Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
Stafford closing cooling center; call county if you need assistance
Here’s a press release from Stafford County:
Stafford, Va. – Stafford County continues its recovery efforts resulting from Friday night’s severe storms. Stafford remains under a local state of emergency for the foreseeable future.
Currently, 15,000 customers are without power in Stafford. Dominion Virginia Power is working to complete 80% restoration of power by Tuesday night and continues to describe their power restoration efforts as a “multi-day” event. Because the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the high 90s this week, citizens are advised to continue to take precautionary measures and to check on family, friends, and pets.
The County’s Emergency Operations Center is closing at 7:00 p.m. this evening. The cooling shelter at Rodney Thompson Middle School will also be closing this evening.
Citizens needing shelter or assistance may call (540) 658-4440.
The Virginia Department of Health provides the following safety tips:
- If power has been out for more than four hours, all food such as meat, poultry, eggs, and any leftovers, should not be eaten and disposed of immediately.
- Also, if any food appears to have changed in texture and odor, it should be thrown out.
If the power is out for longer than two hours, follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control below:
- For the freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
- For the refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice.
- Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To keep food items as cold as possible for as long as possible, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
All water treatment plants in Stafford continue to work as usual. Residents do not have to boil water.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides the following information regarding medications:
- Some drugs require refrigeration (for example, insulin, somatropin, and drugs that have been reconstituted). If electrical power has been off for a long time, the drug should be discarded. If the drug is absolutely necessary to sustain life (insulin, for example), it may be used until a new supply is available.
- Because temperature sensitive drugs lose potency if not refrigerated, they should be replaced with a new supply as soon as possible. For example, insulin that is not refrigerated has a shorter shelf life than the labeled expiration date.
- If a contaminated product is considered medically necessary and would be difficult to replace quickly, you should contact a healthcare provider (for example, Red Cross, poison control, health departments, etc.) for guidance.
- If you are concerned about the efficacy or safety of a particular product, contact your pharmacist, healthcare provider or the manufacturer’s customer service department.