The National Weather Service forecasts snow that will accumulate beginning early afternoon Sunday and continuing until Monday.
A winter storm watch is in effect for an area south of the Metro area.
Heavy, wet snow moving from southwest to northeast from the storm, could knock trees and limbs into power lines and create outages. The exact timing and strength of the storm may vary.
Dominion Virginia Power sent along these tips and phone numbers:
- Call toll free 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) in the event of outages or downed lines. The company's outage reporting system can handle up to 100,000 calls an hour. Using the voice response unit is the quickest way to report an outage or downed power line.
- The company will update its website, www.dom.com, with information about the storm. A Twitter feed www.twitter.com/DomVAPower and Facebook page www.facebook.com/dominionvirginiapower also are available.
Before the storm:
- Establish an online account with Dominion at www.dom.com (search: MYA) so you can easily report an outage if it occurs, and update it with your telephone number, including your cell phone number. This will ensure the accurate reporting of your power outage.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio, multiple flashlights, a battery-operated clock, and extra batteries.
- Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical equipment in your home.
- Make sure all prescription medications are filled.
- Have a full tank of gas in your car.
- If you have pets, please make sure you have provided for them as well.
During the storm, if you lose your power:
- Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored.
- Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you open it.
- Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
- If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
After the storm
- Listen to your local radio station on your car or battery-powered radio for regular news and weather updates. Don't rely on your neighbors to report your outage. Call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
- Stay away from fallen wires, flooded areas and debris. Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Do not connect portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto Dominion's power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator using the proper-sized extension cords.
- Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.
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