It’s that time of year. In the past, JCC has experienced several damaging storms and some years, none at all. Whether we have an active season or not, it’s pretty easy to prepare and it doesn’t take much time at all.
Since we’re located about 50 miles from the coast, it’s rare that we would be asked to evacuate. Therefore, we need to prepare our property, family and pets so we can stay at home safely.
Here are the Top Ten Tips on simple ways you can Stay Home, Stay Safe.
Tip #10: Know where to find local information before, during and after a hurricane. It’s critical for your safety and that of your family. JCC has a number of ways you can get the latest in addition to local media.
- Sign up for JCCAlert
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
- Visit the County website
- Call our emergency hotline 757-875-2424.
- Tune in to Tide Radio 92.3 FM and WMBG AM740
TIP #9: Own a portable radio and batteries so when the power goes out, you can say connected to local information. Don’t forget flashlights and if you have local phone service in your home, have a wired landline phone available. Cordless phones need power and you might not have electricity for days.
TIP #8: Make a plan to keep in touch so you can make sure your out of town family knows how to reach you and you have a way to reach them. There’s nothing worse than watching a hurricane on TV as it hits the area that your loved ones call home. So whether your family lives close by or far away, let them know how to reach you and where you might be during a hurricane.
TIP #7: Stock up on essentials like water, canned goods and non-perishable snacks just in case you can’t get out. Renew your love for peanut butter and tuna fish! Unsure about how long your food in your refrigerator or freezer is safe to eat? Check out foodsafety.gov or fda.gov for tips. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
TIP#6: Get your home ready by doing a few simple things that can make a big difference when the winds begin to blow. When you know a storm is coming, secure anything outside that could blow way or damage property like garbage cans, umbrellas, chairs and tables. Take some time to reinforce your windows, entry and garage doors which are the most vulnerable areas in your house.
TIP #5: Trim your trees - especially any trees with low branches or are weak or dead near your home. There are many reputable tree cutting companies in the area and they can help you identify those trees that might be a danger. Don’t wait until a storm is on the way.
TIP #4: Get your pets ready since they are part of the family and need food, water and possibly medication. Put aside any medical records in a water proof bag and keep id and rabies tags and leashes in a safe place. More info and Local Pet Friendly Hotels
TIP#3: Gas up your car as soon as you know a storm is coming. Gas stations will be busy with your neighbors and anyone evacuating from Hampton Roads who may stop in the County. Plus, after a storm, gas might be scarce and many gas stations will be closed if the electricity is out.
TIP#2: Find assistance for someone with special needs by contacting the Department of Social Services at 757-259-3202 or by email today. The County’s special needs assistance program is for anyone who may need assistance during or after a storm.
TIP#1: If you need to leave, know how to evacuate by understanding the I-64 evacuation plan.
Residents from the Southside will use I-64 west in addition to Richmond Road (Route 60) and five other designated roads as evacuation routes going west. We can expect an “invasion” of traffic and people filling our roadways, grocery stores, gas stations and hotels. So as you prepare for a storm, remember you won’t be alone. The sooner you stock up, gas up and buy supplies, the better off you will be.
For more information:
- National Hurricane Center
- VDOT Evacuation Guide
- American Red Cross