Hurricane Preparedness Week Starts May 9

City reminds residents to be prepared for potential severe weather

Friday, May 07, 2021

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 9-15. Hurricanes are a part of life on the Atlantic coast, so it is important that residents be as prepared as possible for their destructive forces. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual. Here are important tips 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.
  • Access worksheets at ready.gov/plan to help you build a plan.  

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.
  • Due to the pandemic, be sure to also include hand sanitizer, masks and disinfecting wipes.
  • A list of suggested items can be found at ready.gov/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 https://www.vaemergency.gov/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.
  • 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, visit floodsmart.gov

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.

Stay informed:

  • Sign up for emergency alerts and know where to get the latest information.
  • Sign up for VBAlert. This free service will notify you during emergencies via text message, email and/or voice message based on your account preferences.
  • VBAlert also allows users to develop a Smart911 profile which can 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. 

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