Flooding and Tornadoes Possible as Hurricane Charley Moves Toward Virginia: Citizens Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Charley
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
Date: August 13, 2004, 10:45 A.M.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bob Spieldenner
Phone: (804) 674-2400
RICHMOND, VA -- The Virginia Department of Emergency Management urges Virginians to prepare now for possible flooding and tornadoes as Hurricane Charley approaches the Commonwealth. Though Hurricane Charley will weaken before it moves into Virginia, heavy rains and winds up to 30 mph with stronger gusts are still expected. Citizens should monitor NOAA weather radio or local radio or television stations to stay informed, and take the following steps to get ready now for these conditions.
- Place insurance policies, important documents, and other valuables in a waterproof container.
- Identify where you can go if told to evacuate. Choose several places, such as a friend's home in another town, a motel or a shelter.
- When a Flood Watch is issued, get your pre-assembled emergency supplies together (see below); fill bathtubs, sinks, and plastic bottles with clean water; and fill your car's gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- When a Flood Warning is issued, follow recommended evacuation routes. If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route. Do not drive around barricades.
Know where to find appropriate shelter in case of a Tornado Warning:
- Homes: Go to your basement. If you don't have a basement, move to a small, windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom, or interior hall on the lowest level of the house. Protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket or pillows.
- Mobile homes: If a tornado warning is issued for your area, you should leave immediately and seek shelter inside a nearby sturdy building or lie down in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands. Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes.
- Open buildings (shopping malls, gymnasiums, or civic centers): Try to get into the restroom or an interior hallway. If there is no time to go anywhere else, seek shelter right where you are. Try to get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris and protect your head by covering it with your arms.
- Outdoors: Try to find shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building. If no buildings are close, lie down flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
- Automobiles: Get out of your vehicle and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A culvert or ditch can provide shelter if a substantial building is not nearby. DO NOT take shelter under a highway overpass.
Emergency Supply Kit
Virginias are urged to put together a supply kit now to get ready for possible emergency conditions. The supply kit should include the following:
- Food (e.g., energy bars or other quick-energy snacks, canned food, and manual can opener, non-concentrate canned juice, etc.)
- Water (at least three gallons of water for each member of the family)
- Sanitary and toiletry items (e.g., toothbrushes/toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine supplies, shampoo, sanitary wipes or liquid hand sanitizer, etc.)
- Medicine (1 bottle each of necessary over-the-counter and prescription medications, family-size first aid kit, etc.)
- Battery-operated radio or television, flashlight and extra batteries
- Local road map
- Items for pets (carriers, food, leashes, litter, etc.)
- Items for children (baby food, formula, diapers, etc.)
- Items for seniors or special needs family members (hearing aid batteries, medications, special food, etc.)
- Heavy-duty garbage bags with ties, paper towels and zip-lock storage bags for storing important papers and small items
For more information about preparing for disasters, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at www.vaemergency.gov.