HURRICANE SANDY IS COMING! BE PREPARED!
Daniel A. Weekley, VP of Government Affairs, Dominion Resources offers the following advice:
I am writing to you today in anticipation of a very significant storm event beginning this weekend as Hurricane Sandy approaches Virginia. This event will likely begin on Saturday night with the most significant impact felt on Sunday evening through Monday morning. This is a very dangerous storm and we anticipate Hurricane Sandy causing significant state-wide damage to our electric distribution system. We are running radio ads and using other communication channels to urge our customers to prepare for the storm and to take steps to remain safe afterwards. I would like to summarize these steps for you:
Before the storm, assemble critical emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, radios, extra batteries, medicine, cash, and first aid items in an emergency kit. Have a plan for how you and your family will remain safe during the storm itself, which may well be protracted, how you will evacuate if necessary, and where you will go. It is a good idea to fuel your cars.
If power is interrupted, call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report the outage. You may also report the outage through our web site (www.dom.com). If your smart phone is registered as your primary phone number for your account, you may report an outage at our new mobile site (http://m.dom.com). To assist you in updating your primary phone number in our records, we have established a dedicated line at 1-800-222-0401 that will allow you to register your preferred phone number.
After the storm, please keep safety as your top priority.
* Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized and stay away. Report the fallen wire to Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP.
* Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate a generator inside your home or in any enclosed space (such as a garage). Do not hook them directly into your electrical system; instead plug directly into the generator with properly-sized extension cords.
* This may well be a severe outage with a protracted time required to restore power. We have already identified more than 2,000 additional personnel to assist our Dominion team in the restoration effort. Our team will be working round the clock until power is restored to every customer.
The Virginia Emergency Operations Center released this bulletin on October 26, 2012.
Potential Impact to Virginia
* Citizens need to prepare now for a major weather event that starts Saturday and lasts at least through Tuesday.
* The storm will have a strong wind impact. The eastern third of Virginia could experience sustained tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph) for more than 48 hours. Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is expected.
* Downed trees and extensive power outages are likely.
* Heavy rain will start Saturday afternoon with amounts of up to eight inches possible along coastal Virginia and extending west toward Interstate 95.
* Residents in western and southwestern Virginia could experience high wind gusts and snowfall. All areas will have colder temperatures.
* Real-time road closures and traffic conditions are available by dialing 511 or visiting http://www.511Virginia.org.
* Local weather conditions may cause bridges and tunnels to become unsafe. Based on weather conditions, many bridges and tunnels may be closed. If a facility is not barricaded, gated or otherwise closed to traffic, this does not mean the bridge or tunnel is safe for passage. Motorists should consider their personal safety before using these facilities during severe weather.
State and Federal Preparations
* The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the state’s response with increased staffing 24 hours a day.
* Virginia State Police personnel have been placed on stand-by and will be pre-positioned to the areas where they will be needed based on the projected path of the storm. The Virginia State Police Swift Water Rescue Team is standing by.
* Chainsaw crews from the Virginia Department of Forestry are standing by with emergency response personnel to help with debris removal.
* Virginia Department of Transportation crews are ready to clear roads and ensure roads are safe for travel.
* The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring personnel on active duty and begin prepositioning resources.
* The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure they are prepared for storm impacts.
Don't forget your pets!
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States has some tips:
Make arrangements to take your pets with you if you are asked to evacuate; check the evacuation centers near you because many do not accept pets.
Our preparedness tips are based on the experiences of previous disasters: http://action.humanesociety.org/site/R?i=1p2x0_ARFHC-qWkRGN5YHg
Do what you can by preparing now, and having a plan in place for you and your pets. You may also follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on pet-friendly shelters, evacuation routes, and other disaster-related resources. Follow us here: http://action.humanesociety.org/site/R?i=2Nhmi9894ndKe5uHxuATDw
* 211 – Call toll-free for information on many topics related to the storm
* vaemergency.gov – go online or on your smart phone for statewide storm updates
* @vdem – Twitter feed for storm updates from the VA Dept. of Emergency Management
* VA Emergency – Facebook page for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Please take care and don't forget to check on your neighbors.