Flooding and Tornadoes possible as remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy Move Toward Virginia - Citizens Urged to Prepare Now
CONTACT: Rex Pyle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2005, 12 p.m.
News Release No. 1
RICHMOND, VA- The 2005 hurricane season is off to an active start, with the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy expected to impact Virginia today and Hurricane Dennis projected to make landfall in the United States next week. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management urges Virginians to prepare now for possible flooding and tornadoes as the effects from Tropical Storm Cindy approach the Commonwealth.
"The effects of a tropical storm on Virginia can cause significant problems," said Michael Cline, state coordinator for VDEM. "Residents need to remain aware and prepared for flooding, especially flash flooding, when these storm remnants pass through the Commonwealth."
Though Cindy will weaken before it moves into Virginia, heavy rains and strong winds are still expected. Citizens should monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local radio or television stations to stay informed, and take the following steps to get ready now for flooding and tornadoes. Be especially observant of rising waters when you are in a vehicle and be prepared to abandon your vehicle and evacuate to higher ground if necessary.
- 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. If your car does get caught in floodwaters, abandon it immediately and move to higher ground.
- If you're caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and to the roof, if necessary.
- Don't attempt to walk through floodwaters. If you are driving, stay clear of low-lying roads and bridges that could be washed away.
- Do not drive where water is over the road. Under those floodwaters, the road could already be washed away.
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 heavy blankets 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
With Tropical Storm Cindy approaching and Hurricane Dennis on the horizon, Virginians are urged to put together an emergency 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 (one 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 Web site at www.vaemergency.gov.