VDEM designates May 15-19, 2023 as Hurricane Preparedness Week

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 2:17 PM EDT|Updated: May. 15, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) - June 1 is the official start of Atlantic hurricane season and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management has designated this week as Hurricane Preparedness Week.

The VDEM wants residents and visitors to the commonwealth to recognize the importance of planning how to respond to the threat of a severe storm of hurricane.

Shawn Talmadge of VDEM said in a press release that “It is never too early to prepare for the impact of tropical weather” and that “all Virginians need to be prepared.”

Here are some important tips from the VDEM to ensure your safety before, during, and after severe weather:

Make a plan:

  • If you need to evacuate, you can move faster if you’ve already thought about what to do.
  • Determine in advance where you’ll go and your evacuation route(s).
  • Know how you’ll communicate and reconnect if your family isn’t together when a storm hits.

Make a kit:

  • Have emergency food, water, and other supplies to last at least 72 hours.
  • A good time to build your kit is when there isn’t an imminent threat.
  • Take the needs of individual family members like seniors, babies, and pets, into consideration.
  • A list of suggested items can be found at https://www.vaemergency.gov/attachments/emergency-kit/

Prepare your home:

  • Before a hurricane, you’ll need to prepare your home by cleaning out drains and gutters, checking the yard and removing or securing anything that could become a projectile like bicycles, planters, grills, and lawn furniture.
  • Cover doors and windows.
  • Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery.
  • For these and other tips, visit vaemergency.gov/threats/hurricanes/

Purchase or renew flood insurance:

  • It typically takes up to 30 days for a flood insurance policy to go into effect, so it’s better not to wait until a storm is imminent.
  • People often don’t realize until it’s too late that separate policies are needed for protection against wind and flood damage because a regular homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover them.

Know your evacuation zone:

  • The Virginia Department of Emergency Management designed evacuation zones for all coastal regions to simplify the process of determining whether a resident should evacuate or shelter at home in an emergency based on their address. Look up evacuation zones at vaemergency.gov/know-your-zone/

Stay informed:

  • Sign up for emergency alerts from your local office of emergency management and know where to get the latest information.

For more information go to our website at www.vaemergency.gov