Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov
Protecting You and Your Environment Virginia Department of Health
Home | VDH Programs | Find It! A-Z Index | Newsroom | Administration | Jobs
   disclaimer

Severe Weather Preparedness


Understand Severe Weather Terms:
Understanding severe weather definitions and terms can help you and your loved ones prepare for changing conditions.

  • Hurricane Warning: Issued when the onset of tropical storm conditions appear possible in the warning area within the next 48 hours.
  • Hurricane Watch: Issued when a hurricane with sustained winds of 74 mph (65 knots, 118 km/h) or higher is expected.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: There is a possibility that severe thunderstorms may occur in your area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon in your area.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Due to heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, your area may experience flooding. 
  • Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding is in progress, imminent, or highly likely. Seek higher ground immediately or evacuate if directed to do so.
  • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

rainingPrepare For Severe Weather: 
Be prepared for severe weather by downloading the Ready Virginia mobile app to receive alerts for changing conditions. Additional steps that you can take to keep yourself and loved ones safe include:

  • Have an emergency kit prepared with supplies such as an alternate fuel source for heating your home, flashlights and batteries in your home and car, blankets, food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, a 3 day supply of water, prescription medicines, a battery operated radio, flashlights, and cell phone chargers. A supply checklist with basic items that every supply kit should include is available for download.
  • Prepare your vehicle with emergency supplies and have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors.
  • Update important documents, such as insurance information and your home inventory, and store them in your emergency kit or a water proof container.

Know What To Do During Severe Weather:


Last Updated: 11-27-2013

Printable Version

E-mail This Page