Editorial – Hurricane season coming

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Another hurricane season beckons, which means the appropriately timed Hurricane Preparedness Week designated by the good folks at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1, so VDEM officials set aside this week of May every year to let residents and visitors know how to respond to the threat of a severe storm or hurricane.

We pass along their good advice.

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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.


Build 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/prepare/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.


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 VDEM 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 https://www.vaemergency.gov/know-your-zone


Stay informed

Sign up for emergency alerts from the county. Follow VDEM on its social media accounts.