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Reminders Regarding Hurricane Sandy

In preparation for the arrival and impact of Hurricane Sandy, Montgomery County has issued the following updates and reminders for residents:

Public Schools Closed
Montgomery County Public Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30. All community use activities in public schools are cancelled Monday and Tuesday, as well.

Scheduled Recreation Activities
All Montgomery Recreation scheduled activities are cancelled on Monday, October 29.

Alert Montgomery
If you have not done so already, it is important to sign up for Alert Montgomery at alert.montgomerycountymd.gov. Community members are advised to print out the safety messages currently posted on the County website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov and on other emergency websites so they can be available for referral after power is lost.

Critical Safety Information
• Dial 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency;
• Call 3-1-1 (240-777-0311 from a cell phone) for questions regarding County Government services, programs and/or issues or go to www.MC311.com for online help. MC311.com is available on smart phones. The MC311 call center will open at 6 a.m. Monday and be activated to provide information throughout the duration of the effects of Hurricane Sandy;
• Call 301-279-8000 for police-related non-emergency calls.

Leaves, Trash and Recycling
In an effort to keep County storm drains open, residents are urged not to rake leaves to the curb or into the street. The anticipated heavy rains are likely to wash any leaves along the edge of the roads into storm drains and clog the pipes worsening flooding in the County. For more information, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste.

Residents are urged to clean their gutters before the rain begins.
Montgomery County has cancelled its trash and recycling collections on Monday and Tuesday. If conditions have improved by mid week, the Division of Solid Waster Services will institute a “slide” — Monday customers will be picked up on Wednesday, Tuesday customers, on Thursday, Wednesday customers, on Friday; Thursday customers, on Saturday; and Friday customers on Sunday, with normal service expected to resume on Monday, November 5. If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service — check with your hauler or community manager.

Early Voting
Governor Martin J. O’Malley has announced that due to the storm, early voting on Monday October 29, has been cancelled. For more information and updates on Early Voting, visit www.777vote.org.

Ride On
Current plans call for Ride On to operate a normal schedule on Monday. However, residents are advised that schedules may change depending on the latest conditions

Beginning at noon on Monday, Montgomery County will open shelters at the following locations: White Oak Community Recreation Center, people and pets, at 1700 April La. Silver Spring; the Activity Center at Bohrer Park for people only, at 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg; and the Mid-County Community Recreation Center for people only, 2004 Queensguard Rd., Silver Spring.

Those going to shelters are advised to bring prescription medicines, critical phone numbers, and any comfort items such as personal pillows. Residents taking their pets to the White Oak shelter are advised that the shelter will be capable of housing dogs, cats, and small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. The shelter will be staffed by the County Animal Services Division and the volunteer County Animal Response Team (CART).
The homeless shelters –Gude Men’s, 600 E. Gude Dr., Rockville; Progress Place, 8210 Colonial La., Silver Spring; and Wilkins Avenue Women’s Shelter, 12250 Wilkins Ave., Rockville — are all prepared to serve those who arrive.

County Parking Lots and Garages
Montgomery County parking lots and garages will operate under normal rules.

Reporting Power Outages
Residents should report any power outages directly to their local power company:

• PEPCO, call 1-877-737-2662 or go to the PEPCO website http://www.pepco.com/home

• Baltimore Gas and Electric, call 1-877-778-2222 or go to the BG&E website http://www.bge.com/portal/site/bge

• Allegheny Power, call 1-800-255-3443 or go to the Allegheny Power website http://www.alleghenypower.com

Drive with caution
Drive with caution. Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road, which could lead to becoming stranded or trapped because the depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers, downed wires and other hazards.

Reporting Downed Trees
For downed trees on public property, Montgomery County residents should call -3-1-1 starting at 6 a.m. on October 29 or 240-777-0311 from outside the county or from a cell phone, or file a report at www.MC311.com. If live wires are involved, the tree is blocking a roadway, the tree is on a structure or if anyone is trapped under a fallen tree, call 9-1-1.

General Reminders
Use extreme caution when cleaning up storm damage on your property. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully – especially if you’ll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw.

Have your emergency supplies conveniently located (create an emergency kit), non-perishable food ready (don’t forget baby food and pet food if needed) and make extra ice stored in plastic bags to use in a cooler
Keep up to date with local weather conditions by TV, radio, or website.

Check on friends, neighbors and family especially our vulnerable population, to ensure they are prepared
Have an effective communication plan – text messaging can often get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t get through.

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