Hurricane season officially started on June 1 and the time to prepare is now. Hurricanes threaten our homes and businesses with flooding and high winds. They can also damage vital public infrastructure and bring a stop to critical municipal services such as the availability of tap water and managing wastewater. As a coastal region, our stormwater systems are also impacted because they can easily become overwhelmed by rainfall and tidal flooding.
Preparedness is vital in these emergency situations, and it is never too early to prepare.
Take the following steps now to protect your family, and beat the pre-storm frenzy if a hurricane sets its sights on Hampton Roads this season:
- Purchase flood insurance. No matter where you live in Hampton Roads, you will need it. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused devastating flooding outside of the flood plain. Don't get caught unprepared. Flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period so get started now.
- Make an evacuation plan and know your zone.
- Document your home and valuables with photos.
- Check your emergency kit to make sure you have a three-day supply of food and water, flashlights, batteries and toiletries.
- Make sure your gutters are clean and working properly. Improper drainage can contribute to damages to your home year-round.
- Clean ditches and keep the nearest storm drain clear to ensure water can flow freely away from your property.
- Trim back weak or dead branches from trees, especially those near your home or other outbuildings.
Visit ReadyHamptonRoads.org for more tips on how to prepare for an emergency and to sign up for local alerts.