The Virginia National Guard plans to have up to 800 personnel in place by Friday night to respond to storm-related events. Staging areas will be in Hampton Roads, central and southwest Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley. Deputy director of joint operations Lt. Col. Douglas Gagnon says personnel must be in place before the severe weather hit to allow for a rapid response when needed. He says among the tasks the Guard is prepared to handle include tree and debris removal and transporting flood victims to safety. The Virginia National Guard was last on state active duty in February and March responding to heavy snow and flooding.