HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – June 1st marks the start of hurricane season and local companies and cities are sharing tips and resources to help Hampton Roads residents prepare.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says that there is a 40% chance of a near-normal season this year, with a 30% chance of a above average season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
The agency also predicts that there will be 12-17 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes.
Hurricane Safety Tips
Virginia Natural Gas is reminding customers of safety measures to take when it comes to gas safety during a weather emergency:
- Meter Safety
- Do not turn off your gas at the main meter
- Leaving gas meters on helps to maintain the proper pressure in the gas pipe and can prevent water from entering your home or business if there is flooding
- After the storm, customers should make sure that their meter is visible and that the area surrounding the meter is free of trash or debris.
- Damage Prevention
- If you experience uprooted trees during the storm, contact VA811 before removing them to learn where underground utility lines are marked
- Detecting Gas Leaks
- If customers smell odors associated with natural gas, leave the area and move away from the possible leak
- Look for blowing dirt, discolored vegetation, or standing water that is bubbling
- Avoid using any sources of ignition
- Generator Safety
- Never use a generator in a partially or fully enclosed space
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet
- Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy-duty, outdoor rated extension cord
The City of Norfolk is also reminding residents of tips to stay prepared for potential strong storms. The city says residents should have a plan in place for their family ahead of the storm, which should include knowing where they plan to evacuate if needed and reviewing the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Know Your Zone Program.
Residents are also asked to subscribe to Norfolk Alerts online to receive information about public safety and severe weather.
The city reminds residents that they should check their roofs, shutters, and doors for any repairs that need to be done to withstand high winds. Residents are also strongly encouraged to obtain flood insurance for their homes if they do not have it already.
Both VNG and the city of Norfolk also recommend that residents have emergency supply kits prepared with items such as necessary medications, or necessary items needed for pets or seniors in their homes.
Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) says they have installed 20 new sensors in seven jurisdictions (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, and Poquoson) that will share flood information through the Waze app.
The sensors will share information about flooded roads and areas to the Waze app so residents who are using it can be navigated through the different areas.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin also released the updated 2023 Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide that includes evacuation information and actions to take when tropical weather hits.