VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — As a tropical storm approaches the east coast, Virginia State Police (VSP) gave people guidance on how to plan ahead and prepare.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for coastal Virginia and Maryland. The tropical storm, which was not named as of early Friday afternoon, was approaching landfall in North Carolina, with experts referring to it as a possible tropical cyclone.

VSP advised Virginians to postpone travel plans and avoid driving where possible.

If you do have to drive, VSP gave the following tips on how to do so safely:

  • Drive slowly — Doing so “gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash, downed trees and/or debris in the roadway.”
  • Turn around, don’t drown — Never drive through standing water.
  • Don’t tailgate — If roads are wet, you need more stopping distance than usual.
  • Use headlights — Increasing what you can see helps you avoid standing water or flooding and helps other drivers see you.
  • Buckle up — Seatbelts help protect you from serious injury if there is a crash.
  • Put down your phone — A driver needs “full, interrupted attention” while driving in heavy rain.
  • Check your vehicle — Make sure the vehicle you want to drive is in good working order before hitting the road.

VSP gives updates on road conditions. You can call 511, download the app, or go online to check.

You should only call 911 in case of an emergency.