The National Weather Service has issued a warning for residents on the East Coast from the Carolinas to New England, regarding the impact of Hurricane Irene, which is predicted to bring tropical storm conditions to the Washington, D.C. area. Residents are being told to expect heavy rainfall, strong winds, and potential flooding.
OPC would like to provide consumers with some storm preparation tips to help you and your family get prepared ahead of this weekend’s storm.
Keep the Following Numbers Handy:
- D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Hotline, (202) 727-6161. HSEMA will provide up to the minute information on storm conditions and emergency shelters for those who need to take advantage of them.
- PEPCO Safety Emergency, (202) 872-3432 — to report wires down.
- PEPCO Claims Office, (202) 872-2455 — to request a form for electric-service related damages.
- Washington Gas, (703) 750-1400 or (800) 752-7520 – if you have an emergency involving natural gas.If you smell gas, or if you have an emergency involving natural gas, leave the area immediately and call 911.
- OPC (202) 727-3071 — to obtain information or assistance.
Storm Preparation Tips:
- Gather copies of important papers such as insurance policies, mortgage papers, passports and photos of your home’s contents and place them in a ziplock bag or waterproof container to protect them from water damage.
- Set your refrigerator to a maximum cold setting and keep it closed, in the event of a loss of power.
- Gather blankets, sleeping bags, battery-powered radios and flashlights (candles pose a serious fire hazard)
- Fill vehicles with gas.
- Get extra cash in case you are unable to gain access to a bank.
- Fill prescriptions, especially those used on a daily basis or needed in emergency situations.
- Bring in loose objects from outside.
- Secure all windows with shutters or plywood.
- Ensure you have at least a 3-day, preferably a 7-day supply of water, non-perishable food, and baby supplies – formula, diapers.
- Get a fully stocked First aid kit
OPC encourages consumers to tune into your local news channels and radio stations for updated information regarding the path and time of impact of Hurricane Irene. Additionally, online you can visit The National Weather Service, The Weather Channel and D.C. Security and Emergency Management Agency