Stafforddeclares state of emergency
STAFFORD — Stafford County has declared a state of emergency due to Hurricane Sandy's presumed arrival.
Stafford County Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, with employees on a Code 1, according to Valerie Cottongim, public information officer for the schools system.
Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello declared a local state of emergency today, according to a county press release.
County officials anticipate that Sandy could cause significant damage from high winds and flooding, producing power outages and transportation disruptions. The declaration will allow the county to rapidly implement emergency response actions and to be eligible for federal assistance in the storm’s aftermath.
The county’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated tonight and will remain open for as long as required.
An emergency shelter will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Gayle Middle School, located at 100 Panther Drive in Stafford. Individuals should bring critical items that they will need over the next several days including sleeping bags, pillows, food, bottled water, change of clothes, medication, glasses, and books and games for children. The shelter will stay open for as long as needed by the community.
Individuals can bring their pets to the shelter. All animals will be transported by the animal control staff to the county's animal shelter.
Stafford County government offices and the Regional Landfill onEskimo Hill Roadwill be closed Tuesday. However, county employees from several departments including the Stafford County Fire & Rescue Department, the Stafford County Sheriff's Office, utilities, parks and recreation and county administration will be working in the Emergency Operations Center and throughout the community Tuesday in response to the storm. The Voter Registrar’s Office in the George L. Gordon, Jr.,Government Center, located at 1300 Courthouse Road in Stafford will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for early voting.
- Beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, citizens can dial 311 or (540) 658-HELP (4357) for non-emergency questions. If anyone has a life-threatening emergency, they need to call 911 immediately.
- All offices of the Rappahannock Health District were closed Monday.
- Generator Safety - If residents lose power and are using generators, they should be extremely cautious and not use the generator inside their home or garage because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. They should also use flashlights rather than candles because of the risk of fires.
- Water - If residents do not have water available in their homes, they can bring their own containers to any ofStafford’s Fire and Rescue stations and fill up at an outside spigot.
- Downed Power Lines - Stay away from downed power lines. Call 911 to report downed power lines. Do not touch them.
- Power Outages - If you lose power, open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary to preserve the cold air.
- Disaster Supplies Kit - Assemble a disaster supplies kit with the following items: water, non-perishable food, can opener, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, most towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, cell phone with chargers. Also pack prescription medication.
- Flooding - Be aware that flash flooding may occur. Move immediately to higher ground if there is any possibility of a flash flood. Do not walk or drive through moving water. Listen to local radio stations for information.
- Medication and/or Special Needs - Individuals with prescription medication and/or special needs should make provisions for medications that require refrigeration in case they lose power. They should also keep specialized items ready including wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items they might need.
- Fallen Trees – Call VDOT at 1-800-367-ROAD (1-800-367-7623).
Important Phone Numbers/Websites
For General County Information
311 or (540) 658- 4357. Individuals can also get information from the county's website, staffordcountyva.gov, Facebook at Stafford County Government, or Twitter at staffordvagov.
Dominion Virginia Power
1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report outages or downed lines. Customers can also report an outage through the company’s mobile website at dom.com by typing in the phone number or account number on record with the company and the last four digits of their Social Security Number, PIN or federal tax ID number.
Call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to report outages, or visit novec.com if you have access.
1-800-544-5606 to report a strong gas odor. Also call 911 immediately. Leave the building immediately.
1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) to report service-related issues or visit verizon.com/outage.
Call 511 or visit 511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 website.