City Advises Residents to Prepare for Winter Storm
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the city of Richmond from noon February 12 until 6 p.m. February 13, as local forecasts have indicated that the city will be impacted by winter weather during this timeframe. As a result, the City of Richmond encourages residents to take precautions now in preparation for any winter precipitation.
Residents are encouraged to make an emergency supply kit to include essential supplies that will last at least three days. Supply kits should include a hand-cranked or battery-powered radio and extra batteries, non-perishable food and water, toiletries, flashlights, a first aid kit and medications. Also, include items needed for infants, seniors, and pets. You may want to keep a second kit in your car in the event you must travel during inclement weather.
The City asks that residents remain home during this weather event and offers the following safety recommendations:
• If you must drive, drive cautiously and decrease speed;
• Have a full tank of gas;
• Have a fully charged cell phone with you;
• Stay inside if possible. If you need to go out, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Wear mittens or gloves and a hat, preferably one that covers your ears;
• Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite;
• Avoid overloading electrical outlets;
• Do not connect your generator directly to your home's wiring or house your generator inside your home. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home's wiring may 'back feed' onto the power lines connected to your home;
• If space heaters are being used, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely use the heater. Make sure your space heater is three feet from any flammable material. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater;
• Stoves or ovens should not be used as an alternate source to heat your home;
• Bring your pets indoors. If you are unable to bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
Although mass evacuations do not appear to be necessary with this weather event, City officials may decide some area evacuations are necessary. Residents should prepare to be self sustaining by having food that doesn’t need refrigeration and one gallon of water per person per day.
The City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, February 11, Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13 as overnight temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees during this time period. The overflow shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building, 501 North 9th Street. The shelter entrance is the second entrance on the 9th Street side of the building closest to Leigh Street. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Shelter registration will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.
The Cold Weather Day Warming site is open today and will also open tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12 as daytime temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees during this time period. The warming site is open each day from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Commonwealth Catholic Charities operates the day warming site at 511 West Grace Street.
Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry by 5 p.m. each day for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry is located at 511 West Grace Street. A referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be provided to individuals who are not eligible for an existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral.
The City’s Department of Social Services will accept Crisis Assistance applications now through March 15 at 900 East Marshall Street, Monday through Friday; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046. The department also provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify.
Elderly or residents with disabilities may also contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Businesses have a critical role in emergency preparedness. Putting a disaster plan in motion now will improve the likelihood that your business or company will survive and recover. Visit www.ready.gov/business for more information.
For up-to-date information and additional instructions from the City of Richmond during this weather event, please visit www.Richmondgov.com, follow the City on Twitter @CityRichmondVA, and stay tuned to local radio and television stations.