BRISTOL, Tenn./ Va. -

Emergency officials say the best way to prepare for a storm is to stay one step ahead of it. Washington County, Va. Emergency Management and the Mountain Empire chapter of the American Red Cross are ready for when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

A few volunteers have already started helping out in other parts of the region.

Executive Director of the Mountain Empire chapter of the American Red Cross Felisha McNabb said, "Some are being sent out of the area but we want to leave enough locally in case we have power outages or other issues that we can still manage."

But if and when heavy snow and high winds hit your area it is important to be ready.

"Folks need to pay attention to what they need if they were without power for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days," says Pokey Harris, Director of the Washington County, Va. Emergency Management.

Emergency officials have advice on how to best prepare for a storm and the American Red Cross has a hurricane  app that shows where local shelters are and a list of items you need to have on hand in your home, which include: a flash light, blanket, food, water, and a battery operated radio.

“Always at any time when there is an emergency you want to dial 911, but be practical so that you don't over burden the system because at a time like this folks are calling for help for so many different reasons," says Harris.

If you are in need of a shelter contact the American Red Cross.