VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Emergency responders are preparing for Something in the Water.
Officials say they’re expecting anywhere between 70-80,000 people at the Oceanfront this weekend.
Mike Lewis, who is the division chief for Virginia Beach EMS, says they believe there will be Fourth of July type crowds over the three day festival.
“It’s all hands on deck. Our staffing plans for this weekend is at least a quarter of our force. That’s both career and volunteer. Everyone is ponying up, all hands on deck. We’re going to get through and it’s going to be a successful event,” Lewis said.
The preparations are just like those for every major event they have, according to Lewis, but there are some additional measures being taken.
Lewis says staff will be on the placed from 42nd Street all the way down to Rudee Inlet.
There will also be multiple medical tents including one that will have doctors on site.
Lewis says this is because traffic will be congested and that will make it difficult to get emergency vehicles in.
“We do have some doctors down there that will be able to treat and stabilize people, which is different than what we normally have,” he said.
Medical carts, which provide the same capabilities as ambulances, will also be out as well as walking teams, to make sure anyone with medical issues gets taken care of.
The City of Virginia Beach is also offering text alert options to attendees of the concert.
Julie Hill, the communications director for the city, says some residents are already familiar with their current text alert system that sends out notifications about weather and other serious issues.
But, this one is specifically to alert residents about important information for Something in the Water.
“For a major event, this is the first time we’ve put something like this in place but we think it’s a great thing we’ll be carrying forward,’ she said.
As of noon, 5,800 signed up to get the Something in the Water alerts.
The city also has a special events page where important information is located.
They too are using the WAZE app to keep residents up to date with traffic. Hill says there are already some road closure signs in place near certain locations that would be closed if the Oceanfront reaches capacity. But, those signs aren’t being used yet.
Hill says the city is excited for the event and so are those who will be on the beach to help if need be.
“I think it’s a great thing for the city. I think we can build upon it,” said Lewis.
To get the city’s text alerts, message SITW to 226787. The festival’s app is also available wherever you download your apps.