Winter is coming and now is the time to prepare so that you are ready before the first snowflake falls. Stafford County strives to be open at all times for citizens to conduct business, but there are occasions when the weather makes that challenging.
How do you know if the County is open for business and what departments may still operate? Most of the information is at your fingertips on Stafford’s website at www.staffordcountyva.gov/closings. However, the County uses many channels to engage the community during a weather event or emergency and knowing that ahead of time can save you time later.
When inclement weather is forecast, a group of personnel is mobilized within Stafford County. Members of Public Safety start driving and checking roads in the early hours of the day.
Citizens can find information in all the locations below on the opening status for County Government, parks facilities, courts and the Regional Landfill. As well, if a receiving center or shelter is opened, information may be found through the resources below.
Additionally, some questions come up during a winter storm that can best be answered by others. Downed trees? Call VDOT at 1 (800)367-ROAD (1 (800) 367-7623). Downed power lines? Call Dominion Energy at 1-866-DOM-HELP or NOVEC at 1(888)335-0500.
Another excellent source for weather information is www.ready.gov. The site features preparedness tips for every kind of disaster as well as how to best make it during an event. See the tips below for planning for wintry weather.
- Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods.
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Gather supplies you need if there is a chance that you will have to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
- Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.