Although the storm path for Hurricane Irma is unsure as of now, it is vitally important that communities along the Mid-Atlantic take steps to be prepared. Visit FEMA's website
for a complete list of what you can do now, resources to have on hand, and ways to stay on top of the latest weather news.
Remember these helpful tips:
- Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical system. It poses a significant threat for drowning and can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area. Storm surge can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area. 3 to 5 feet of storm surge are expected.
- There is the potential for flooding with this storm. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low-lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. 4 to 8 inches of rain are expected, with 10 inch totals in isolated locations.
- If you encounter floodwaters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
- Be familiar with evacuation routes, have a family communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for pets. Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
- Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
- If you have a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy, you may be eligible for reimbursement of actions taken to protect your property. Call your insurance agent to find out more.
- Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued.
Stay safe Virginia!