Late-August and September are traditionally the busiest times for named storms in the Atlantic Ocean. While it’s been quiet off the coast of Virginia, beginning the first week of September FEMA, Ready.gov and local emergency managers are launching a month-long campaign to promote preparedness. National Preparedness Month 2017 will focus on planning, with a “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can” theme for all messaging.
The first week of September, look for messages supporting the development of preparedness plans. Subsequent weeks will focus on planning neighbors and community; what to do and how to practice the plan; and how to find resources and establish connections and get involved at the community level.
One good way for Hampton Roads residents to be prepared is to Know Your Zone. Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) has identified evacuation zones designated A thorough D in coastal Virginia. In the event of a storm or other emergency, residents of one or more zones may be directed to evacuate depending on tides, storm intensity, path, and other factors. Knowing your zone before the storm arrives is step one in preparation.
The Know Your Zone website has an interactive map that finds a zone by searching addresses. For more information on the evacuation zones, visit the VDEM’s Know Your Zone web page, (http://www.knowyourzoneva.org) .