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Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Reuse, MDTAP

On April 7, 2015, an equipment failure at a power substation in Southern Maryland caused a widespread power outage that affected more than 8,000 people in the Washington, DC area.  There are three types of power outages: blackouts, rolling blackouts and brownouts.

Be prepared for a power outage.  Call your power company if you use any power-dependent equipment to find out what emergency power services are available in your community.  The Maryland Emergency Management Agency lists emergency contact information for all companies that deliver electrical power to Maryland residents.  Have an extra battery if you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter. A car battery also can be used with a wheelchair but will not last as long as a wheelchair’s deep-cycle battery. If available, have a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup. Have a talking or Braille clock or large-print timepiece with extra batteries if you are blind or have a visual disability. Consider getting a small portable battery-operated television set if you are deaf or have a hearing loss. Emergency broadcasts may give information in American Sign Language or open captioning.

For more safety tips visit Ready.gov , the Center for Disease Control, and the American Red Cross.

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