Local authorities advise residents to prepare for Hurricane Matthew

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond released a press release Tuesday advising residents in the area that while the exact path of Hurricane Matthew is still unknown, they should still take precautions now to prepare for the potential impacts the storm may have.

As part of this preparation, Richmond advised residents to be sure to stock up on perishable foods and to consider having enough water available for each person to have one gallon per day in case electricity or other public utilities fail.

emergency

8News’ Jonathan Costen spoke with David Botkins, a media representative from Dominion, about the chances of trees falling on power lines, especially considering the amount of ground saturation we’ve already experienced in the past week.

“If we have high winds, the probability of trees toppling on the power lines is higher because of the ground saturation, so we’ve got to be mindful of that,” Botkins said.

Botkins and the city of Richmond both cautioned residents to make an emergency supply kit filled with enough supplies to last for three days.

An example of an emergency kit supply kit, featuring first aid supplies, nonperishable foods, water, and medications
An example of an emergency kit supply kit, featuring first aid supplies, nonperishable foods, water, and medications

They suggested that residents include the following items:

  • battery-powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • non-perishable food and water
  • toiletries
  • flashlights
  • first-aid kit
  • medications
  • any items needed for infants, seniors or pets

The city also suggested that residents keep a second kit inside their car in case storm conditions require residents to evacuate the city.

Otherwise, the city asked that residents secure objects that may be blown around by high winds, including patio furniture, plants, garden decorations and anything else that is usually kept outside.

In the event of outages, the city suggests that residents not connect a generator directly into your home’s wiring, as this can cause a fire hazard or “back feed” into the power lines connected to your home.

Dominion crews work to clean up after a recent storm that downed power lines.
Dominion crews work to clean up after a recent storm that downed power lines.

If you have to leave your home, the city said you should create a family communications plan to decide what actions should be taken in an actual emergency. The city suggests created an agreed upon meeting place if the family can’t return home. The city also suggests designating an out-of-town friend or relative as a point of contact.

“If we have high winds, the probability of trees toppling on the power lines is higher because of the ground saturation, so we’ve got to be mindful of that,” Botkins said.

The city suggested businesses should also make similar plans ahead of the storm, saying that such a plan will improve businesses’ chances of surviving and recovering. They offered more detailed advice at www.ready.gov/business.

For up-to-date information and additional instructions from the city of Richmond during the storm, please visit www.Richmondgov.com, follow the City on Twitter @CityRichmondVA, and stay tuned to 8News.

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