RICHMOND — 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends today, but the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and state, federal, local, private sector and charitable organizations continue to assist Virginian communities impacted from high winds, tornadoes, river, coastal and inland flooding, damaged infrastructure and other aftereffects.
This season hurricanes produced 17 confirmed tornadoes, historic flooding and 10 fatalities in Virginia. 77 localities across the Commonwealth have ongoing active disaster recoveries for 2018. While Virginia continues to coordinate recovery resources for individuals, households, businesses, organizations and communities, the Commonwealth is grateful that Virginia was spared from the catastrophic hurricane
Unfortunately many citizens in neighboring states were not spared from historic impacts this season, and they are now on a long and challenging road to recovery. Virginia deployed resources and safety personnel to North Carolina and South Carolina due to the historic impacts from Hurricane Florence, and Florida as a result of Hurricane Michael, another historic storm. VDEM and the entire Commonwealth are thankful to Virginia’s emergency managers and public safety personnel for their efforts and dedication this hurricane season both in Virginia and during deployments to assist other states.
Each year state, federal and local governments, private sector and non-profits work together to prepare the Commonwealth and its residents for all hazards, including hurricanes. It takes the entire Commonwealth working together year-round to prepare for the annual June 1 to Nov. 30 Atlantic hurricane season. Individuals, households, businesses and organizations must take continual steps to prepare as well.
This holiday season, as we count our blessings and spend time with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers, VDEM asks that you take several steps to prepare for next year’s hurricane season and encourage others to do so. Waiting for a hurricane or another natural or man-made disaster to strike does not keep your family and your financial investments safe. Prevention, protection and mitigation before a disaster makes the response and recovery more sustainable and successful.
The preparedness steps listed below will not only protect you and your family from hurricanes but from other threats and hazards that can, or will, occur:
- Visit DCR.virginia.gov/vfris
to learn your flood risk for your home and business.
- Contact an insurance agent or call the National Flood Insurance Program at 888.379.9531 or visit Floodsmart.gov to find an agent to review and purchase a flood insurance policy.
- Prior to the start of the 2018 season, many regions of the Commonwealth had already experienced significant coastal, river and inland flooding putting even more Virginians at risk for flooding from a hurricane. Remember, it takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect, so the time to prepare for spring flooding and 2019 season is now.
- Coastal Virginians should learn their evacuation zone now and make a plan to prepare their home and business at KnowYourZoneVA.org.
- All Virginians should take simple steps to prepare for a hurricane by storing critical documentation in a safe place, documenting the condition of their property before damages occur using their cameras and smart phones, purchasing emergency preparedness items and by making a family communication plan. Visit VAemergency.gov/hurricanes to learn more.
VDEM encourages you to work with, and volunteer for, charitable organizations in your community to make them even stronger before disaster strikes, and by contacting your local government and your local office of emergency management to access preparedness resources and information.
To be resilient, you must be prepared. Disasters don’t plan ahead but you can. Visit our website at VAemergency.gov for more information.