BALTIMORE - City and county officials in Baltimore urged those living or staying in the area through next week to prepare for the worst.
Hurricane Sandy, according to several early predictions, is expected to hit north of the Chesapeake Bay, bringing with it at least the chance of a whole lot of rain and wind.
In a nutshell, though predictions on Sandy's path could change, officials have urged those in the area to prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Sandy claimed two lives as a category 2 hurricane before it reached Cuba Thursday.
"If the storm stays within current projections, it is possible that we could experience fallen trees, minor flooding, and power outages," said Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "Regardless of the eventual path of the storm, there are things that families and business can do now to be prepared for a severe weather event. You should be ready to manage the most common crises affecting our region - weather-related power and water outages - if you have certain basic supplies."
The mayor's office advised those preparing for the storm to purchase the following:
TRACK THE STORM
A battery-powered radio with extra batteries
If the power goes out, a battery-powered radio is the only way to receive information.
Flashlights or battery-powered lanterns with extra batteries
These are essential even during relatively brief power outages. (Don't use candles! They pose a serious fire risk.)
Water to last three days
That's at least one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Mark the date on the container, and replace it every six months.
"Director Alfred H. Foxx today reminded citizens to stay alert to the possible heavy winds and rain which may accompany hurricane Sandy on Sunday night and Monday," a release from Baltimore County officials read. "Trash and loose debris should be secured at all times. Loose material can end up entering and clogging storm drains, leading to flooding."
Residents of the area were also urged to dispose of loose leaves, which often contribute to flooding by blocking storm inlets and drainage.
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) has been pre-mobilized due to the threat of Sandy. After Hurricane Irene , thousands in the area were left without power for several days. Officials at the energy provider say they are working hard and have learned from mistakes made in that storm.
Those living in the area are encouraged to call 311 for information on preparations and to report blocked drains.
Baltimore County Emergency Management has a press conference planned for Friday. Check back with ABC2 News for details.
Make sure to also stay informed through ABC2's mobile apps, where you can get storm updates and watch livestreamed news events. Click here for more information: http://www.abc2news.com/subindex/about_us/mobile .