RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today urged Virginians to prepare for a major winter storm, which could result in up to one foot of snow in southeast Virginia, with snowfall totals in other areas of the state ranging from one to ten inches. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph and freezing temperatures are expected and heavy snow could result in power outages on Saturday as well.
“With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during a cold weather period,”said Governor McAuliffe. “Please check on neighbors, especially the elderly and those who are unable to leave their homes, as well as family and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.”
“Our public safety agencies are taking actions now to respond to this winter storm,” stated Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “The Virginia Emergency Support Team, coordinated by VDEM, is working with our local government partners to preposition resources and additional capabilities to ensure the safety of residents across Virginia.”
“VDOT has been pre-treating roads in advance of the storm. We are prepared with crews, equipment and materials and will work throughout the storm to plow roads,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes.”
What Citizens Should Do:
- Stay off the roads during the storm unless travel is absolutely necessary. If travel is necessary, drive with caution and allow extra space around other vehicles. Let someone know where you are going, the route you are taking and when you expect to arrive so that if something happens while traveling, someone knows where to send assistance.
- Use extreme caution around slow-moving equipment being used to treat roads, such as snow plows.
- Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper and cell phone charger.
- Bring pets inside from the cold.
- If you have power-dependent medical equipment, make sure all batteries and extra batteries are fully charged. Know where to go if you lose power during or after the storm. If you aren’t sure where to go, dial 2-1-1 for a list of shelters or charging stations that may be open in your area.
- Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
- Have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
- If you need help, information or resources during the storm, call 2-1-1. Those with hearing impairments can call 7-1-1 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 1-800-230-6977. Out of state or videophone users may also dial 1-800-230-6977 for assistance.
- Download the free Ready Virginia mobile app at: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/additional-resources/mobileapp.
- Download the free VDOT 511 mobile app for updates on road conditions at: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.
For more information on the Commonwealth’s response efforts, visit http://www.vaemergency.gov.