With Hurricane Sandy moving toward the East Coast of the United States, Harford County officials alerted citizens to get ready.
“The more we learn about Sandy, we now know it will impact us…” the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association posted on Facebook Thursday evening.
Hurricane Sandy was dumping rains through the Bahamas as of 8 p.m. Thursday, with the potential for 20 inches of rainfall in isolated areas, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service.
“Sandy is expected to grow larger in size during the next few days,” according to the National Weather Service report.
Squalls with tropical storm force winds were hitting southeastern Florida Thursday night, according to preliminary weather service reports, and officials anticipate Hurricane Sandy will take a few twists and turns before hitting the mid-Atlantic Monday or Tuesday.
“This storm, like all other tropic anomalies, sits out in the warm water and wobbles back and forth. Its path could take a variety of directions," Rich Gardiner, spokesman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, wrote on Patch.
"In the event of a worst-case scenario, the fire departments are planning now," Gardiner continued. “Gearing up for any one of the fire departments in Harford County means anything and everything from prepping for staffing needs to ensuring a fire station’s self sustainability for at least 24 to 48 hours."
Harford County's manager of emergency planning said by Friday, a unified plan of attack would be in place.
“We are definitely gearing up," Linda Ploener, manager of emergency planning, said.
The mayor of Havre de Grace was having a private briefing Friday morning, as the city, bound by water, was hit hard after Tropical Storm Lee last year.
BGE announced it was stocking up on materials like poles and safety kits for its utility vehicles. Fire departments too were readying for the storm.
“Regardless of its path with rains, wind, flooding…prepare yourselves and stay vigilant,” the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association posted on Facebook.
"If nothing else, this is a good exercise for planning our readiness," Gardiner said.
See this guide from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency on how to prepare for a major storm.