Bedford County isn’t taking any chances when it comes to being prepared for the first big snowstorm of winter.
“This is a public safety emergency that we’re thinking about this weekend,” said Bedford County Emergency Services Director Dave Cubbison.
Commissioners issued a Declaration of Disaster Emergency Thursday afternoon.
It opens the door for the county and its 38 municipalities to get reimbursement from the state for any services or materials it will take to keep people safe during the storm.
“If there’s no declaration then there’s no chance that you can be reimbursed in the future for this,” Cubbison said. “We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars.”
Those municipalities must sign on if they want to reap the benefits and forego the tax burden the residents could face to deal with the snow.
“Obviously if you have 38 municipalities plus county government and we are hit by a large snowfall and we have thousands or tens of thousands of dollars which are not budgeted to be spent on this, it’s gotta come from somewhere and it’s gonna come from the tax base.”
The storm may not hit Bedford until Friday night so you still have time to take necessary precautions.
“People need to very slowly and very methodically prepare for the storm.”
Cubbison said Bedford Emergency Services are most concerned about getting heavy, wet snow.
“We could have trees coming down,” he explained. “We could have power lines coming down. In that case, if it gets really cold we potentially will be opening up shelters – warming centers for people.”
It’s important to remember that the storm likely isn’t going to hit our area until the later hours on Friday. So there’s still time to go out, get the supplies you need and prepare.