How to stay prepared ahead of this weekend’s wild weather

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Sadly, bad weather is heading our way. With a threat for severe thunderstorms Saturday morning and a chance for snow that afternoon, we caught up with emergency management in Newport News on how you can safely stay prepared.

Ironically, it’s also Severe Weather Awareness Week. Emergency management leaders say residents should always be prepared for inclement weather, no matter the season.

The biggest piece of advice to prepare for Saturday, according to city leaders, is having a plan. With temperature drops and potential strong winds and heavy rain, families could see flooding as well.

“Storm surges causes the flooding, and so they need to know whether they’re in a evacuation zone,” said Nicole DelValle, Newport News Emergency Management leader.

Leaders say they try to mitigate as much as they can ahead of time, working with public and private partners to make sure that they’re aware of what is going on in the area.

And another tip for families – having a safety kit.

“Having water and having some snacks and letting the kids even build their own bags,” DelValle said.

Dominion Energy crews and contractors say they’re always on standby to tackle storms like this, but especially when it comes to downed power lines.

“We have partners that we work with, and when we’re experiencing severe weather, they help us out and we do the same,” said Dominion Energy spokesperson Craig Carper. “We’re all staying plugged in and monitoring the situation and responding accordingly.”

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) leaders say drivers should not travel during and after winter weather late Friday and on Saturday, as unsafe driving conditions are expected throughout the Commonwealth.

Related: Experts explain how to winterize your home and what is important for your safety kits

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