Virginia's Emergency Management crews prepare to respond to snowstorm

Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 at 10:59 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Emergency workers across the state are working around the clock to help keep you safe.

The state's emergency operations center in Chesterfield is always staffed, but when there's a significant weather event like this one, more crews are called in to make sure Virginia is ready to respond.

The state is putting all hands on deck - police, transportation, even health officials. Already, cities and counties across Virginia have been calling the emergency management office saying the will need help during this storm.

"One locality wants additional snow plows. Another locality wants a major snow blower to help clear roads and others want four-wheel drive vehicles to help stranded motorists in their localities," said Spokesman Jeff Caldwell.

It means employees who may not normally report to work are being called in. That extra manpower isn't just for one day. Officials will be monitoring the outlook for the rest of the week to determine what could be needed in the days ahead.

"We will keep staffing in as long as there's a need. So if this storm has a severe impact, and Virginia Beach, for example, takes several days to dig out from the storm, we will continue to staff this facility in order to meet those needs," Caldwell said.

As the state does its part, leaders are calling on you to do yours too.

"We've already had a couple of fatalities in Virginia due to the cold. With the potential for heavy snow and power outages, we want to make sure people go to bed tonight with an emergency kit in place, extra blankets, candles, blankets, flashlights and those things they will need if the power goes out overnight, so they can stay warm and also check on their neighbors so they're safe," Caldwell added.

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