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HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

James City County • City of Williamsburg • York County

PLAN NOW FOR HURRICANES D

on’t be fooled by recent slow hurricane seasons. Even though forecasts of an active hurricane season have been proven wrong, you only need to look as far back as 2005 to the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina to see the destruction a hurricane can cause to homes and lives. In 2003, area residents experienced first hand the destructive forces of high winds when Tropical Storm Isabel toppled many trees, crushing houses and other property in its path. Flooding damaged many low-lying homes and thousands of residents lived without electric power and/or running water, for days. With these powerful lessons learned, residents are urged to prepare now to be self-sufficient for two weeks. In this special hurricane readiness guide, you will learn how to create a family disaster plan, assemble a disaster supply kit, and protect your family, pets and home. In addition, important emergency phone numbers are given for James City County, City of Williamsburg and York County. Be sure to keep this handy guide for future reference.

INSIDE Hurricane planning for people with special needs .................2 Children and disaster stress ...............................................................2 Packing a Grab & Go kit ........................................................................3 Preparing your home for before the storm .................................4 Emergency information and phone numbers: James City County ............................................................................4 Williamsburg.........................................................................................5 York County ..........................................................................................5 Emergency shelter facts........................................................................6 Hurricane categories ...............................................................................6 Business continuity planning..............................................................7 Chainsaws and generators ..................................................................7 Preparedness tips for families ...........................................................8 Important documents to protect .......................................................8 I-64 lane reversal.......................................................................................8 Flooding at Chickahominy Haven.

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2 HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

Hurricane planning for people with special needs People with special needs should consider their capabilities and limitations, and the challenges they believe they will face in a disaster. It is important to remember that the usual methods of support and assistance may not be available during or after an emergency as occurred. Make a personal disaster plan to help organize necessary information and activities share your disaster plan with your support network. Keep copies of your disaster plan in your disaster supplies kit, car, wallet (behind driver's license or primary identification card), wheelchair pack or at work, etc. Other action steps to prepare for disaster are: I Identify safe places to go. If local officials have not told you to leave the area, stay in the center of the building, away from windows. Avoid going to the lowest floor because hurricanes often cause flooding. If you are blind or visually impaired, use a long cane in areas where debris may have fallen or furniture may have shifted. This is recommended even if you do not usually use a cane indoors. I Keep your service animal with you in a safe place at home or take them with you to a shelter. Bring along extra food and water for your animal. I Find the location of main utility cutoff valves and switches in your home. Learn how and when to disconnect them during an emergency. Try to do this yourself. (Do not practice shutting off the gas.) If you cannot practice alone, arrange for someone from your network to help. Turn off utilities only if local officials tell you to do so or if you believe there is an immediate threat to life. I Identify as many exits as possible from each room and from your building. Be sure to include the windows as exits. I Make a floor plan of your home, including primary escape routes. (You may want your support network to assist you with it.) On the floor plan, mark the rooms where you spend a lot of time. Also, mark where your disaster supplies kit is located. Give a copy of the floor plan to your support network to help them find you and your supplies.

I Prepare an evacuation plan beforehand. I If you have to leave your home or workplace, you may need someone's help to evacuate safely, especially down stairwells. If you need assistance during an emergency and your support network is not available, decide now who could provide alternate assistance and tell them about your condition. Give them instructions on what you need and how they can help you evacuate. I Practice using different ways out of a building, especially if you live above the first floor. Remember, the elevator may not work or should not be used. I If you need devices for an emergency escape, think about your physical capabilities before making a purchase. Store devices nearby, where you can get to them easily. This may mean having more than one emergency escape device available. I Advocate for yourself. Practice how to quickly explain the best way to guide or move you and your adaptive equipment, safely and rapidly. Be ready to give brief, clear and specific instructions and directions to rescue personnel, either orally or in writing, such as: “Please take my: • Oxygen tank • Wheelchair • Gamma globulin from the freezer • Insulin from the refrigerator • Communication device from under the bed • “I am blind/visually impaired. Please let me grasp your arm firmly.” • “I am deaf. Please write things down for me.” I When needed, ask for an accommodation from disaster response personnel. For example, let a responder or relief worker know if you cannot wait in lines for long periods for items like water, food and disaster relief assistance. I Keep a small disaster supply kit in your automobile and maintain more than a half tank of fuel at all times. If you do not drive, talk with your support network about how you will leave the area if the authorities advise an evacuation.

I Become familiar with the emergency evacuation plan for your office, school or any other location where you spend a lot of time. If the current plan does not make arrangements for people with disabilities, make sure the management at these sites knows your needs. I Choose an alternate place to stay, such as with friends, family or at a hotel or motel outside your area if you have been told to leave your home. Find out if there are predestinated special needs shelters in your area and where they are. I Have a care plan for your pets/service animals if you have to evacuate your home. Most shelters will not take pets, however there are limited pet friendly shelters in some areas. Find out from local emergency officials if such a shelter is available to you. Service animals are allowed in all shelters and hotels/motels. However, these places cannot care for your animal. When you leave your home, remember to take a collar, harness, identification tags, vaccination records, medications, food and water for your service animal with you.

Children not immune to disaster stress

C

hildren can be particularly vulnerable to stress as a result of hurricanes and other disasters. Children may suffer from anxiety because of the incident itself, related losses and the upheaval of family life. Adults should appear confident and assure children the event may be noisy and damage may occur, but adults will work to make everything safe again. Caretakers of children should be alert to signs of trouble and how to handle them. For children ages five or younger, watch for the following behaviors:

crying more frequently than usual, clinging, having nightmares, showing excessive fear of the dark, fear of animals, fear of being alone, changing appetites, speaking with difficulty, or returning to outgrown behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking. Children ages five to 11 may exhibit increased irritability, aggression, and competition with their siblings for parental attention. They may also show anxiety through whining, withdrawing from their peers, and losing interest in normal activities. Those 11 to 18 may show outright rebellion, physical problems, or sleep disturbances. The following suggestions may help to reduce stress in children: Spend some time each day giving each child your undivided attention, even if just for a few minutes. Share experiences; reaffirm your love; make plans together; and just "be there" for each other. Encourage them to talk. Encourage children to describe what they are feeling. Let them talk about the disaster and ask as many questions as they like. Listen to what they say. Assure them that the disaster was an act of nature and not caused by them. Include the entire family in the discussion if possible. Understand their fears. It is important that par-

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ents accept anxieties as being very real to children. Help them cope by getting them to understand what causes their anxieties and fears. Recognize their losses, such as their pets, favorite toys and other personal items. Reassure them that everything will be all right. Inform children. Every effort should be made to keep children informed about what is happening. Explanations should be in simple language. With children five or older, rehearse safety measures for use in case of future disasters. Reassure them. Parents can help reassure children by telling them they are safe, holding and hugging them frequently, restoring normal routines, providing play experiences for them, and making bedtime a special moment of calm and comfort. Encourage activities with their peers. As with adults, social time with friends is a very important part of the recovery process. Temporarily lower expectations for them. Allow for the fact that stress from the disaster can show itself in many ways over a period of time, and make appropriate allowances. Through your persistence, children will realize life will eventually return to normal. If a child does not respond to the above suggestions, seek help for them from a mental health professional.


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Have you packed your Grab & Go kit? Each family member should have their own Grab & Go kit Include: • Cash • One set of seasonal clothing for each member of your household • One pair of sturdy shoes like hiking boots or athletic shoes, not sandals or open shoes • Contact information for family members • Flashlight and batteries • Snacks and water • Books, coloring books, quiet games

Building a Car Kit A Car Kit is useful for breakdowns and other emergencies – whether you use the supplies to help yourself or someone else. Items to include: • Snack bars and water • Insurance information, notepad and pen • Moist towelettes and paper towels • First aid kit • Blanket • Local and state road maps • Jumper cables • Fire extinguisher • Portable radio and batteries • Flashlight and batteries • Rain ponchos • Road flares • Fix-A-Flat tire sealer • Cash for gas emergency • Red cloth to hang out of window for visibility • Be sure to have extra formula and diapers if traveling with babies or small children.

Pets should have their own Grab & Go kit too! Include: • Licenses tags • Needed medications • Medical records including proof of vaccination • Pet ID tags • Current photos of your pet for identification • Food (one week minimum), water (one gallon per day) and water bowls • Treats • Manual can opener if using canned food • Extra leash and collar • Crate or carrier appropriate to size • Bed/blanket • Toys • Waterless shampoo • Litter pan • Clean up bags

If you travel with pets, include: • Water bowl • Clean up bags • Food and treats • Extra leash and collar • A recent photo of pet and proof of pet ownership

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4 HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

James City County emergency information and phone numbers At the beginning of hurricane season: I List everything you need to protect from a storm: you, your family, pets, home, cars and boats. Be sure your hurricane plan addresses everyone and everything including pets and property. Enlist the help of other family members and friends to help prepare your plan and secure supplies. I Create a personalized hurricane plan at www.OneStorm.org. I Sign up for emergency information updates at www.jccEgov.com/subscribe I Prepare to “shelter in place” with enough food, water, medication and other supplies to live without water or power for at least two weeks I Identify friends and family with whom you can shelter if you do not believe it is safe to stay in your home. I Call James City County at 259-3171 for special needs assistance. If you have special medical needs, contact your physician for special instructions. I Trim trees, consider window protection, and make other structural reinforcements now. I Acquire all safety gear and take a class in how to operate a chain saw safely if you plan to use a chain saw to trim trees now or remove debris after a storm. I Sign up for JCC Alert at www.jccalert.org to receive important emergency alerts, notifications and updates on your cell phone, email, and more.

When a storm threatens: I Watch JCC TV48 on Cox Cable for information. I Visit www.jccEgov.com. I Listen to WMBG 740 AM and The Tide 92.3 FM for James City County specific emergency information including evacuation and shelter information. I Call the County’s Emergency Hotline for recorded information, 875-2424.

I Plan to shelter with family or friends if you are unable to remain in your home. If you have nowhere else to go, James City County and the City of Williamsburg operate a joint shelter at the James City/Williamsburg Community Center, 5301 Longhill Road, 259-4200. Other shelters may open as needed and will be announced.

During the storm: I Stay away from windows and doors. I Do not go outside for any reason until the all clear has been announced. I Listen to WMBG 740 AM ant the Tide 92.3 FM for regular County updates. I Stay calm and reassure children that the storm will pass.

After the storm: I Wait for the all clear to be announced on local media – even after the worst of a hurricane has passed, danger may still exist from tornadoes and thunderstorms. I Emergency workers will immediately begin to assess damage and initiate repairs to power lines and other critical services. Do not call to report damage unless it is life-threatening. Unnecessary calls can jam phone lines and may interfere with critical calls for emergency response services. I Wear sturdy shoes and watch out for dam aged trees, power lines, glass and other debris when venturing out to check your property. Use extreme caution and watch for puddles of water which can become electrified due to downed power lines. I Monitor radio and television for updates and when delivery can be resumed, read local newspapers for daily updates. I Watch JCC TV48 I Visit www.jccEgov.com

Do I need to evacuate? James City County residents are not in storm surge evacuation zones, however, evacuation orders may be issued for low-lying areas prone to flooding and for those in mobile homes. If directed to evacuate, please do so as quickly as possible. If you wait until conditions deteriorate, you may not get out and public safety personnel may not be able to help you.

Special needs assistance Elderly or disabled County residents should call James City County at 259-3171 NOW for assistance in developing personal hurricane plans. This is a voluntary service and is confidential. If you need help in order to evacuate or require other services, this service will help you identify and register for appropriate assistance.

Drinking water I The Health Department, James City Service Authority, or Newport News Waterworks will notify residents if public water supplies are determined unsafe and precautions are necessary. I Generally, residents living in the Grove and Kingsmill areas receive their water from Newport News Waterworks. Check your water bill to verify who supplies your water.

Useful phone numbers: I I I I

JCC Emergency Hotline . . . . . . . .875-2424 JCC Emergency Management . . . .564-2140 Dominion Power . . . . . . . . . .1-888-667-3000 Water/Sewer (7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) . . .229-7421 After Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-0112 I Emergency Management . . . . . . . .564-2140 I VDOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-800-367-7623 I Virginia Natural Gas . . . . . .1-866-229-3578

Helpful websites: I I I I

www.jccegov.com www.jccalert.org www.vdem.state.va.us www.readyvirginia.gov

Preparing your home before the storm Fix-it Yourself: • Fasten exterior items securely to your home to prevent them from becoming flying debris. Move loose items indoors. • Caulk/install weather stripping to all doors and windows to prevent wind from entering. • Install impact-resistant shutters OR have cutto- fit boards and mountings ready for all windows and doors. • Make all entry doors impact-resistant by installing head and foot bolts with a minimum one-inch bolt length into solid material to guard against wind pressure and to improve security.

4 Locations To Serve You • • • •

Williamsburg Shopping Center, 1230 Richmond Road 229-1900 12490 Warwick Blvd., Newport News 594-9890 Gov’s Green Shopping Center, 4511 John Tyler Hwy. 220-9362 2098 Nickerson Boulevard, Hampton 850-0544 Monday - Saturday, 7:30 am - 8 pm; Sunday, 9 am - 5 pm

Fix-it with some help: • Properly brace garage doors and tracks to meet impact-resistant criteria. (Approximately 80% of residential hurri cane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors.) • Brace the roof gable end framing with interior horizontal and vertical beams to strengthen the gable against strong winds. • If you have a fuel tank, it needs to be anchored to resist the force of floodwaters and flotation.


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Hurricane Preparedness in the City of Williamsburg For information before the storm: I Go to the City’s website www.williamsburgva.gov/emergency. I Sign up to receive Emergency Updates via email by clicking on “E-Notify” on the left side of the home page. Follow the City on Facebook (Facebook.com/Williamsburg. Virginia) and Twitter (@WilliamsburgGov) for real-time updates. I Watch WMSBG Channel 48 for City of Williamsburg bulletins. I Watch weather advisory television channels to track storm. I Call 220-6161, the City's Human Services Department, for special needs assistance. I Call 221-4000 or access website (www.wm.edu) for information regarding the College of William and Mary, and call 229-1000 or access website (www.cwf.org) regarding Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Other useful emergency preparedness websites: I American Red Cross: www.redcross.org I Virginia Department of Emergency Management: www.vdes.state.va.us/ I Virginia Department of Health: www.vdh.state.va.us I Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov I U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.ready.gov

Actions to take before the storm: I Prepare to "shelter in place" with provisions enough to live without power, public drinking water, and other public services for at least a week. Some suggestions: I Purchase a simple weather radio with battery backup. I Clean and fill bathtub with fresh water and 1/2 teaspoon Clorox. I Locate ALL utility shutoff valves. I Locate your regional shelter. The City of Williamsburg operates a shelter at the Quarterpath Recreation Center, 202 Quarterpath Road, 259-3760. Call 259-7200 for information. I Learn your evacuation routes. The City of Williamsburg is a host jurisdiction during an evacuation of coastal areas. If citizens need to evacuate, Interstate 64 and Route 60 West are the primary routes to leave the City. I Know your Neighborhood Response Team (NRT). The NRT are trained citizen volunteers in your neighborhood who assist City officials during emergencies. For more information, contact Human Services Director Peter Walentisch at 220-6161 or go to the City’s website www.williamsburgva.gov and click on “Emergency Preparedness.”

During the storm: I Call 911 for Police, Fire, or Emergency Medical response. I Listen to WMBG 740 AM or Tide 92.3 FM radio for local information during power outages. I To contact the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) call 259-7200.

After the storm: I Listen to WMBG 740 AM or Tide 92.3 FM radio for local information during power outages. I Read the Virginia Gazette or Daily Press or www.wydaily.com for daily updates. I Call the City Emergency Operations Center at 259-7200 to report disaster conditions needing City response. I Contact your Neighborhood Response Team Captain if you need the help of trained neighbors. I Watch City Channel WMSBG 48 and/or access the City website at www.williamsburgva.gov, when power is available. Information will also be available on Facebook and Twitter.

Useful phone numbers: I Police non-emergency . . . . . . . . . .220-2331 I Fire non-emergency . . . . . . . . . . . .220-6220 I Public Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220-6140 After Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220-6196 I Building Inspection Code Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220-6254 I City Manager's Office . . . . . . . . . .220-6100 I Human Services Department . . . .220-6161 I Dominion VA Power: . . . . .1-888-667-3000 I Virginia Natural Gas . . . . . 1-877-572-3342 I Cox Communications . . . . . . .757-224-1111 I Verizon Telephone . . . . . . . .1-800-275-2355 I Cavalier Telephone . . . . . . .1-800-683-3944

York County emergency information and phone numbers Before the storm: Preparedness Information: I Visit York County’s web site at www.yorkcounty.gov I Locate your neighborhood fire station at: www.yorkcounty.gov/fire I Determine if your property is in a flood zone visit: http://maps.yorkcounty.gov/ I Evacuation map available at: www.virginiadot.org/travel/resources/ hurricaneEvacuation1_routes.pdf

I Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. I Check your insurance coverage. Flood damage is not usually covered by home owner’s insurance.

Preparedness Training I Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes. I Enroll in a Community Emergency Response Team Course (CERT) course which will provide you with basic information to prepare yourself, family, neighbors and community.

Shelter: Grafton Middle School serves as the primary shelter and is supplemented by additional schools as needed. Grafton Middle School is located at 403 Grafton Drive, just off US Route 17 (George Washington Memorial Hwy). Questions? Call 890-3600. For Evacuation, Response and Recovery information, tune your battery operated radio to 99.1 FM, WXGM.

After the storm: For life-threatening emergencies dial, 911. Call 1-888-667-3000 to report power outages and/or downed power lines. Call 890-3621 to report downed trees or damage to homes/structure without hazards or injuries. For additional disaster services information, tune your battery operated radio to 99.1 FM, WXGM. WXGM will broadcast information near the top of every hour during their local news briefs. For additional information, visit your neighborhood Fire Station or call 890-3300.

Disaster preparedness: Make a plan Planning Checklist I Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. I Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances, the safest areas may not be your home but within your community. I Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles. I Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact. I Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.

Disaster preparedness: Build a kit Disaster Supply Kit I Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit. I Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days I Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days. Nonperishable packaged or canned food/ juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking tools/fuel, paper plates/plastic utensils I Blankets/pillows, etc. I Clothing - seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes I First Aid Kit, medicines, prescription drugs I Special items - for babies and the elderly I Toiletries, hygiene items, moisture wipes I Flashlight, batteries I Radio - battery operated and NOAA weather radio I Telephones - fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set I Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards. Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods I Keys I Toys, books and games I Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag - insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. I Tools - keep a set with you during the storm I Vehicle fuel tanks filled I Pet care items - proper identification, immunization records, medications, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash I Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.

Prepare yourself, help your neighbors and your community: CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the County’s first responders, CERT members can assist their neighbors by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies. CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by York County Department of Fire & Life Safety that further their skills base. Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness. For information about York County CERT or to register for the Fall 2009 class, visit: http://www.yorkcounty.gov/ fls/CERTreg.htm

Fall 2010 CERT courses include: I CERT Organization and Overview I Disaster Preparedness/CERT & Terrorism I Medical Operations I Light Search and Rescue I Fire Safety I Hands On Practical Sessions I Disaster Psychology I Fire Station Tour I Final Hands On Exercise For additional information call 757-890-3600

Websites with additional preparedness information: I Virginia Department of Emergency Management: www.vaemergency.com I www.yorkcounty.gov I www.ready.gov I www.redcross.org I www.erh.noaa.gov


6 HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

Emergency shelter FACTS

Many shelters in Virginia operate under a system developed by the American Red Cross. Shelter staffing can include

any combination of municipal, social services and school employees with Red Cross volunteers.

Facts about emergency public shelters:

How Evacuation Decisions are Made

• They provide emergency, short-term shelter to the public. • Shelters outside the storm surge and flood zones meet state building codes and provide a safer place for people who must leave hazardous areas. All shelters in the path of a hurricane are subject to high winds. • Public shelters may be called refuge centers (no services and located on barrier islands or near evacuation routes), host shelters (inland) or impact shelters (in the storm’s path).

Emergency shelters may not be able to provide adequate supplies of food, water and bedding, so individuals coming to shelters should bring the following items to support their stay: • Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses • Extra clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, etc. • Folding chairs, lawn chairs or cots • Personal hygiene supplies • Flashlights and batteries • Quiet games, books and favorite toys • Important papers • Prescription medications Pets are not allowed in public shelters. Consider options that include kennels or an animal shelter. Only service animals can stay with their owner in the shelter. Emergency shelters operate under Red Cross guidelines and provide basic first aid only. Individuals receiving home health care should consult their physician or home health provider concerning plans for health care needs and possible evacuation during an emergency. In major hurricanes, inland host shelters will be available in central and western Virginia. Each locality has a list of facilities (often public schools) that may be used as emergency shelters. In the event of a hurricane, however, some of these facilities may be in the path of the storm or at risk of flooding. When a hurricane is threatening Virginia, turn to your local radio or TV station for listings. You will hear where these shelters are located and when they will open.

The decision to evacuate is made by local officials in coordination with other jurisdictions in the region. This normally involves conference calls with local and state officials as well as the National Weather Service. Computerized tracking and analysis models are also helpful in deciding if or when to evacuate. Key factors in evacuation decision-making include: I Providing enough time for people in storm surge zones and mobile homes to leave before the arrival of 39 mph winds; I Selecting an appropriate evacuation time to allow citizens to get to safety during daylight hours; and I Providing the news media with enough time to warn the greatest number of people. I People have several choices for their evacuation destination. They can stay with family or friends or go to a hotel or public shelter outside the storm surge zone. Evacuation and shelter openings usually happen simultaneously.

When to Stay at Home One of the most important decisions you will have to make is whether to evacuate. If a hurricane threatens, stay tuned to local radio or TV, and if you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay. Unless you live in a coastal or low-lying area, an area that floods frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is unlikely that officials will ask you to evacuate. That means that it is important for you and your family to have a plan that makes you as safe as possible in your home. Everyone in coastal Virginia is at some level of risk for storm surge or flooding. This means everyone needs to prepare, even if your home is reasonably safe and outside flood zones. An innovative idea for hurricane preparedness is the safe room. The concept comes from the tornado-prone regions of the Midwest where residents learn to identify a central area in a structure away from windows and doors and on the first floor. Bathrooms, central hallway closets, or areas under stairwells provide the best locations for protection. During hurricanes, families move into these areas with their disaster supply kit, flashlights and portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio and stay there through the peak of the storm. This area not only provides protection from the wind, but also from tornadoes associated with hurricanes

Hurricane Categories The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane’s

present intensity. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall.

Category One: Winds 74-95 mph. Storm surge generally 4-5 feet above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage. Hurricanes Allison of 1995 and Danny of 1997 were in this category at peak intensity.

Category Two: Winds 96-110 mph. Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings. Hurricane Bonnie of 1998 was a Category Two hurricane when it hit the North Carolina coast, as was Hurricane Georges of 1998 when it hit the Florida Keys and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Category Three: Winds 111-130 mph. Storm surge generally 9-12 feet above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown

down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 feet above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required. Hurricanes Roxanne of 1995 and Fran of 1996 were in this category at landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and in North Carolina, respectively.

Category Four: Winds 131-155 mph. Storm surge generally 13-18 feet above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 feet above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles. Hurricane Luis of 1995 was a Category Four hurricane while moving over the Leeward Islands. Hurricanes Felix and Opal of 1995 also reached this status at peak intensity.

Category Five: Winds greater than 155 mph. Storm surge generally greater than 18 feet above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles of the shoreline may be required. Hurricane Mitch of 1998 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity over the western Caribbean. Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is one of the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclones of record.

Know the difference

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We are committed to keeping you informed www.williamsburgva.gov: Click “Emergency Preparedness”

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Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.

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When Seconds Count, StormReady® Communities are Prepared

WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.


7 HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

Have you planned for your business? What would happen to your business if there was a hurricane? Businesses should consider the following recommendations: I Ask your local emergency management office about community plans. I Establish facility shutdown, warning and evacuation procedures. Make hurricane assignments well in advance of a storm and do not assign employees with critical family responsibilities. I Make plans for communicating with employees before and after a hurricane. I Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery backup. Listen for hurricane watches and warnings. I Survey your facility. Remove items that could become wind borne and could pose a threat to your or surrounding property. Make plans to protect outside equipment and structures.

I Protect windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection. Covering windows with 5/8 inch marine plywood is a second option. I Consider the need for backup systems: • Alternate power sources such as generators or gasoline-powered pumps • Battery-powered emergency lighting • Prepare to move records, computers and other items within your facility or to another location. • Portable pumps to remove flood water For more information on business and industry planning, download the Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry from www.fema.gov/business.

Sounds of recovery: chain saws and generators Chain saw safety

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

The chain saw is a time saving and efficient power tool. It can be unforgiving and lethal, however, causing injury or death in the hands of an uninformed and unaware operator. Contact your local tool or building Supply Company for information on chain saw safety programs. Be sure to have protective gear such as chaps, gloves and safety glasses.

Generator Safety

• Operate generators outdoors only in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain (preferably under a canopy, open shed, or carport). • Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages.

To avoid electrocution:

Portable generators can be hazardous if used improperly. Use generators in open and well ventilated areas; do not use indoors.

• Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy duty, outdoor rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.

• Observe the generator manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. • Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet. • If connecting the generator into the house wiring is necessary, have a qualified electrician hook up the standby electrical system. Courtesy of the American Red Cross and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management

James City County during Tropical Storm Hanna.

2010 Hurricane Names Alex Bonnie Colin Danielle Earl Fiona Gaston

Hermine Igor Julia Karl Lisa Matthew Nicole

Otto Paula Richard Shary Tomas Virginie Walter

Dan’s Tree Service

Locally Owned and Serving the Greater Williamsburg Area Tree Climbing, Crown Reduction, Storm Clean Up and Removal Comprehensive Insurance & References Available

Please call Dan at 757.206.9073 Hurricane Cleanup Tips for Removing Trees • Can

you do it yourself, SAFELY? (Consider personal safety, power lines, your knowledge of chainsaws, and your home) caution with suspended weight (Trees are extremely heavy, unpredictable, and using a ladder can get you hurt) • Can you live with the mess for a while? (How critical is the cleanup? Prices are much better a month or so after the storm) • If you feel the price is too high then it probably is (get a second estimate, preferably from a local; free markets always prevail) • Get a written detailed estimate that describes exactly what will be done (don’t get the tree off the house but left in your yard) • Deposits, if necessary at all, should be no more than 10% of the job and not more than you can lose • WAIT: high pressure contracts usually are more concerned with their wallet and not with helping you • What skills and appropriate equipment does the contractor have? Was he an arborist or a landscaper before the storm? • Use

Dan has extensive hurricane cleanup experience from storms Isabel, Katrina & Rita.


8 HURRICANE READINESS GUIDE 2010

Preparedness tips for families • Discuss with your family the types of hazards and threats in your area and what to do in each case. • Talk to school officials to learn how they will notify you of your child’s status in an emergency.

Interstate 64 lane reversal

• Decide on a meeting place in case you cannot return home. • Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a point of contact.

The direction of traffic on I-64 will only be reversed when ordered by the

• Keep important phone numbers with you at all times.

governor in advance of a storm or other event that threatens the citizens of Hampton Roads. In a lane reversal, the eastbound lanes of I-64 will be used to carry additional traffic westbound so that all vehicles on the highway are heading toward Richmond. A standard evacuation issued by a city or county does not reverse traffic on I-64.

• Get everyone involved. The Ready Virginia website www.ReadyVirginia.gov has preparedness information for families, businesses and those with special needs.

In a Category 3 to Category 5 hurricane, the governor might issue a traffic direction reversal order for I-64 to evacuate citizens more efficiently. The direction of traffic on I-64 will only be reversed in the most extreme conditions. Plans call for an I-64 reversal to begin on the Norfolk side of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and end at the I-295 interchange in Richmond. For more information, see www.vdot.virginia.gov.

Important documents to protect The following documents should be stored in a dry, safe location: • Apartment or condo leases

• Utility statements

• Home or other property deeds

• Government financial assistance award letters

• Estate documents

• Birth certificates, proof of citizenship

• Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance documents

or adoption records

• Wills

• Social security cards

• Life insurance policies

• Employment contracts or other legal documents

• List and/or photos of possessions and their values

• Medical records, x-rays, benefits documents

• List of important phone numbers

• Education records

• Flood insurance documents

• Passports

• Vehicle titles, leases, loan documents

• List of medications and duplicate prescriptions

• Financial statements

Courtesy of City of Chesapeake

¿Informacíon de la necesidad en español? Spanish-speaking communities now have access to essential emergency preparedness information through a new website, www.ListoVirginia.gov. The site is a one-stop resource for residents to learn about disaster readiness at home and at work. The American Red Cross and other community-based organizations have a web site, www.Prepare.org, to help serve seniors, children, people with disabilities and animal and pet owners. Preparedness materials are also available in English and multiple foreign languages.

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The Virginia Gazette 2010 Hurricane Readiness Guide  
The Virginia Gazette 2010 Hurricane Readiness Guide  

The Virginia Gazette 2010 Hurricane Readiness Guide

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