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How to Prepare

Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by

your locality.

Talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.

That is a separate policy. Renters and business owners also can

get flood insurance.

Just one inch of water in a mid-size home or office can mean

$20,000 in repairs.

Go to

or call 1-800-379-9531 for more

information. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from

the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect.

Assemble a disaster supply kit for your home, office and car.

Items that are important to have during an emergency include: cell

phone backup power, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, bottled water,

first aid kits, NOAA Weather Radios and portable generators.

For a complete list of important emergency items, visit


Download the freeReadyVirginiaapp for iPhone®andAndroid™.

Features include: NWS warnings; customizable emergency plan;

an emergency supplies checklist; the “I’m Safe!” text feature for

notifying friends and family in an emergency; and an interactive

map to identify potential storm surge risks.

Create a family emergency communications plan.

Decide how and where everyone will meet up with each other

if separated.

Choose an out-of-town emergency contact for your family and

give that person’s phone number to each family member. Make

a sheet of emergency contacts and post it in visible places in

your home and workplace, rather than relying on smartphones

or online contact lists.

Get a free emergency plan worksheet a

t www.ReadyVirginia. gov


or use the new Ready Virginia app.

People with disabilities and other access and functional

needs may require additional steps. Visit www.vaemergency gov/readyvirginia/getakit/disabilities for tips.

Remember, no matter how many named storms that forecasters

predict will make landfall this season, it takes only one hurricane

or tropical storm to cause major damage and loss of life. A ready

Virginia is a resilient Virginia.

Brian Moran is the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland

Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was appointed

by Governor Terry McAuliffe as Virginia’s first Chief Resilience


Many people believe a resilient

community maintains the capacity to

resist and rapidly recover from a disaster;

however, the more important aspect of

resiliency is the goal for communities to

grow following a disaster. Building resilient

communities supports the Governor’s New

Virginia economy initiative. A safe, secure,

and resilient Virginia ensures we have the

environment needed to grow our economy

and quickly rebound after disasters. To

achieve this goal, Governor McAuliffe has

led an effort to bring together various key stakeholders to directly

tackle issues to enhance the Commonwealth’s resilience, especially

from the potential impact of hurricanes and severe flooding.

Hurricane season officially opened on June 1 and will continue

through November.

More deadly and powerful storms have impacted communities

across the country over the last several years. We have already

witnessed record snowfall and the most deadly tornados ever

recorded in the month of February this year alone. The real and

emerging threat of sea level rise, land subsidence, and climate

change brings the potential for more unpredictable and devastating

storms. Hurricanes have the potential to produce flooding, severe

storm surge, high winds and tornadoes causing impacts across the

Commonwealth, not just coastal communities. Every Virginian

and every community has a role to play to assist in enhancing our


In 2014, Governor McAuliffe recognized the need to enhance

hurricane preparedness and directed his cabinet to collaborate

with local and federal partners to identify potential enhancements.

A diverse group of stakeholders identified 46 short and long-

term goals to improve five key areas of preparation: evacuation,

sheltering, public information, information sharing between

emergency response agencies, and providing assistance to people

with disabilities and other access and functional needs. Local and

state agencies took action to improve processes, build capabilities,

and address other shortfalls to improve hurricane preparedness.

Many gaps have been addressed; however, our effort to enhance

community resilience continues.

The Commonwealth was recently awarded $120.5 million in a

competitive grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing

and Urban Development. Our grant application included several

revolutionary approaches to building community resiliency. First,

the project will develop innovative and integrated water management

solutions in Norfolk’s Ohio Creek watershed as a model for other

communities to follow. In addition, the grant provides funding

to establish a Coastal Resilience Laboratory and Accelerator

Center that will serve as a hub for resilience technological and

organizational innovation.

Recently, the Governor signed into law HB903 creating the

Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency. The

bill, proposed by Delegate Chris Stolle of Virginia Beach, will help

to coordinate actionable research, scientific, technical, and policy

analysis support to enable decision-making by planners, emergency

managers, and elected officials across Commonwealth.

But hurricane preparedness and disaster resilience is not the

sole responsibility of government. Each citizen has a responsibility

to ensure their families and communities are prepared. Resilience is

a shared responsibility that strengthens our communities as we work

together to overcome disasters like hurricanes. Please do your part,

take action now to be prepared for this hurricane season and other

community emergencies.

Hurricane Season Preparedness:

Resilience is Shared Responsibility

By Brian Moran

Dr. Brenda D. Long

Executive Director

(540) 760-2504 FAX (540) 961-4392