It Only Takes One … Hurricane predictors say that the 2010 season will be very busy.  But it only takes one tropical system to cause extensive, expensive damage from surging water, high winds, tornadoes and inland flooding.  Every Virginia family should get ready now.

Every home should have these essentials: a family emergency plan, three-days of bottled water and non-perishable food, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to hear emergency information, and extra batteries.

Make a family emergency plan.  If you had to leave, know in advance where you would go and where you could take your pets.

  • Identify several places you could stay in an emergency – perhaps a friends’ home in another town, a hotel or public shelter if necessary. 
  • Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a family point of contact, and be sure every family member has that person’s phone number.
  • Go to for family plan worksheets.  Click on Make a plan.

Get essential emergency supplies. Start with at least a three-day supply of bottled water and packaged and canned food.  Add a manual can opener, flashlights and extra batteries, first aid kit and medications.  Store in waterproof containers that have wheels or that you can lift easily.  Get an emergency supply checklist at  Click on Get a kit.

Listen to emergency information from officials.  In case there is no power, you will need a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.  Listen to local media for the best information about your area.  Consider purchasing a battery-powered or hand-crank radio with a weather band so you can get information directly from the National Weather Service.

Also, be aware that flooding is the most common disaster in Virginia, and it is costly.  Just an inch or two of water in a home or business adds up to about $8,000 in repairs.  Homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flooding, so talk to your agent now about flood insurance.  It usually takes about 30 days for a new flood policy to go into effect.  See or call 1-800-427-2419.

Is your family ready for hurricane and flood season?

Families who are ready recover faster

Although meteorologists can’t predict exactly how tropical systems and hurricanes will affect Virginia this year, there is one prediction that will come true: families who are ready will recover much better and faster than those who are not.

Everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours after a storm hits.  Every home should have at least four basic items: 

  • A family emergency plan
  • Three days’ of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Three days’ of non-perishable food
  • A hand-crank or battery-powered radio with extra batteries for listening to emergency information from local media and officials

Store these items in waterproof containers that have wheels or that you can lift easily in case you have to leave.  

 To see a short Ready Virginia video about getting ready for hurricane season and making a family emergency plan, go to  You also can request a new publication, Virginia’s Hurricane Evacuation Guide, by writing to or calling 1-866-782-3470.

To learn more about getting ready for tropical storms, hurricanes and flooding, go to  For information in Spanish, visit  While visiting those Web sites, take a quick survey to measure Virginia’s overall preparedness for disasters and emergencies.

Getting ready for hurricane and flood season is everyone’s responsibility. 

Make your plan now.