CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – People were stocking up and preparing for power outages Saturday, ahead of what could be a major winter storm.
“We had an ice storm, which really caused a power outage for about six days at our house that was really terrible,” Mohammed Ranavaya said, remembering a storm years ago when his children were young. “[We] had to stay at a hotel and so on, so this time we decided we'll try to help ourselves and be prepared.”
Ranavaya and his son spent Saturday stocking up for the storm – first at the grocery store, then the hardware store, where they bought a generator, cables and gas cans.
“It is a price, but it is also a necessary expense to be prepared when you have a problem that could be potentially catastrophic,” Ranavaya said.
Richard Lucas, an assistant manager at The Home Depot in Barboursville, said sales of generators, gas cans, flashlights and batteries had spiked ahead of the storm.
“With the cold weather coming in, people are concerned about feeding their families and they're buying propane to use for cooking,” Lucas said.
Noting what his family had done to prepare, Lucas advised others to have a plan for what they would do if the power went out, including how they would heat their home and stock up on groceries.
“We figured it was going to be crazy tomorrow,” Rick Parks said, laughing, as he helped load groceries into his SUV in the parking lot of Kroger. “We'll go ahead and grab a few things we need. Wrong!”
The stores were busy Saturday as Parks and his wife shopped for some extras.
“Bonkers. It is demolition derby with the carts,” Parks said. “You see how the parking lot is going crazy? Same thing in there without the cars.”
Parks, an Eagle Scout, said he was ready for anything.
“We always keep a supply of goods in the pantry. Canned goods, basic stuff, just in case something happens. Always have milk and juice and so forth in the fridge,” Parks said. “We have gas heat, but we also have gas logs in the downstairs office and in the upstairs living room, so if the power goes out, we can still use the logs to produce the heat.”
His concern is how long the power could be out.
“Just think ahead. Think of what possibility things could happen,” Parks said. “Don't wait till everything's gone before you go to the store to buy something. […] Keep blankets, you know, keep extra water if you need to.”