VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Summer is coming to a close soon and the region is in the midst of the 2023 hurricane season. Local agencies want people to learn how to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding or tornados.

Experts say having a plan could save you and your family’s lives .

September is National Preparedness Month. Emergency management agencies say it’s a perfect time to pause and understand the dangers that could impact Hampton Roads. 

“We always like to say take pictures of your home before the storm,” said Danielle Spach, Virginia Beach Emergency Management. “That way you have a record of what your property looked like before an event.”

Experts recommend the following tips. First, make a plan by learning the type of disaster in the region and the evacuation routes. Second, create a kit that should include essential items like a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and first aid kit. Third, sign up for alerts and warnings from your city and state. 

“If a disaster happened and everyone was prepared, I think it would cause less stress for those in our community. It is one of the best things you can do when a weather event or emergency happens,” Spach said.

Spach also says their team can hold a emergency preparedness course for civic or community groups. She also recommends checking on elderly neighbors and older relatives. Older individuals can be the most vulnerable when natural disasters strike, especially if they live alone. 

Links for National Preparedness Month: