How to prepare, who to contact in advance of Sunday storm

Published 6:34 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

The Office of the Governor issued an announcement Friday citing that Virginia residents take action to prepare for Sunday’s winter storm, which is currently projecting 2-8 inches of snow for the Charlotte County area. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Friday afternoon.

Below are recommendations from the Office of the Governor in preparing oneself and families for the storm:

  • Virginians should keep a close watch on the local weather forecast and stay off roads during this storm unless travel is absolutely necessary. If you must travel, allow extra time for the trip, drive at a low speed, and stay at a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • If you encounter slow-moving equipment such as snow plows, slow down and give them the right of way.
  • Download the VDOT 511 app for updates on road conditions at, or dial 5-1-1 from any phone.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper, and phone charger.
  • Check on elderly or homebound neighbors, family, and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and service interruptions that may result.
  • Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
  • Bring pets inside from the cold.
  • While you’re using heating equipment, make sure you keep a three-foot zone around open fires and space heaters, and remember to turn those space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. This goes for the furnace, fireplace, and wood stove, as well.
  • If using your fireplace, make sure it has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
  • Listen to local media or contact local government for the location and availability of local warming shelters if you need a place to come in out of the cold.
  • If you need help, information, or resources during the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 1-800-230-6977. Out-of-state or videophone users may also dial 1-800-230-6977 for assistance.
  • If motorists need to report an emergency, dial #77 on your mobile phone.
  • Remember, you should NEVER touch a downed power line. If you see lines down, call 911 or contact your local power company.
  • High winds and rain can cause trees and branches to fall, which may bring down power lines. Beware of any lines that may have fallen or come into contact with trees, debris, or water. Stay at least 30 feet away and make sure your family, pets, and neighbors also avoid the downed wire.

To report power outages to Dominion Energy, visit and check the map at for updates. Call 866-366-4357 to report an outage. Southside Electric Cooperative’s (SEC) outage map and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative’s (CVEC) outage map can be viewed at and To report an outage to SEC, call or text 1-866-878-5514. To report an outage to CVEC, call 800-367-2832.

Contacting local organizations 

In the event that assistance from area first responders is needed to remove fallen trees, fire-related or medical emergencies, contact the Bacon District Volunteer Fire Department at (434)735-8718 2000, Charlotte Court House Volunteer
Fire Department at (434) 542-5781 608,  Cullen Volunteer Fire Department at (434) 542-5206, Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department at (434)568-2109  Keysville Volunteer Fire Department at (434) 736-9727, Phenix Volunteer Fire Department at (434)542-5523, Red House Volunteer Fire Department at (434) 248-6787.

Director of Emergency Services, Garland “Butch” Hamlett Jr., can be reached at (434) 568-6451.