~ Hurricane season begins June 1~
RICHMOND,VA — Governor Glenn Youngkin is urging Virginians to prepare now for this year’s hurricane season, which began today and lasts through November 30. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting another above-average hurricane season this year with a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provided these ranges with a 70% confidence.
“I want to encourage Virginians to take the time and prepare now for this coming storm season,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This includes not only our coastal residents but inland Virginians as well. History has proven that our inland communities are just as susceptible to hurricane impacts like flooding, tornadoes, and high winds.”
For comprehensive information on preparedness, response, and recovery activities, please review the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide, which not only includes evacuation information, but also highlights actions to take in the event of tropical weather.
“Virginia should be proud of the work being done by our public safety agencies to ensure a swift and effective response to all hazards, including hurricanes,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier. “We can’t forget that the best form of preparedness is ensuring you and your family also have a plan, make a kit, and stay informed of potential bad weather.”
Recent years have proven that hurricanes are also not just a coastal threat. Even storms that start in the lower Atlantic or Gulf States have the potential to come north and cause significant damage. This is why we encourage all Virginians across the Commonwealth to take the time to become prepared.
“Preparedness is all about being ready before a storm or disaster even develops,” said Shawn Talmadge, State Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “Many of the items we ask Virginians to keep in a kit or plans that should be made are not only applicable to hurricanes but for many other types of hazards as well. Just a little bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring the safety and welfare of you and your family.”
Take the time now to review your insurance policy, secure your property, and create a plan that includes arrangements for your pets or those that may need extra assistance. Below are a few critical steps to ensure you and your family’s safety.
Know your zone. Evacuation may become necessary depending on the track and severity of the storm. Review Virginia’s evacuation zones at KnowYourZoneVA.org. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar of the website to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.
Complete a family communication plan. Prepare for how you will assemble and communicate with your family and loved ones. Identify meeting locations and anticipate where you will go. Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance on family communications plans is available here.
Check your insurance coverage. Remember, there may be a waiting period (typically 30 days) for a flood insurance policy to become effective, and be aware that not all storm-related losses, such as flooding, are covered under traditional policies. Now is the time to review your coverage and contact your insurance agent for any changes. If you are not insured against floods, talk to your insurance agent or visit floodsmart.gov. If you are a renter, now is the time to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your belongings.
Make an emergency kit. Assemble an emergency kit that includes nonperishable food, water, medication, sanitary supplies, radios, extra batteries, and important documents. Learn more about building an emergency supply kit here.
Stay informed. Identify where to go for trusted sources of information during emergencies. Check with your local emergency management office to sign up for alerts that go directly to your phone or email. Be sure to monitor local news for watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Power outages are always a concern during weather events—make sure you have a battery-operated radio available so you can still receive life-saving alerts.
There are many resources available to assist with hurricane planning efforts. Learn more about preparing your business, your family, and your property against hurricane threats (and other disasters) at vaemergency.gov/prepare and ready.gov/hurricanes.