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Weekly Updates

Wittman's Weekly: Are You Prepared?

We are currently right in the middle of hurricane season for our region - the season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. Are you prepared for a possible severe storm or flash flood? It is critical for folks to use this time to plan ahead and stay informed.

I wanted to share some resources so you can keep yourself, your family, and our communities safe. Disasters may not be able to plan ahead, but you can!

Preparing for a storm:

  • Be Informed. Knowing what to do before, during, and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared.
  • Compile an Emergency Kit.  Use this downloadable checklist to ensure you have necessary supplies on hand.
  • Family Emergency Plan. Make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency so that everyone is on the same page about how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supply kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster.
  • Options for Protection. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. You can also check out the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide on what to do just in case you need to evacuate your home.
  • Hurricane Safety Checklist. Review this Hurricane Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross to prepare for the dangers of a hurricane.
  • Severe Weather Checklist.  Learn the steps to take before, during, and after severe weather hits.
  • Warning Systems and Signals.  Stay informed during a disaster through emergency broadcasts.

Dealing with flooding:

  • Use this Flood Safety Checklist provided by the Red Cross to be sure you are informed and prepared for any flooding that may occur in your area.
  • Listen to news reports for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information, like whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink post-flooding.
  • Know the difference between a Flood/Flash Flood Watch (which means flooding is possible in your area) and a Flood/Flash Flood Warning (which means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area).
  • Use caution when driving. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

After the storm is over: 

  • Take care of your family first!
  • Assess damage-Learn how to apply for federal assistance
  • Restore utilities and report outages to your local energy provider
  • Clean, rebuild, and mitigate
  • Prepare for next time! 

So, answer me this question, are you prepared?  If the answer is no, please take the time to move through the resources above