Hurricane Season Starts June 1

Hurricane Preparedness Week kicks off May 9.

supplies for emergency kitHurricanes are a part of life on the Atlantic coast, so it is important for residents to be as prepared as possible for their destructive force. Hurricane Preparedness Week helps remind us of the things we can to get ready.

Know your hurricane risk and take steps to prepare by making a plan and building a kit.

You can access worksheets to help you build a plan at ready.gov/plan because if you need to evacuate quickly, you can move faster if you have already thought about what to do. For example, determine in advance your evacuation route and where you'll go. Know how you'll communicate and reconnect if your family isn't together when a storm hits.

It's also important to 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/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup.

After a storm, you may need to survive on your own for several days – that means having 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. Be sure to take the needs of individual family members like seniors, babies and pets into consideration. Due to the pandemic, be sure to also include hand sanitizer, masks and disinfecting wipes. You can find a list of suggested items at ready.gov/kit.

Sign up for emergency alerts and know where to get the latest information.

All Virginia Beach adults should sign up for VBAlert. The free service will notify you during emergencies via text message, email and/or voice message based on your account preferences. The system also allows users to develop a Smart911 profile which can also deliver important information to 9-1-1 and first responders (i.e. medical conditions, emergency contacts, etc.) which saves valuable time during an emergency. Register at vbgov.com/vbalert.

Important information will also be posted to City social media channels, so be sure to follow the City to get the latest updates. Visit vbgov.com/community-connect for a full list.

Prepare your home and purchase or renew flood insurance.

Before a hurricane, you'll need to prepare your home by clean 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 and check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector's battery. For these and other tips, visit vaemergency.gov/hurricanes.

People often don't realize until it's too late that a regular homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover wind and flood damage. Separate policies are needed. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect, so don't wait until a storm is imminent. Because Virginia Beach joined the FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System, residents and business owners can now save 15%. For more details, go to floodsmart.gov.  

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