Take These Steps to Prepare for Hurricane Season

HurricaneIt’s early in the 2014 hurricane season, but that didn’t bother Hurricane Arthur, a Category 2 storm, as it dealt Virginia a glancing blow during the July 4 weekend.  We’ve got a long way to go during this hurricane season – what steps should you take now to protect your family and property?

  • Talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance.  Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.  Just one inch of water in a mid-size home or office can mean as much as $20,000 in cleanup and repairs!  Remember:
    • There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
    • Renters also can buy flood insurance, to cover personal belongings or business inventory.
    • Go to www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 for more information.
  • Download the free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™ devicesUse the app to prepare for disasters and to stay informed during emergencies.  Features include:
    • Push notifications of weather warnings for your location issued by the National Weather Service
    • A customizable emergency plan that can be easily shared with family and friends
    • A checklist for gathering emergency supplies
    • The latest disaster news on widespread emergencies from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Build an emergency kit.  Start with three days’ water and three days’ food that doesn’t need electricity or refrigeration.  Then add:
    • A battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with a weather band and extra batteries to hear information from local officials
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • First aid kit and extra supply of medications
    • Special items for babies, older family members and pets

People with disabilities or access and functional needs may need to take additional steps to be ready.  Plan now how to handle power outages and/or being asked to evacuate.  See www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit/disabilities for more.

Additional information about preparing for hurricane season: www.ReadyVirginia.gov and www.ListoVirginia.gov.