Local News

Citizens Invited to Submit Legislative Proposals for 2021 General Assembly Session

Leonardtown, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a joint meeting with members of the St. Mary’s County Legislative Delegation on October 6, 2020, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown. The purpose of the meeting is to consider requests by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, as well as proposals from organizations and citizens for the enactment of legislation during the 2021 session of the General Assembly of Maryland.

 

Legislative Proposals are due to the Commissioners by August 26, 2020. The form to submit a legislative proposal can be found online at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/countyattorney/index.asp.

 

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the public is not allowed to be physically present, but may view the meeting on Channel 95 or the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel. Citizens may also listen by calling 301-579-7236, access code 963443, In lieu of appearance, citizens may call in to speak at the meeting or submit written comments or video clips as follows:

a. Email to: csmc@stmarysmd.com.

b. Mail: Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, PO Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 2O65O.

c. Call 301-475-4200 X 1234 to speak via telephone during the meeting.

d. Submit a 3-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com by October 1, 2020 at 5 p.m.

 

The press is permitted to attend.

 

Please note that citizens can choose to submit proposals directly to the St. Mary’s County Delegation per their schedule. Proposals can be submitted to:      

 

Commissioners of St. Mary’s County                 AND               Matt Morgan, Delegate

41770  Baldridge Street                                                               District 29A, St. Mary’s County

P.O. Box 653                                                                               310 House Office Building

Leonardtown, MD  20650                                                           6 Bladen Street

csmc@stmarysmd.com                                                                Annapolis, MD 21401  

                                                                                                                                           matt.morgan@house.state.md.us


Detectives Searching for Robbery Suspect

On August 5, 2020 the Calvert County Sheriff’s Deputy Det. Buck responded to report of a strongarmed robbery investigation. The incident occurred at 7-11 located at 2849 W Chesapeake Beach Road in Chesapeake Beach, MD. Investigation revealed the suspect entered the store posing as a customer before exiting briefly. Upon returning, he walked behind the counter and forcefully removed US Currency from the victim’s hands. He then removed the cash register drawer and exited the store.
The suspect was last seen operating a Ford Mustang bearing stolen Virginia registration UTG8641.
 
 
There is noticeable damage to the front passenger fender. He is described as a black male in his midtwenties, approximately 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing between 200-230 pounds. The suspect has been seen wearing a red hooded jacket with a white stripe down the arms and blue/white tennis shoes.
This subject has also committed similar crimes in Prince George’s County. Anyone who has
information about these incidents or suspect is asked to contact Det. Buck at (410) 535-1600 ext. 2765 or Joshua.Buck@calvertcountymd.gov. Please refer to case number 20-41391. Citizens may also use the ‘Submit a Tip’ feature on our Sheriff’s Mobile app by visiting:
https://apps.myocv.com/share/a39520678 

Public Works to Offer Free Residential Storm Debris Disposal

Due to the large amount of downed trees and yard debris caused by Tropical Storm Isaias, the Calvert County Solid Waste Division will allow citizens to drop off un-bagged leaves, shrubs, branches and logs no larger than 5 feet in length, for free to the Barstow Convenience Center and Appeal Landfill. Debris drop off will be available beginning Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 23, Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Citizens are required to wear face masks and practice safe social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staff will be on site to assist citizens with unloading debris. Firewood will not be accepted.
 
This event is for residents only. All commercial customers are advised that chargeable rates will apply and debris can only be disposed of at the Appeal Landfill. After Aug. 23, citizens can only drop off tree and yard debris at the Appeal Landfill, but will be charged a disposal fee. Citizens can visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/SolidWasteandRecycling for landfill and convenience center locations, hours of operation and accepted materials.
 
The county has launched a hurricane resource center on its website to share the latest updates, guidance and resources in response to Tropical Storm Isaias. Residents, employees and media are encouraged to regularly monitor the page and use the resources available at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Hurricane.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft
investigation. On Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 12:22 pm, the suspect placed a bottle of perfume
down the front of his pants and fled the California Ulta store without paying for it.
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl.
Alvin Beishline at 301-475-4200, ext. 78019 or email Alvin.beishline@stmarysmd.com. Case #
46880-20
 
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to
“TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters
are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that
leads to an arrest or indictment.
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter
@firstsheriff

St. Mary's County Public Schools Fall And Winter Athletics Postponed

LEONARDTOWN, MD – In accordance with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) news release, St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) is postponing the 2020 fall and winter competition season during the first semester.  Therefore, our athletics program will not begin on August 12th as previously scheduled.  Additionally, the SMCPS Summer Conditioning program will be extended through Thursday, August 20, 2020.  We hope to provide additional information in the coming weeks. 
 
For more information about the MPSSAA news release please visit: 
https://www.mpssaa.org/mpssaa-fall-and-winter-competition-seasons-postponed/
 
The health and safety of our student participants, coaches, and sponsors is our top priority.  Please contact your school’s athletic director or Michael A. Watson, Director of Facility Coordination, Health and Physical Education, and Athletics at mawatson@smcps.org if you have any questions or would like to acquire additional information.

Lexington Park Man Arrested for Attempted Murder

On July 22, 2020, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 27300 block of Point Lookout Road in Leonardtown, for the reported assault involving a firearm. Deputies arrived on scene and located a female victim, age 31, suffering from a gunshot wound to her right foot. The victim advised deputies she was traveling in a vehicle on Point Lookout Road, when a vehicle drove up beside her on the shoulder of the road, and an individual in that vehicle pointed a handgun at her and began shooting. One round penetrated the vehicle door, striking the victim in the foot. At the time of the shooting, there were four additional victims inside the victim’s vehicle, two adults and two juveniles, who were not injured.
 
The investigation was continued by detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. The investigation determined Delontey Montario Butler, age 27 of Lexington Park, was the individual who committed the committed the assault. On July 31, 2020, Butler was located and arrested. Butler was charged with the following:
 
Attempted First Degree Murder
 
Attempted Second Degree Murder
 
Assault First Degree (five counts)
 
Assault Second Degree (five counts)
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Handgun on Person
 
Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Firearm Use/Violent Crime
 
Reckless Endangerment from Car (five counts)
 
Butler was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and remains incarcerated on a no bond status.
 
Anyone with information on this incident that has not provided a statement to law enforcement is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension 71953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

Public Notification of Sewage Overflow in Prince Frederick

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, due to the excessive rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Isaias, erosion beneath the Main Street roadway in Prince Frederick damaged a sewer line and caused a sewage force main to rupture. As a result, sewage was discharged 200 yards north of the headwaters of Parkers Creek.
 
A substantial quantity of effluent was controlled through shutting down pump stations and removal with pump trucks. At no time was there impact to service for water and sewer customers. The Department of Public Works is working to repair the line and roadway.
 
Because of the temporary sewage discharge, all residents and visitors are strongly cautioned to avoid contact with the waters of Parkers Creek or where the creek meets the Chesapeake Bay until Friday, Aug. 7, at the earliest.
 
Calvert County Health Department, Environmental Health, will conduct follow-up sampling of the Scientists’ Cliffs Beach early next week with results expected by Aug. 13. Although it is likely that any potential contamination will be clear by Aug. 7, that cannot be guaranteed until the laboratory results are confirmed next week.
 
For questions, please contact Public Works Director Kerry Dull at Kerry.Dull@calvertcountymd.gov or 410-532-2204. 
 
Calvert County continues to share updates, guidance and resources in response to Tropical Storm Isaias through its online hurricane resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gove/Hurricane. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

Citizens, Businesses Asked to Report Damage Caused by Isaias

Calvert County residents are asked to report property and business damages incurred during Tropical Storm Isaias, to help the Department of Public Safety identify and address the needs of county residents. Of particular concern is damage to transportation routes, especially those that provide the only way in or out of a residential area. Information is requested by Friday, Aug. 7.
 
Residents may use the Calvert Prepare mobile app to submit their name, address, contact information, and a brief description and photos of the damage. From the app home screen, tap “My Emergency Plan,” then tap “Active Emergency” in the gray bar at the top of the next screen, and choose “Damage Report.” Users may complete the form and tap “Submit.” Calvert Prepare is available at no cost for both Android and iOS devices.
 
Residents may also report damage to private property by contacting the Office of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638, or email OEM@calvertcountymd.gov.   
 
Businesses should report damage to the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583 or info@ecalvert.com.
 
Calvert County continues to share updates, guidance and resources in response to Tropical Storm Isaias through its online hurricane resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Hurricane. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

Debris Removal Sites Available

LEONARDTOWN, MD – In the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, the Department of Public Works and Transportation will be operating three (3) debris collection and burn sites August 6-16 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The debris removal and burn locations will be:

 

Mattingly Burn Site

23000 Cedar Lane Road

Leonardtown, MD 20650

 

Hills Burn Site

20531 Point Lookout Road

Great Mills, MD 20531

 

Kessler Burn Site

18793 Three Notch Road

Lexington Park, MD 20653

 

For more information and updates, visit www.stmarysmd.com or https://www.stmarysmd.com/emergency/Notices/.


Victim Identified In Fatal Accident in Mechanicsville

UPDATE: Tiaesa Sade Lake, age 31 of Suitland, has been identified as the victim in the fatal collision. At the time of the collision, Lake was operating a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis.
 
On August 4, 2020, at approximately 9:33 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 29500 block of Three Notch Road, in the area of Charlotte Hall School Road in Mechanicsville, for the reported single vehicle collision. Deputies arrived on scene and observed a large tree had fallen onto a vehicle.
 
Preliminary investigation determined the operator of the vehicle was travelling southbound on Three Notch Road when a large tree on the southbound shoulder of the road fell onto the roof of the vehicle, trapping the operator in the vehicle. The victim (sole occupant of the vehicle) was pronounced deceased on the scene. The vehicle operator’s identity is being withheld until notification is made to the next of kin.
 
At this time, alcohol, drug impairment and speed do not appear to be factors in the collision. Anyone who witnessed the collision that has not yet provided a statement is asked to contact Corporal Vincent Pontorno at (301) 475-4200 extension 72337 or by email at Vincent.Pontorno@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

2 Tornadoes Confirmed as Tropical Storm Isaias Hit Southern Maryland

 
 
Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County and Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County were hit by tornadoes, the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday evening. Officials are looking into reports of other tornadoes in the area. 
 
A trained storm spotter reported seeing one tornado in St. Mary’s County, the Weather Service said earlier in the day. Another tornado was being investigated in Calvert County. The Weather Service is still surveying images of damage in the region.
 
The St. Mary's County tornado was observed in an area that includes Leonardtown, Mechanicsville and Chaptico. The county is coping with flooding, downed trees and road closures.
 
One person was killed in St. Mary's County when a large tree toppled onto a moving car. Deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 29500 block of Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville at about 9:30 a.m. A huge tree fell onto the car’s roof, trapping the driver. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Their identity is being withheld pending notification of their family.
 
Roadways became "impassable and dangerous" and that multiple people needed to be rescued from high water.
 
Tornado warnings were issued in southern Maryland starting at 4 a.m. after tornados were indicated on radar. Residents of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties were told to take cover. The warnings later expired. 
 
St. Mary’s County officials are advising residents to stay home and off the roads if they can. Multiple roads are closed because of flooding. 

Maryland State Police Respond To Water Rescue In Hughesville

(HUGHESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police troopers from the LaPlata Barrack responded to a water rescue this morning after two vehicles were apparently swept off the road due to flooding near the Charles County-Prince George’s County line.  
The preliminary investigation indicates just before 9 a.m. the drivers of two vehicles tried to cross Brandywine Road (MD 381) where rising floodwaters from Swanson Creek swept both vehicles off the road.  First responders rescued both drivers, with one of them being transported by ambulance to University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center for treatment. 
Charles County Emergency Services Airboat also responded to assist with the rescue. Both drivers were located within 45 minutes of the initial call. Due to the flooding conditions, the road remains closed at this time. The Maryland Department of Transportation assisted with the road closures.
Flash floods can come quickly and without warning during times of excessive rainfall. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to strand a small vehicle, while 24 inches of fast flowing water can carry away most vehicles.
Following the simple advice of “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” could save lives during flash flooding conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of flood-related deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater.

State of Emergency Declared

LEONARDTOWN, MD – In the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, Commissioner President James R. Guy has declared a State of Emergency on August 4, 2020 for a period of seven days to expire August 11, 2020.

 

The Emergency Operations Center is activated at full status, which requires extensive response and recovery efforts and county-wide multi-agency coordination.

 

Tropical Storm Isaias involved severe winds, rain, and tidal surges that have caused or continue to cause flooding of low-lying areas, road and culvert damage, power outages and disruption of services in St. Mary’s County.

 

Upon declaration of a local state of emergency, the response and recovery aspects and provisions for aid and assistance of the St. Mary's County Emergency Operations Plan shall become immediately effective. The declaration authorizes the Commissioner President “to take such measures as necessary to maximize the preservation of life and property, including the authority to require evacuation of areas.”

 

For more information and updates, visit www.stmarysmd.com.


Fatal Accident in Mechanicsville Under Investigation

On August 4, 2020, at approximately 9:33 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 29500 block of Three Notch Road, in the area of Charlotte Hall School Road in Mechanicsville, for the reported single vehicle collision. Deputies arrived on scene and observed a large tree had fallen onto a vehicle.
 
Preliminary investigation determined the operator of the vehicle was travelling southbound on Three Notch Road when a large tree on the southbound shoulder of the road fell onto the roof of the vehicle, trapping the operator in the vehicle. The victim (sole occupant of the vehicle) was pronounced deceased on the scene. The vehicle operator’s identity is being withheld until notification is made to the next of kin.
 
At this time, alcohol, drug impairment and speed do not appear to be factors in the collision. Anyone who witnessed the collision that has not yet provided a statement is asked to contact Corporal Vincent Pontorno at (301) 475-4200 extension 72337 or by email at Vincent.Pontorno@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

Sanitary Sewer Notification Of Overflow As A Result Of Tropical Storm Isaias

On August 4th, after the heavy rainfall related to Tropical Storm Isaias, the Town received notice of possible overflow from a manhole in the area of C Street and 31st
 
Upon further review, and investigation by Chesapeake Beach Public Works staff, it was
identified that a sanitary sewer manhole showed signs of limited overflow due to the
increased volume of storm water being conveyed to the Chesapeake
Beach Water Reclamation Treatment Plant. Chesapeake Beach Public Works
immediately augmented the C Street manhole to prevent further leaking and checked all
infrastructure, to the endpoint, to ensure concerns were mitigated.
It was determined by the duration, and the flow rate, that around 150 to 200 gallons
leaked from this manhole. The Town immediately notified the Maryland Department of
Environment (MDE) via the Chesapeake Beach Sewer Collection System Wastewater
Operator and Director of Public Works, James Berry. All recommendations from MDE
have been followed with the area being properly cleaned by Town staff. The Calvert
County Department of Health was notified by the Town Administrator.
The Town Administrator requested that the beach area of Bayfront Park be tested by the
Calvert County Department of Health to ensure proper water quality for swimmers. All
area homeowners’ associations with private beaches should also use caution and seek
guidance from the Calvert County Health Department or Town regarding water quality
testing.
During events, such as Tropical Storm Isaias, the public is reminded to avoid floodwater
and standing waters as they can be dangerous. If you come in contact with flood water
wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you do not have soap or
water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.

Charles County Road Closures

Tropical Storm Isaias is causing flooding in various parts of the county. Check your route if you need to go out. Get the latest road closures at https://www.charlescountymd.gov/services/alerts/road-closures.


Stay Up-To-Date On Road Closures Near You

LEONARDTOWN, MD – While the Department of Emergency Services continues to encourage members of the community to remain home, there is a resource for community members needing to go out. A list of road closures is available at - https://www.stmarysmd.com/publicsafety/roadclosures.asp.
 
Visit https://www.stmarysmd.com/es/beprepared/ for more preparedness information.

Warrant Officers Locate Suspect in Attempted Murder Case who Fled In-Patient Drug Rehab Facility

Charles County Sheriff’s officers assigned to the Warrant / Fugitive Unit located Eric Benjamin Mitchell, 22, of Waldorf who was wanted for leaving a rehab facility the courts had ordered him to after being charged with the attempted murder of his girlfriend.  On February 9, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call in the 3300 block of Gallery Place in Waldorf for a domestic assault in progress. Mitchell is alleged to have stabbed his girlfriend in the abdomen after she attempted to escape from him with their two young children. Mitchell was arrested on the scene and subsequently indicted for attempted murder, first-degree assault, and other charges. He was held at the Charles County Detention Center with no bond. On July 2, Mitchell was released from CCSO custody by a judge for the Circuit Court for Charles County to attend an in-patient substance abuse program in Harford County. He fled from the rehab facility on July 12 and the Circuit Court issued a warrant for Mitchell’s arrest on July 13. Officers pursued leads over the following weeks and located Mitchell in Waldorf on August 3. He was taken into custody and is currently being held at the Charles County Detention Center with no bond. 

 


Charles County Government to Close on August 4th

Due to the inclement weather from Tropical Storm Isaias, Charles County Government is closed Tuesday, Aug. 4. Essential personnel and employees required to maintain operations during inclement weather are to report to work as scheduled. VanGO will not be operating due to sustained high winds.
 
 
 
Get the latest Charles County severe weather updates:
 
Charles County Government website: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov
 
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/CharlesCounty
 
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/CharlesCoMD
 
Charles County Government Television (CCGTV): Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 10
 
SMECO Power Outage Map: stormcenter.smeco.coop (Call 877-747-6326 to report an outage.)
 
 
 
Sign up for the Citizen Notification System (CNS), the county’s free emergency notification system, at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS to receive weather, traffic, and road closure notices by text message, email, or phone. Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Prepare for Weather-Related Outages

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is monitoring weather forecasts as Tropical Storm Isaias heads north along the eastern seaboard. With the potential impact of heavy rains and high winds facing Southern Maryland on Tuesday, area residents are urged to take steps to prepare for possible tropical storm-related power outages. 
According to SMECO spokesperson Tom Dennison, “SMECO is tracking the weather system and personnel are preparing to respond to outages that may result from falling trees and flooding. With the ground already saturated from recent rainfall, and more rain expected this evening and tomorrow from storms approaching from the west, the likelihood that trees will fall on power lines is increased.” Dennison added, “Even though we have smart meters that automatically report outages, members can report an outage by calling 1-877-74-SMECO (1-877-747-6326). They can also go online to our website, www.smeco.coop, or use SMECO’s text messaging service. We recently upgraded the SMECO 24/7 free mobile app with additional features, and we encourage customers to download the app or register for the texting service before bad weather hits.” The public can get more information about the app and text messaging service on SMECO’s website at smeco.coop/SMECO247. 
SMECO’s outage restoration policy is to make repairs that will restore service to the most people in the least amount of time. Transmission lines and substations are repaired first, followed by distribution lines that feed neighborhoods. Tap lines and individual service lines are then repaired to restore power to customers who may still be without electricity. 
The following is a list of helpful tips for customers.
• If someone in your household depends on electricity to operate life support systems, make plans for alternate sources of power or alternate lodging. 
• If you plan to use a portable generator, use extension cords to connect what you want to power directly to the generator. Place your generator outside, not in an attic, crawl space, or basement. Carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly. Make sure your generator is connected safely; a generator that is not connected safely can cause serious injury or death. When your power comes back on, turn off and disconnect your generator immediately.
• Keep flashlights and fresh batteries on hand. Lanterns and candles are not recommended because they can cause fires.
• Never touch downed power lines or attempt to remove trees from power lines. Contact with live lines may result in serious injury or death. Let qualified SMECO crews handle the clearing and repair work. Please report downed power lines to SMECO immediately by calling 1-888-440-3311.
• Stock nonperishable foods and keep a manual can opener handy. The ideal choices are foods that require no cooking, such as fruit, canned tuna, peanut butter, crackers, cereals, cereal bars, canned soup, and bread. 
• Do not stock your refrigerator or freezer with foods that may perish during a power outage.
• If you plan to use a charcoal or gas grill for cooking, keep the grill outdoors.
• If your water at home is supplied by a well, store extra water in clean jugs, bathtubs, or laundry tubs.
• Keep a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries and stay tuned to local news bulletins and weather reports.
• Make sure that you have a standard or mobile phone available. Cordless phones do not work without electricity. 
• If you use a mobile phone or tablet, keep a charged power bank handy or use an auto adapter to recharge your mobile device.
• Keep your automobile gas tank above half full.
• Keep fresh batteries in your smoke detectors.
• Open the freezer and refrigerator as little as possible. This will help food stay fresh longer.
• Make sure the oven and stove are off to prevent fires if the power comes back on while you’re away.

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