Governor Terry McAuliffe and his cabinet were briefed this week on the 2015 hurricane season, which began June 1st and extends through November 30th. Discussions included the commonwealth’s hurricane preparations and ongoing efforts to improve critical areas of response and recovery.
“Just as public safety and emergency officials prepare for hurricane season, it’s equally important for Virginians to take hurricane preparedness seriously,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Even though forecasters have predicted a below normal hurricane season, it only takes one storm to cause major damage and even loss of life.”
“Hurricane season forecasts are predictions, not facts,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “We treat every season the same – as an opportunity to improve our response and recovery capabilities and prepare our communities for whatever Mother Nature may bring.”
“If you look back at Irene, Gaston, Isabel, Floyd and Camille, Virginia has experienced multiple damaging tropical systems through the years,” said Virginia Department of Emergency Management State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern. “Whether you live along the coast or inland, history has taught us that all areas of the commonwealth are vulnerable to the effects of tropical systems, thus the need for everyone to make preparations now.”
- Know your risk: Learn how hurricanes can affect where you live, work, go to school, and play. Know how the weather could impact you, your family, and your community. Once you understand your risk, you are better equipped to make preparations. Check the weather forecast regularly, sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials, and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.
- Take action: Develop an emergency plan and practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed to do so by emergency officials. You can also download the free Ready Virginia mobile app for iPhone and Android devices so you can receive weather warnings issued for your location by the National Weather Service, customize your emergency plan, check off items needed for your emergency supply kit, and let family and friends know you are safe using the new “I’m Safe!” feature.
- Be an Example: Once you know your risk and take action, be an example by talking to your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors on what you have done to prepare. There are a number of ways that you can get involved in your community and help out in preparing for and responding to disasters.