Stay safe. Stay inside. Stay informed.
The first two are on you. The last one is up to us reporters and scores of county and state employees working overtime. Come Sunday evening—when Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall in Maryland—the question on everybody's mind will be "how is this storm affecting my neighborhood, my friends and my family?"
That's where Twitter and Facebook will come into play.
In Howard County, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services plans to post a lot of information online; tips to stay safe, pictures of damage and updates on the recovery efforts.
- Follow the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services on Twitter: @HDCFRS
- The Howard County Office of Emergency Management is also on Facebook. 'Like' them for updates on the hurricane's path and outside resources.
Of course, the Howard County Government is connected.
- Follow @HoCoGov on Twitter and 'like' Howard County Government on Facebook news releases and updates on resources, including the availibility of shelters:
Local government officials said they will be updating residents throughout the storm, which is expected to cause widespread power outages. The county has been urging preparation ahead of "Frankenstorm."
For breaking news that hits close to home in Columbia and Savage-Guilford:
Patch reporters across the state are gearing up for the storm as we speak. Look for continually updated resources on Patch as the storm gets closer.
Be sure to report tips and what you're seeing as the storm hits; email email@example.com or text 410-499-2592.
And then of course there are the tried and true standbys:
Don't forget to sign up for breaking news alerts from Columbia Patch to receive breaking news updates sent directly to your inbox.