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Shoppers Stock Up Ahead of Sandy

By Potomac Local News October 28, 2012 9:22 am

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By STEPHANIE TIPPLE

DALE CITY, Va. – As Hurricane Sandy moves its way toward the Potomac Communities, families and companies all over Northern Virginia are preparing.

Prompted by the derecho this past June that took many off guard, and leaving several people without power and supplies for extended periods, there is a bigger sense of preparedness for Hurricane Sandy.

At Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City supplies are flying off the shelves; with batteries, flashlights and candles being among the top most purchased items, according to Meagan Stephens, a cashier at the store. Another popular item many are flocking to are sand bags.

“People are especially buying those to keep from flooding,” Stephens said.

While they have plenty of flashlights in stock, the store is currently out of propane tanks.

Dominion Virginia Power and NOVEC are also taking preemptive measures – and are urging their customers to do the same. A press release issued Saturday by Dominion Power warned this storm is likely to be long lasting, and that customers need to be ready for long term outages.

“This storm system will build in intensity over time and will remain a force for days, not just hours, causing major damage and extensive power outages,” said spokesman Rodney Blevins. Dominion has made a commitment to have teams on the ground as soon as the worst of the storm is over, to help restore power to affected communities.

NOVEC is also prepared with teams to fix any damage and outages in the Northern Virginia area, and has stressed safety and emergency preparedness. One tip that NOVEC offered all customers was to get in touch with NOVEC and ensure that they have your up to date contact information on file, so they can get in contact with you and restore your service as quickly as possible.

“If you use a cell phone, call us at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to associate your number with your account,” the press release states.

Take a look at these hurricane preparedness tips, published by NOVEC:

? Designate the safest shelter location. Be prepared to leave a mobile home for better protection. Develop a plan for someone disabled.

? Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches, and first aid. If applicable, have enough prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items.

? Have identification and documentation ready to grab. Keep Social Security information; birth certificates; home, car, and life insurance files; and other important documents in a water-proof file box.

? Cordless phones do not work when power is out; keep cell phones charged.

? Before a storm hits, unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave oven, and computers to protect them from power surges and lightning strikes.

What to do if Power Goes Out

? Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, or report the outage online at novec.com if you have access. The Outage Center will provide updates.

? Only open freezers and refrigerators when necessary.

? Use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.