or through a flooded roadway or area.
  • Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.
  • If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.
  • Travel cautiously through malfunctioning or dark signals, yielding to traffic within the intersection.  
  • If you typically experience flooding in and/or around your home, move valuables to a higher floor.
  • Multiple bags of sand can be purchased from local hardware stores to prevent rain waters from entering doorways and/or basements.   
  • Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.
Other safety tips to prepare are available here.  The County has established a non-emergency Hurricane Hotline at 301-352-1290 that will be operational Saturday at 2 PM.

Please check in on your elderly neighbors or call in a power outage for someone with a health problem.

Feel free to forward this email to your neighbors or neighborhood list. Let us know if we can be of service.

Thank you,
Mary Lehman
County Council, District 1
Please call my office at 301-952-3887  
with issues or concerns. Be safe! 

Contact Us
if we can be of help.  
Mary Lehman, County Councilwoman
MALehman@co.pg.md.us

Bridget Warren, Chief of Staff BEWarren@co.pg.md.us

Matt Dernoga, Policy Analyst
MADernoga@co.pg.md.us

Elena Luyo, Constituent  Aide 
EALuyo@co.pg.md.us 


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UPDATE 2011.08.26 1715 MD State Crowd Sourcing web page 
 iReport Irene allows people across the State of Maryland to provide real-time information about local issues and impacts relating to hurricane Irene to emergency planners and response teams and to allow Maryland residents the opportunity to view reports from across the state.
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UPDATE 2011.08.16 1650: Hurricane Irene Preparedness info from Maryland State District 21, Senator Rosapepe
Hurricane Irene is gaining momentum and is expected to reach our area this weekend.  With heavy winds, heavy rain, and flooding, power outages will be possible.  Both Pepco and BGE have announced that they will be bringing in extra crews to work around the clock to deal with power outages.  If you experience power loss or see downed power lines in your neighborhood, please report them to the numbers below:

Pepcopower outage -- 1-877-Pepco-62 (1-877-737-2662)
downed power lines -- (202) 872-3432

BGE power outage -- 1-800-255-3443
downed power lines -- (410) 685-0123

Make sure you have enough nonperishable food, water and emergency supplies for you and your family for up to 72 hours.  Stay tuned to the radio, TV, or internet for updated road and weather information.  Please try to stay off the roads and stay home if the hurricane reaches us.  This will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to emergencies. If you must drive, do not drive through standing water, particularly in areas that are more prone to flooding.

For the latest news and alerts from the National Hurricane Center, you can click here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#IRENE
Updates from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency can be found here: https://twitter.com/#!/mema_feeds
Email us if you can't find the help you need, and please pass on this information to any friends, family, or neighbors who might need it.

Senator Jim Rosapepe
Delegate Barbara Frush
Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk
Delegate Ben Barnes
21st District Delegation 301-858-3141
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UPDATE 2011.08.26 1600: BG&E Press Release Update
BG&E Planning For the Potential of 500,000 or More Customer Outages Beginning as Early as Saturday Afternoon
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UPDATE 2011.08.26 1545: Hurricane Irene Preparedness info from Maryland State District 23/A Senator Peters

Dear Neighbors,

As you may be aware, Hurricane Irene is as of this writing projected to strike Maryland this weekend. While we do not know with certainty, it is possible the storm may contain intense rainfall, flooding and sustained gale force winds. As we experienced earlier this week, we cannot predict every natural disaster but we can and must be prepared for natural disasters such as hurricanes. Being prepared can help protect yourself and those you love and prevent property damage to your house, car or boat.

For tips on what supplies to have ready and precautions you can take as well as what to do should a hurricane or tropical storm strike, click here for information from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. For general information on hurricane preparedness, please click here. For boaters looking for information on how to secure their boat, please click here.

Finally, for the latest news and alerts on Hurricane Irene, click here.

Whether Hurricane Irene makes landfall over Maryland or not, it is always good to have extra batteries, flashlights, a battery operated radio and canned goods available in case of an emergency. If we take these simple steps we will be able to better manage whatever Mother Nature sends our way.

It remains a great honor to represent our community in the Maryland Senate. If I can be of service to you or anyone you know, please call my office at 301-858-3631, or email me at Douglas.Peters@senate.state.md.us.

Sincerely,

Senator Douglas J. J. Peters

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UPDATE 2011.08.26 0945: Prince George's County Press Release
Family Emergency Plan & Resources for Hurricane Irene
All but a few links in that press release have been fixed by the county.
Here are my tested fixes for the links that are still broken:
www.Ready.gov,  Listo.gov www.redcross.org
ONLINE VULNERABILITY INFO
FEMA ONLINE HAZARD MAPS
NWS STORM-READY
www.facebook.com/redcross
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UPDATE 2011.08.25: Fixed link to BGE’s online Storm Center
Bookmark and watch this post for any updates regarding South Laurel.
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Mayor & City Council of Laurel Press Release, Aug 25, 2011
Office of the City Administrator, Public Information Office
8103 Sandy Spring Road •Laurel, Maryland 20707
(301) 725-5300 ext. 2244 Laurel.md.us • jcollins@laurel.md.us

BG&E Prepares for Hurricane Irene

BALTIMORE, Aug. 24, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irene and is taking proactive action to ensure it is prepared to aggressively respond to widespread and extended power outages should they occur. In addition to reminding all available employees of their storm assignments, the utility is identifying materials, equipment and other resources necessary to restore electric service as safely and as quickly as possible. BGE is also in the process of pre-mobilizing several hundred linemen and support staff from outside of BGE’s service area to supplement its resources. Some of these resources are expected to begin arriving in BGE’s service area today, with more likely to arrive on Thursday and Friday. This proactive action will ensure BGE and its external resources are available to begin restoration work as soon as the storm has cleared Central Maryland and it is safe to do so.
     “BGE’s storm leadership has been regularly meeting since earlier this week, discussing Hurricane Irene and its potential impact on BGE’s service area,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “BGE’s priority is always to restore electric service as safely and as quickly as possible. However, BGE customers should prepare for the possibility of widespread, extended outages due to heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour knocking down whole trees and large tree limbs onto power lines. An event of this magnitude could leave some customers without power for multiple days.”
     The current track of Hurricane Irene has its peak impact on BGE’s service area from Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning. Customers could begin to experience outages on Saturday and may experience multiple outages even after the storm has cleared the system on Sunday due to weakened trees and tree limbs that may not fall until after the storm has left the area. Should BGE customers experience storm-related outages, they are encouraged to stay informed of BGE’s restoration efforts via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
     “In addition to ensuring it is prepared to address the approaching storm, BGE is proactively attempting to contact customers via automated telephone message, strongly advising them to have a plan in place now to protect their families and property in advance of the storm’s arrival,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “BGE customers who are elderly, physically challenged or dependent upon electricity for medical equipment should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. Customers using generators should follow the manufacturers’ instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas. Additionally, customers are encouraged to visit BGE’s online Storm Center for important information on how to prepare for an approaching storm.”
     Customers should have basic items on hand in advance of a storm, including the following:
  • Flashlights – not candles
  • Fresh batteries
  • Battery operated clock radio
  • Corded telephone
  • Fully charged cell phone
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Blankets
     Customers are always reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to report them immediately by calling 1-410-685-0123. Power outages should be reported by calling BGE’s automated system at 1-877-778-2222.
     Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.
     BGE's restoration priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest.
     In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions which could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm related service restoration are tested. BGE also reviews its Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.
     For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
     BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America. ###