How to Prepare
Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by
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.
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
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 at www.ReadyVirginia. gov
or use the new Ready Virginia app.
People with disabilities and other access and functionalneeds 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
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
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
Hurricane Season Preparedness:
Resilience is Shared Responsibility
By Brian Moran
Dr. Brenda D. Long
(540) 760-2504 FAX (540) 961-4392