Northam urges residents to prepare now for hurricane season

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Va. BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With hurricane season officially starting Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is urging residents to prepare now.

“It’s not if these hurricanes are going to come, it’s really when,” Northam said.

For the next several months, all eyes will be on the tropics to see what Mother Nature will send our way.

“We just want people in Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth of Virginia to be prepared,” Northam added.

On Thursday, Northam made a stop in Chesapeake to send a message of preparation.  He says residents need to be ready should disaster strike.

“Unfortunately, we lose lives every year because of these storms, and we want to do everything we can to keep Virginians safe,” Northam said.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Managment announced a new program called ‘Know Your Zone‘.  It’s a way of targeting certain areas that could be in more danger than others and are in need of evacuations. The zones are based on tides, the intensity of the storm and the storm’s path.

RELATED: Special Report: Know Your Zone

“We would like each person to go and see what zone your are in,” Northam added.

Northam also took time to remind residents of having flood insurance for homes and businesses, knowing evacuation routes and getting hurricane kits stocked.

“It is not a joke,” he said. “These are very dangerous and we’re so low-lying here in Hampton Roads.”

This year’s hurricane season is predicted to be more active.  The governor says now is the time to think about the storms before it’s too late.

Northam says it’s equally important to take evacuation orders seriously.

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