RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- With the threat of winter weather this weekend, state agencies and officials are urging people to prepare ahead of the storm.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and AAA Mid-Atlantic say the expected wintry precipitation will make travel conditions treacherous.
Drivers are asked to avoid getting on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary to allow the Virginia Department of Transportation crews to clear the roads and prevent issues for emergency responders.
Additional personnel will be on duty on extended shifts during the storm, which can result in slippery roads, power outages and other public concerns during the weekend.
VDEM is coordinating with VDOT, the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard and localities across the Commonwealth to ensure preparedness efforts are in place and to help as needed before, during and after the storm.
AAA will also have its roadside rescue teams ready for the storm.
“The dramatic drop in temperatures and accumulating snow in the forecast means it will be all hands on deck as AAA responds to stranded motorists as quickly and safely as possible,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA. “No one ever plans on getting stranded, but tires and batteries are some of the most common problems seen over the winter months. AAA reminds motorists to be sure their vehicle is in good condition before heading out onto the roadways.”
Virginians are advised to keep a close eye on the weather forecast as updates come out, and if travel is necessary, allow for extra time and drive at lower speeds. Also, increase the distance between vehicles due to the longer amount of time needed to stop.
Give snowplows and other slow-moving equipment the right of way.
Residents should have supplies, such as food, drinkable water, medications, batteries and more, for at least 72 hours.
Vehicles should be checked for battery strength, fuel levels and emergency supplies, including a shovel, jumper cables, kitty litter or gravel, and a cell phone charger.
Residents who lose power should contact their energy provider to report the outage.
For more information and tips on storm preparedness, click on the links in the Related Links box.