CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – As remnants of Hurricane Laura enter into the North Central West Virginia Friday night, the Harrison County Office of Emergency Management was encouraging people to use caution in the event of severe weather.
The Harrison County Office of Emergency Management explained that although Hurricane Laura came to shore strong, by the time it comes into the state it was expected to have weakend. The OEM mainly anticipated was rain and some wind.
“No matter what everyone should have at least at minimum a 72-hour kit that has at least a gallon of water per person in the household, have at least three days of supplies per every person in the household,” said Laura Pysz, OEM director.
Also, emergency officials said having flashlights, extra batteries, and a first aid kid are imperative items no matter what type of weather event is occurring.
“We’re in West Virginia and we have severe thunder storms and we have winter storms. Both have the potential to knock the power out,” said Pysz. “There is a chance of the power outages, the down trees, the flash flooding that could happen.”
Officials warned against driving through high water on roadways and to be careful of downed power lines as well.
Pysz said the OEM holds extra meetings during weather events so they can have the latest information on what could impact the area. She also said they’re constantly in communication with their partners of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, First Energy, and the National Guard to name a few.
“So much of our focus has been on COVID. It’s like, wow, this is usually what we are dealing with this time of year is some flooding and power outages. So, I mean we are still focused on both. We have COVID going on, that’s not going away, but you know, we have to be able to multitask and also be prepared for power outages and flooded roadways,” said Pysz.
The OEM said it releases information it gets from other officials about potential severe weather keeping resident informed about storms and what to expect.