Hurricane Season begins June 1 and continues through November 30. While uncommon, storms have been named in the months of May and December. Hurricane preparedness begins by identifying your personal risks. In a hurricane, the most prevalent life threatening risk is drowning. Determine if you live in a flood plain or Storm Surge Zone. If you do, then you must consider evacuation before and when advised by local officials.
Individual & Family Preparedness
Individual/family preparedness must occur before the hurricane strikes:
- You should have a plan that addresses the risks and requirements of staying vs. evacuating.
- Planning for special needs situations.
- Planning for pets and their supplies. They can't go to shelters.
Prior to the Storm's Arrival
- Stow all lawn furniture and items that may become projectiles due to high winds.
- Stow your waste containers away form the street.
- Remove any yard debris awaiting pick-up away from the street.
- Adhere to any and all evaluation recommendations provided for your area by local officials.
If You Stay
- You can stay at home, if you think your house can withstand hurricane force winds.
- People who live in mobile homes or camping in RV's need to evacuate.
- A concept from areas prone to tornadoes is the safe room or an area in the home that is structurally sounder that can offer some protection from the strong winds.
- Find an interior area on the first floor away from windows and doors. A bathroom, closet, or area under a stairwell can work.
- Prepare an emergency kit and supplies that can sustain self sufficiency for 3 to 7 days or longer depending on impact of storm.
- Stay in the safe area or room until the wind decreases in speed. Remember, in a hurricane, the wind can slow down as the eye passes over-head and picks up again after the eye passes.
- With a battery powered NOAA weather radio, you can monitor the weather and receive any messages concerning public safety.
- Anticipate an interruption in government services.
- Anticipate an interruption in services from businesses.
- Anticipate the loss of financial services and the ability to obtain cash.
- Anticipate damages.
- Anticipate the loss of utilities.
If You Go
- Have a travel plan that takes you inland for shelter and out of the potentially impacted areas; friends, family, hotel, motel, etc.
- Take your emergency preparedness supply kit, important papers, and pets with you.
- Heed evacuation warnings and notifications; emergency services may become overwhelmed by weather and/or requests for service.
- Leave your destination telephone number and address with a neighbor or friend who will be staying in the area.
- If you have no other place to go seek refuge at a public shelter.
- Ensure your car is in good working order and the gas tank is full.
- If you have a cell phone, carry it with you for emergencies.
- If you plan to use I-64 highway, leave well in advance of an evacuation advisory for this region.
- Monitor the weather and time your departure to daylight driving
- When evacuating, residents are encouraged to use Route 17 toward Fredericksburg.
- If the Interstate is reversed (contraflow), Southside residents will be diverted onto the reversed lane, Peninsula residents will continue to have access to all westbound on and off ramps. Keep in mind that all of our neighbors to the south will be using out highways! Plan accordingly.
- Additional information is available by visiting the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) website.
Whether You Stay of Go, Protect Your Home & Contents
- Keep all shrubs and trees trimmed and away from the house.
- Cut plywood or purchase hurricane shutters to protect the windows.
- Have adequate household insurance to cover the structure as well as contents.
- Renters should have insurance to cover their contents.
- All homeowners should consider purchasing flood insurance and consult their insurance agent and/or contact the National Flood Insurance Program.
- It can take up to 30 days for flood insurance to take effect.
Recovery After the Storm
- Catastrophic damages
- Potential prolonged interruption in government services
- Potential prolonged interruption in business and financial services
- Potential prolonged losses of utilities