In Your Home
Here are a few tips to help protect your water lines during periods of cold weather:
- Insulate pipes located in unheated parts of your house. This is especially a good tip for those who have had frozen pipes in the past.
- Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later as laundry or dish water.
- If a pipe should freeze, gently warm it with hot air from a blow dryer at the point where it enters the house.
- Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure that it works properly.
- Be sure to shut off water to outside faucets.
- Periodically monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.
- Keep bottled water on hand. Figure on needing a gallon of water per person per day.
The Department of Public Works maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. For water emergencies call 311, or 410-396-5352 in Baltimore County.
Water lines running from the meter to the house, as well as internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner. Check with your homeowner’s insurance carrier to see if your interior pipes are covered in the event they freeze and rupture.
For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311. In our Baltimore County service area, please call 410-396-5352.
In Baltimore City
If you are faced with an ice or snow covered street visit the Baltimore City Snow Center more information.
For information and updates throughout the winter season, residents can visit the Baltimore City Snow Center or tune into the local news media. Citizens can also follow the Department of Transportation Twitter and Facebook for updated messages.
In Baltimore County
When winter weather hits, stay ahead of the storm with Baltimore County Stormfighter. Find the latest on road conditions, current plowing operations, winter storm tips and more.
Cold Weather Reminders
The combination of low temperatures and wind chill constitute a threat, especially to certain groups of people: older adults, children and people with respiratory or other health problems. If you are in danger or experiencing severe health problems due to the weather, please call 911.
Below are some basic tips to help you and your family get relief from the cold and stay safe.
Be Cautious and Prepared
- Make sure that you have a 72-hour kit.
- Check on those who are elderly and/or chronically ill.
- Keep infants in a warm room since they lose heat easily.
- Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about exercising or working in the cold.
- If you are hiking, camping, or skiing during cold weather, avoid becoming overtired. Be extremely careful when walking in icy areas. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered paths.
- Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer.
- Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages – they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
- Drink warm, beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions consult with your doctor.
Dress Warmly and Stay Dry – Adults and children should wear:
- A hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth.
- Sleeves that are snug at the wrist.
- Mittens – they are warmer than gloves.
- Water-resistant coat and boots.
- Several layers of loose-fitting clothing if you are going to be outside.
Don’t Leave Your Pets Outdoors
- During extreme weather, bring your pets indoors and provide them with adequate food and water.
- Remember to have an emergency plan for your pet too. Most shelters do not allow pets.
Prevent the Spread of Colds & Flu
- Get a flu shot.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water. Scrub hands, wrists, fingernails and between fingers.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick with colds or flu.
- If you get sick, stay home to avoid spreading it to others.
- Avoid crowded places wherever possible.
You can visit the Baltimore County Department of Health for more information or call 410-887-BCHD (2243).