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Storm Preparedness

Storm Preparedness

Winter weather, hurricanes, and other extreme events can develop suddenly and leave those in its path to rely on quick action and storm preparedness. With Hurricane Florence forecasted to impact the East Coast as soon as Thursday, we urge all to take the opportunity to review your supplies and storm preparedness. Those in Florence’s path can expect high winds, significant rainfall and flooding to disrupt communication, power, roadways, and other services.

We hope the following suggestions are helpful as you think about securing your home, getting supplies together, and staying safe in the event of extreme weather.

Personal Storm Plan:

  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator, near any house phones, and program them in your cell phone.
  • Familiarize yourself with different routes you can take if evacuation is necessary.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows what the warning sirens in your area sound like – and what to do if they go off.
  • Plan for the care of elderly neighbors and family members, as well young individuals.
  • If traveling, remember to make use of VA 511 phone number (dial 511), website, or mobile app to learn of live traffic and any road closures and re-routing.

Emergency Water:

  • Have at least 5 gallons of drinking water per person (a 3-5 day supply)


  • Pack a box with a 3-5 day supply of canned or other non-perishable food. Be sure you have enough baby food or formula, if needed.
    • Your kit should include:
    • Non-electric can/bottle opener
    • Knives, forks, spoons
    • Paper plates and cups
    • Paper towels
    • Heavy-duty aluminum foil


  • Gather any prescription medications (keep a list of all medications and dosages)

Locate Safety Items:

  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher (make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it)
  • Phone chargers
  • Portable phone battery packs (keep these charged, and ready to be used)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights/lanterns and extra batteries
  • Sleeping bags/extra blankets/towels

Personal Care Items

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet cleaning cloths (like baby wipes) in case you don’t have clean water
  • Soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Tampons/pads
  • Diapers

Home Prep:

  • Secure or bring inside any patio/porch furniture that could be damaged or cause damage in high wind.

Plan to Consider:

  • If you have a chain saw or home generator, do you have additional fuel?
  • How best to evacuate
    • Never ignore an evacuation order, this is why it is important to have emergency supplies in your vehicle as well as your home.
  • How to best avoid flooded areas
  • Do not use generators or appliances if wet. Do not use an electric generator indoors or near the air intake of your home.

For more information about how to get your family ready for a disaster, click here.

Visit the links below for more information on Valley Health’s six hospitals

Special thank you to Skyler Sharp, FNP-C, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Family Medicine – Mt. Jackson for contributing to this post.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Preparedness and safety messaging for hurricanes, flooding, and similar disasters . Retrieved from this site.