It is never too early for you and your family to prepare for a potential tropical storm or hurricane. In response to Hurricane Florence, my Senate office stands ready to assist you and your family in the lead-up and aftermath of the storm.
Updates on the hurricane and its effects on Virginia are available through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website, Facebook, and Twitter feed.
For a full list of road closures and conditions, click here.
Numbers to Call for Information
- 2-1-1 Virginia is serving as the public inquiry number for Virginia residents.
- 5-1-1 is to be used for the latest in road conditions. Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.
- #77 on a cell phone to report a traffic crash or traffic emergency
- Residents should call their locality’s non-emergency number for updated storm-related and shelter information. Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.
What should residents be doing now?
One of the most important steps individuals in impacted regions can take is to follow the guidance provided by local authorities. Additionally, FEMA recommends taking the following preparedness actions:
- Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information.
- Prepare a disaster kit for your home: Stock up on non-perishable food and water to sustain you and your family for up to three days or longer. Ensure you have important papers (e.g. insurance, identification), first aid kit, a supply of prescription medicines and other specialty items in your preparedness kit. In addition, plan to have an emergency kit for your car in case you need to evacuate. While creating a disaster kit, pet owners should remember to pack the necessary items for their pets. For a detailed checklist of suggested emergency supplies, visit the VDEM website.
- Create an emergency plan: Know what to do if you have to evacuate. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency.
- Be informed: Know evacuation routes and listen to local authorities when asked to evacuate. Evacuation route information is available on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Whether you live in a coastal community or inland, speak with your insurance agent now about flood insurance and review your homeowner’s policy. Every state is at risk for flooding and homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a cost-effective way to financially prepare for floods. To learn more about your risk and flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov
- If power is out, use flashlights, not candles. Remember – carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Do not bring generators into the house. Don’t use camp stoves and lanterns without ventilation. Never use stoves for heating. Any of these can cause deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. If using a space or kerosene heater, practice proper safety procedures. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as long as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
- Make sure you know where your home’s safe room is located. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website details what a safe room should look like.
- Keep your automobile fully fueled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
- Know how to shut off utilities. Know how your water heating and air-conditioning systems work and where pilot lights are located if you have natural gas appliances. If you have any questions, contact your local utility company.
- Gather your personal documents - insurance policy information, emergency contact information, and any other vital documents – and have them somewhere they can be easily located and ready to take with you should you have to evacuate your home.
Remember, if you need help or have questions, please contact any of my offices and we will do our best to help.
Know Your Zone
Click here to view the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's Hurricane Evacuation Zone Map.
Virginia Hurricane Checklist
During Hurricane Florence, the Department of Veterans Affairs will be maintaining this website to reflect facility closures and other important information for Veterans and external stakeholders.