Preparing for Winter Storms 2020

The upcoming snow advisory for the Mid-Atlantic region, including the greater Laurel, Maryland area reminds us all that it is important to be prepared. The most common injuries from a snow event are: from falls on sidewalks, driveways, and entryways;  heart attacks from over exertion while clearing snow; and carbon-monoxide poisoning from alternate sources of heat. The other major impact comes from loss of electrical power.

The three links below contain a wealth of information about how to prepare for winter storms, and we will not duplicate those contents here.  But to summarize some important concepts for our OSLC members and our local community:

1. Do you know who to call should you lose electrical power and need help? If you have a mobile phone, is it charged before the storm arrives?

2. Have you made arrangements to stay with someone/somewhere else with power?

3. Is your automobile fueled, in good running order, and ready to take you to another location where you can receive assistance?

4. Do you have enough food and other supplies to shelter in place for several days should the winter storm be larger than predicted and keep you from going to a store?

5. Be careful with alternative sources of heat (kerosene and propane heaters, fireplaces, etc.).

6. Don’t forget your pets.

BG&E (report or ask about an outage):

  • If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and call BGE at 1-877-778-7798 or 1-800-685-0123.
  • For downed power lines, stay away from the area and call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 or 1-800-685-0123.
  • You can report your electric outage online, including on your smart phone or tablet. If you prefer, call us 24/7 at 1-877-778-2222


  • Always assume downed power lines are energized and stay away. To report a downed wire, call 1-877-737-2662.
  • If your electric power is interrupted, be sure to report the outage to us right away. You may also Check My Outage Status or View Outage Map.
  • You can​ report your electric outage online, including on your smart phone or tablet. If you prefer, call us 24/7 at 1-877-737-2662.

Dave McGuffey

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Coordinator

Our Savior Lutheran Church, Laurel, Maryland

Center for Disease Control (CDC): Preparing for a Winter Storm/Winter Weather

Red Cross: Winter Storm Preparedness & Blizzard Safety

Red Cross: What Do You Need In a Survival Kit