The start of hurricane season, traditionally June 1, is a great time to make sure you and your family are prepared in the event a storm makes its way to Hampton Roads. The emergency management and weather professionals at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Weather Service (NWS) (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hurricane/index.shtml) have produced tips and suggestions on how to be prepared before a storm, what to do during the storm and how to recover following the storm.
The following suggestions and more can be found at the DHS website, ReadyVirginia.gov and/or the NWS website http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hurricane/index.shtml. Please consult both sites as you prepare.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit or inventory hurricane emergency supplies and restock if necessary. Grab extras at the store “before” an emergency. Don’t forget to include games and toys for entertainment and a hand-crank or battery operated radio
- Make a plan to evacuate in case you are asked to do so.
- Verify that vital records are in a safe storage area or in your emergency kit.
- You may need to stay where you are for an extended time, have enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of 3 days and for a week or more if possible.
- As power/cell service permits, check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.
- Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
- If sheltering at home, take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
- Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Once home, drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects in the road, downed electrical wires, and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks that might collapse.
- Walk carefully around the outside of your home to check for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage.