Last year in the U.S., more than 450 people died and nearly 2,600 were injured as a result of severe weather. Hurricane Sandy contributed to more than 280 of those deaths and has become the second costliest hurricane in our country’s history.
Hurricane/flooding season starts June 1 – are you ready? Here are important tips for staying safe before, during and after severe weather:
- Listen to local radio and TV stations for updated emergency information.
- Get the latest weather information from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.
- Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered/hand crank radio with a NOAA Weather Band to get weather warnings directly from the NWS.
- Make sure you have a safe place to go when severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings are forecast. Safe areas include basements and interior rooms such as bathrooms or closets on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Stay away from windows.
- Do not drive or walk through floodwater. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Turn around and find another route if a road is flooded – it is almost always more dangerous than it appears.
- Have a family emergency plan. Everyone should know what to do in case family members are not together when severe weather happens. Get a free emergency plan worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or from the Ready Virginia app.
- Evacuate immediately if advised to do so.
- Keep emergency supplies on hand, including at least three days’ non-perishable food and water, flashlights and batteries, first aid kit, medicines.
- Follow the instructions of local and state officials.