Disaster responders with the Red Cross of Northern New England met Thursday to plan for what are expected to be widespread power outages and bone-chilling cold from a major storm blowing through the region Friday into Saturday.

John Montes, Regional Disaster Officer, said the agency determined its staffing needs for this weekend and made sure it had necessary supplies and enough gas for electricity generators.

The Red Cross works closely with state and local agencies during storms to figure out where it needs to send volunteers. For Friday’s storm, the organization is preparing to set up potential warming centers and shelters.

“The Red Cross is currently preparing to support the states and the municipalities within the states,” Montes says.

“With a storm like this you anticipate prolonged power outages, disruptions to other utilities– water, heat, gas. And then you also anticipate potential flooding or freezing. So warming centers, potential shelters are what we’re preparing to support,” he adds.

To prepare yourself for an upcoming storm, Montes says to keep enough water, extra batteries, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and tools on hand in case of an emergency. If warming centers do open up, Montes advises to call 211 in Vermont to find out where the nearest center is.