6 things you should do BEFORE the snow starts to fall

Posted at 11:56 AM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-12 06:58:18-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Late in January, the last time Central Virginia experienced a significant amount of snow, Dominion Virginia Power asked customers to conserve energy. They expected a greater demand, especially during peak hours because of the unusually cold temperatures.

With snow expected Wednesday evening, the electricity provider has a different request for customers: be prepared to deal with potential power outages.

This round of snow could potentially be wet and sloppy. When it accumulates on tree branches, it could weight them down, snapping onto power lines and knocking out electricity.

Le-Ha Anderson, Manager, Media Relations Electric Division for Dominion Virginia Power says crews are gathering in areas where forecasters believe the worst of the weather might come. Those areas are in and around Richmond and to the south.

They're telling those crews to be ready for 12 hour shifts, and to be ready to work in dangerous conditions as long as it takes to get power back on for customers.

Richmonder Jeff Wells was taking advantage of the clear skies Tuesday morning to walk his dog Chico along Monument Avenue. He says like most in the area, he’s got the milk/bread rush taken care of already.

“We stockpiled supplies from the last two snows, so we're loaded with salt for the sidewalks and extra provisions. I think we're ready”, said Wells.

“We want you to make sure that you have our phone number on hand”, says Anderson, “and that you also, through your mobile device, be able to contact dominion to report any power outages.”

Here are 6 winter storm prep tips for you:

  1. Have a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries.
  2. Charge mobile phones and other portable devices.
  3. Turn off/unplug any non-essential electrical.
  4. Make sure all prescription medications are filled.
  5. Keep refrigerator closed.
  6. Have non-perishable foods.

If you have a power outage, the number to call is 1-866-DOM-HELP.

Hopefully you won't need it, but you don't want to be without it.