January 14, 2022 - Stafford County is preparing for a possible winter storm starting Sunday, January 16, 2022, running into Monday morning, January 17, 2022. Estimates call for four to five inches of snow in Stafford County, with the brunt of the storm running along the Interstate 81 corridor. The storm is expected to impact road conditions and trees. If needed, staff are on standby ready to open a reception center/shelter. For emergencies, please dial 911, and use the non-emergency number 540-658-4400 for other questions. In the interim, Stafford County asks that residents prepare themselves, their families and homes for a weather emergency. Please avoid driving unless necessary.
For updated information, please visit Stafford County’s storm at www.staffordcountyva.gov/emergency. Here you will find operating status, social media links, contacts, alerts, emergency information and provider outage map links.
Every family should have a disaster supply kit on hand if the power goes out or roads are closed due to hazardous driving conditions. The kit should stock enough supplies to last at least three days for each household member. Following is a list of essential items to include:
- One gallon of water per person per day
- Foods that require no refrigeration, including canned goods, dried packaged fruits and nuts, and a manual can opener
- Battery-powered weather radio and flashlights, with extra batteries
- First aid kit, including extra contact lenses and glasses
- An adequate supply of prescription medications
- Sanitation supplies including toilet paper, soap, plastic garbage bags and personal hygiene products
- Special items for infants, the elderly or disabled members of the household
Following last week’s storm, many residents may have purchased portable generators. It is imperative to set it up outside in a well-ventilated area, away from doors and windows. Make sure the generator is connected to the item being powered. Do not connect it directly to the home’s circuit breaker unless doing so through a professionally installed and approved transfer switch.
Blowing snow and ice makes driving extremely hazardous. If you must travel during a storm, fill your gas tank before it hits. Tell someone at home or a co-worker where you’re going and when you expect to arrive, and call them when you reach your destination. Keep an emergency kit with these items in your vehicle:
- Cell phone
- Water-proof matches and a small can to melt snow for drinking water
- High-calorie foods including protein bars, nuts, beef jerky, candy and dried fruits
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Change of clothing and boots
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Compass, road maps, booster cables, tow rope, tool kit, pocket knife
- Shovel, windshield scraper, sand or cat litter for traction
- Large empty can with a cover and paper towels for sanitary purposes
If you become stranded, stay in the car and call for help. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the car’s antenna as a distress signal. Turn on the car’s engine for 10 minutes each hour and run the heater to keep warm. Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from building up in the passenger compartment. Turn on the car’s interior light at night to make it easier for rescuers to find you.
Helpful resources for storm prep tips include www.ready.gov, www.vaemergency.gov, and www.staffordcountyva.gov/emergency.
Citizens may find official Stafford County information through the resources below.
- Stafford Alert at www.staffordcountyva.gov/staffordalert - Sign up and receive phone calls, texts or emails
- Stafford’s website - www.staffordcountyva.gov
- Parks website - www.staffordparks.com
- R-Board website – www.rboard.org
- Courts – www.staffordcountyva.gov/courts
- Facebook - @StaffordCountyGovernment, Twitter - @StaffordVAGov
- TV stations, radio stations and their websites
- Stafford Information - (540) 658-8600
- Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency Number – (540) 658-4400
Additionally, some questions come up during a winter storm that others can best answer.
- Downed trees? Call VDOT at 1 (800)367-ROAD (1 (800) 367-7623).
- Downed power lines? Call Dominion Energy at 1-866-DOM-HELP, NOVEC at 1(888)335-0500, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative at 1(866) 663-2688 or Rappahannock Electric Co-Op at (540) 898-8500.
- If your cable or internet is out, call Comcast at 1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489), Verizon at 1-800-837-4966, Cox at 1-800-234-3993 and KGI Communications at (540) 709-7070.