This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 2014.
With a cold weather snap expected to hit the area, Prince George’s officials are delaying the start of county public schools for two hours Tuesday, and are urging residents to take precautions and use the county’s warming centers if they don’t have heat.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits overnight, with highs in the low teens to mid-20s on Tuesday, along with wind gusts of up to 30 mph, said Rhonda Jackson, spokeswoman for the county’s Office of Emergency Management.
“These could be some record cold days,” Jackson said. “We’re asking people to prepare accordingly.”
County schools spokesman Max Pugh said the two-hour delay will give the school system time to ensure all buses are working properly in the frigid temperatures.
“Hopefully it will also allow the temperatures to rise sufficiently so students will not have to be out in quite so cold weather,” Pugh said.
Pugh said the school system will continue to monitor the weather, and will make additional adjustments as needed.
Alerts can be found on the school system website at www.pgcps.org.
Jackson said residents are urged to dress for the weather, winterize their vehicles and keep sand in their vehicle to improve traction.
Residents are also encouraged to sign up for real-time notifications regarding the weather through the county’s Notify Me Prince Georges website, https://notifyme.princegeorgescountymd.gov, or through OEM’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
OEM, in collaboration with the Prince George’s County Maryland-Capital Park and Planning Commission has established six warming centers for residents without heat.
The warming centers are located at the Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road in Fort Washington; Suitland Community Park School Center, 5600 Regency Lane in Forestville; Bowie Community Center, 3209 Stonybrook Drive in Bowie; Seat Pleasant Activity Center, 5720 Addison Road in Seat Pleasant; Kentland Community Center Park, 2411 Pinebrook Ave. in Landover and Deerfield Run Community Center, 13000 Laurel-Bowie Road in Laurel.
Phone numbers and hours of operation can be found online at: http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/EmergencyManagement/Resources/Warming-Centers/Pages/default.aspx
No identification is required, Jackson said.
“They can just let staff know that they’re there for the warming center and they will be led to a common area,” Jackson said. “We just want to make sure that everyone has a warm place they can go if need be.”