Hurricane Sandy is on it's way, and many parts of the east coast continue to evacuate. For West Virginia, the greatest threat seems to come from the possibility of power outages from high winds, snow, and plenty of rain that could lead to flooding. In Harrison County, water bottles and canned goods were flying off the shelves and nearly everyone was sold out of generators by Saturday.
Resident Ron Welsh told us that he "Went to Kroger and did my shopping. Got plenty of water, plenty of food. I even got non-perishable items in case of spoilage in a power outage. I mean what else can you do but hope the power doesn't go out?"
With possible gusts this week of up to 50 miles per hour, folks like Ron Welsh are most concerned with power outages. He doesn't want to see another situation where West Virginians are without power for an extended period of time like they were at the end of June.
"If it's a long duration like it was in June that's not good for anybody. It's too long. I hope we don't have that big of a problem this time."
Others are skeptical about the storm's impact in West Virginia. Richard Swigger says he is prepared, but doesn't expect to really need his generator.
"Yeah we're prepared with the generator and things we've had in the past. So like the boy scouts say be prepared. We're going prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
There are plenty of other ways to prepare for storms. Officials in Monongalia County sent out a press release with recommendations for folks. Many of their recommendations involve simple home or vehicle repairs. Caulking your doors and windows, installing storm windows, and always making sure your car has working breaks, antifreeze, and at least a half tank of gas are good ways to stay ahead of any lurking danger. And as Richard pointed out, there is no good that can come from overreacting.
"I'm concerned a little bit, but storms come and storms go and I've always made it through them."
Another issue could be flash flooding. One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to drive or walk in moving water. Officials recommend that you head for higher ground as soon as the threat of a flood begins.
Eight states and the District of Columbia have declared a state of emergency. For now, West Virginia is not a part of that number, but folks should remain vigilant.