Everyone Should Prepare Now for Impending Winter Storm

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


January 2, 2018 - 6:15 p.m.

The City of Virginia Beach is monitoring forecasts and preparing for the possible winter storm due to arrive late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. Public Works crews are ready; they have prepared equipment/supplies and will be working 12-hours shifts starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Frost Patrol will be treating bridges, overpasses and ramps with salt and sand as conditions merit. 

Citizens are encourage to take the following steps now to prepare and protect their home and vehicles.

What Citizens Should Do Now — Before the Storm

  • Prevent Frozen Pipes
    • Moving water will not freeze so allow a steady drip of cold water to flow from the highest faucet in your home. (Using cold instead of hot water will save money.)
    • When plumbing is near an outside wall, open cabinet doors under sinks so room heat can reach the pipes.
    • Locate your private water shut-off valve so you'll be prepared to turn your water off if your pipes do freeze and burst. You don't want to have to wait even a few minutes for Public Utilities or a plumber to respond to shut off your water.
  • Make an emergency supply kit  that will last at least 72 hours (3-days) and includes: non-perishable foods, lanterns, flashlight, spare batteries, battery-powered radio, first-aid kit, 3-gallons of water for each person and extra prescription medications in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages. Create a kit especially for seniors, children, persons with special needs and your pets. 
  • Charge all your devices (phone, tablets, etc.). Invest in a battery-operated charger and have a car charger that you can use in case you lose power in your home. 
  • Bring pets inside from the cold.
  • Check on elderly or homebound neighbors, family and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result. Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
  • Do NOT heat your home with a gas range or oven. If you are using a space heater or generator:
    • Never leave a kerosene heater on while you are sleeping.  Carbon monoxide build-up from the heater can be deadly. 
    • Be sure to plug electric space heaters directly into the wall socket.  Do not use extension cords with electric space heaters or surge protector boxes.
    • Remember the 3-foot rule.  Make sure the space heater is at least 3 feet away from anything combustible (curtains, bedding / furniture, clothes, etc.)
    • Do not put a generator inside the house, garage or in a closed space. Place the generator outside in a well-ventilated area and at least 20 feet from doors, windows and vents to prevent CO poisoning. Follow manufacturers' instructions.
    • If you are using a fueled space heater make sure to only use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer.  Never use gasoline to fuel a space heater that runs on kerosene. 
  • If you have a working fireplace, be sure to place ashes in a metallic or non-combustible container.  Wait at least 72-hours before throwing ashes away, as they can smolder for days. 
  • Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

If you need help, information or resources before, during or after the storm, call 311. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center. 

Stay informed. Keep aware of emergency messaging by local officials posted on VBgov.comFacebook.com/CityofVaBeach, Twitter.com/CityofVaBeach, Nextdoor and VBTV. Also, tune into your local TV and radio stations. 

For information about winter weather preparedness, visit VBgov.com/bepreparedReady.gov  and VAemergency.com

For more information call 311. Only call 911 for emergencies. 

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