LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- With no power or air conditioning, long gas lines and extreme heat, the last thing storm victims need to worry about is burglars.
But for many, the break-in worry is now the biggest concern as the days without power continue.
With a not so subtle sign out front for utility crews, Lincoln County's Angel Bays is living out of a trailer behind her powerless home. She’s spending big bucks on generator gas.
Bays and others say they would rather be elsewhere waiting for power, but she afraid to leave her home unattended.
“I worry that somebody would come here and steal all we have," Bays said. "That's why I'm not leaving.”
Lincoln County Sheriff David Vickers said, "In a situation where many are powerless, that would be a prime time for breaking and entering.”
Vickers says he's challenged to help powerless homeowners by phones that will not call in, not to mention severely limited deputies to patrol powerless areas.
“We are patrolling the best we can, and if you have a problem you can call 911 and they can reach us," Vickers said.
Lincoln County 911 Director Allen Holder said, “We've had no reports of anything like that so far. If you have no power, you're hot. You have no food; you have to weigh your options.”
At the Duval Middle School cooling station and shelter, many say the worries over break-ins have the powerless feeling powerless.
Storm victim Berna Dean said, “We have neighbors watching our trailer.
But I’d sure like to get power and go home.”
Getting power back and going home is the best security plan for most.
We've got some tips to help keep you from becoming a target for burglars:
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