FEMA warning Hampton Roads residents to prepare now for hurricane season


This Sept. 11, 2018 enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, upper left, in the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Isaac, center, and at right Hurricane Helene.. (NOAA via AP)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP/WAVY) — FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program are urging people on the Gulf and East coasts to act now to prepare for hurricane season and buy flood insurance.

The agencies sent news releases to coastal areas on Tuesday, including cities in the Hampton Roads region.

NOAA is calling for a “near-normal” 2019 Atlantic season with four to eight hurricanes and two to four major storms of category 3 or higher. The 2018 season saw 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major ones — Florence and Michael.

BLOG: What does NOAA’s outlook mean for Hampton Roads?

The Hurricane Center said a tropical depression is likely to form in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week.

The statements from the flood insurance program and Federal Emergency Management Agency note that an inch of water in an average home can require $25,000 in repairs, and that flood insurance policies need 30 days to take effect.

The agencies recommend other measures including an evacuation plan and an emergency kit with at least three days’ supplies.

The hurricane season runs through November.

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