Emergency management officials in West Virginia are preparing for possible severe weather over the next few days as remnants of Hurricane Laura move toward the state.

The West Virginia Division of Emergency Management and its partners say they began preparations to respond to this severe weather threat as forecasts throughout the week became more precise. Laura makes landfall, leaving damage in its wake.

“Because of the possibility of severe weather for West Virginia due to Hurricane Laura, we’ve brought together our partner agencies and county emergency managers to be ready if response is needed,” said acting WVEMD Director Thom Kirk.

“At all times, WVEMD stands ready to provide all possible resources to protect the lives and property of all our citizens. In addition to our Enhanced Watch due to COVID-19, we continue our mission by coordinating the state’s response efforts to severe weather or any other threat.”

The State Emergency Operations Center says it has expanded the scope of its briefings while on Enhanced Watch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the West Virginia National Guard are already working with other state agencies, county emergency management offices, and groups such as Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) and the Red Cross.

The State Resiliency Office is taking part in the SEOC briefings for event coordination and the National Weather Service has joined them for the most current severe weather forecast.