Local Fire Lieutenant talks about staying safe during winter storm

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Throughout the south, governors have declared a state of emergency. The east and northeast deal with freezing rain and snow accumulations potentially over a foot in some regions. Across the Appalachians, people are also bracing for the impact.

Travel is obviously less than ideal for such conditions, but Lieutenant Chris Graham with the Beckley Fire Department discusses ways to stay safe if travel is necessary.

“It’s best to not be out on the roads unless it is an emergency, but you want to keep the roads open for emergency vehicles,” he says. “The main thing is, if you have to go out, give yourself plenty of time, go slow, be aware of other drivers because someone could slide into you causing an accident that way. But the best bet is to just stay off the roads unless you absolutely have to be out.”

With enough time to prepare, Graham expects that most people have already gotten the supplies they need to ride out the storm and stay off the roads.

The bigger concern in the event of snow and ice pulling down power lines is the potential for power outages.

“Just prepare, have food and water there. Hopefully it’s not going to get so cold that you have to worry about your pipes freezing and bursting, I hope, but just stay inside, stay warm, and make sure your pets are inside and warm, as well.”

Another crucial safety measure to take while riding out the storm indoors is to make sure any space or kerosene heaters are away from drapes, furniture, or any other area where they could potentially cause a fire/

The snow is expected to affect travel for your Monday morning commute. The National Weather Service advises that you keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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