Why Should Your Family
Hampton Roads Emergency Management
Hampton Roads, like other communities, is
subject to the effects of major emergencies and disasters derived
from natural, man-made or technological causes. One of the most
serious natural disasters would be caused by a hurricane. It is
possible for a hurricane to strike Hampton Roads, threatening lives
and property. The impact would be extremely serious upon local
jurisdictions and the region. Community awareness and preparedness
must be taken seriously to insure that everyone understands what to
do before, during and after a hurricane. The time to prepare is
now. Do not wait until a crisis occurs to develop your family plan
Hampton Roads communities and residents must
be prepared to respond to the threat of major emergencies and
disasters. Individuals and families have a great deal of the
responsibility in preparing for the response. How well you are
prepared to respond, deal with the disaster conditions and recover
from the consequences depends upon your awareness, knowledge and
planning efforts. The situation is survivable. You can reduce the
impact upon your family. The first step is to be aware of the
hazards and risks. The next step is to become knowledgeable about
what to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a
hurricane or other disaster strikes. Finally, you need to develop
your own DISASTER RESPONSE & RECOVERY PLAN.
It Takes Teamwork
Before an emergency threatens, you should
protect yourself and your family by planning ahead. Disaster
preparedness is a team effort between the public and private
sectors to save lives, reduce injuries and suffering and save
property. Be aware and knowledgeable about the risks. Learn what to
do before, during and after a major emergency or disaster. Based
upon where you live, you may need to make important decisions in
advance about how your family will handle an emergency situation.
Develop a checklist that will help
you create a disaster plan based upon your family's needs.
Establish and maintain a Family Disaster Supply Kit.
Warm Tropical Waters Spawn
From June 1st to November 30th, the tropical
Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean warm up enough to
spawn one of nature's most destructive storms. Hurricanes in the
past have killed thousands and left entire cities in ruin.
Hurricanes usually form over water that is at least 80 degrees
Fahrenheit. They are giant heat engines that convert the heat
energy of the tropics into wind and waves.
Even though meteorologists have made improvements in the
forecasting and tracking of severe weather, especially hurricanes,
there is no way to predict far enough in advance exactly how a
storm will affect coastal Virginia, or when it will hit. This
unpredictability makes "being alert" a vital factor in
protecting your home, possessions and family.
Your official source for hurricane information is the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service provides
hurricane coordinates that indicate the location of the center of
the storm's eye. The average storm is 250 miles in diameter; thus
the danger zone can extend beyond 100 miles of the eye in all
directions. If a storm hit our area, maximum conditions would exist
if the storm eye crossed over us. Keep in mind that there will
always be a margin of error, since hurricanes and Mother Nature are
dynamic and constantly changing. Radio and television stations can
keep you up-to-date on hurricane conditions.
How Are Hurricanes
The National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes according
to their potential for producing extensive damages on a scale of 1
to 5. Herbert Saffir, a consulting engineer specializing in wind
damage to buildings, and Robert Simpson, previous Director of the
National Hurricane Center in the 1970s, invented the rating scale.
The following table is a breakdown of the average wind, pressure
and storm surge values for each of the five hurricane categories.
The average atmospheric pressure is given in inches of mercury. The
average sea-level atmospheric pressure is 29.92 inches of mercury.
Wind speed is given in miles per hour (MPH). Generally speaking,
Category 3 hurricanes and higher are categorized as major. Damages
will increase exponentially as the category number is raised.
(Refer to the table below.)
Winds - Highly Destructive Forces
U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Natural Disaster Survey Report
All hurricanes are different, rapidly changing and dynamic.
Generally speaking, the most severe winds are located just outside
the eye of the hurricane in the northeast quadrant. For example,
the picture to the right of a historical hurricane shows wind
spiraling in toward the calm eye with the wind increasing as it
nears the center. The estimates of ground-level winds were
based upon measurements made by a United States Air Force airplane
flying at about 10,000 feet. Friction with the ocean and the ground
slows the winds at ground level. Winds at 10,000 feet are even
stronger. Hurricanes produce extremely dangerous and destructive
winds that kill, injure and devastate cities and whole regions for
miles inland. Flying debris (structural materials, glass, trees,
power lines, boats and vehicles) can kill! Don't forget,
tornadoes sometimes unpredictably form within the periphery
of a hurricane as the storm moves over land.
Storm Surge: A
"Storm Surge" is a large dome of water pushed up in advance
of a hurricane making landfall. This dome of water can exceed 20
feet depending upon the strength of the hurricane and tide
conditions. Storm surge flooding has caused more deaths than
hurricane winds. Storm surge is not to be confused with a tidal
wave or tsunami. It is a large amount of water on top of which
there is heavy wave action. A storm surge can last for several
hours. In a deep ocean, this huge dome of water sinks and flows
away. As the storm nears land, the rising sea floor blocks the
building water's escape. It comes ashore as a deadly storm surge.
During high tide, the storm surge will be even deeper and more
extensive. Contact your local Emergency Management Agency for more
information as to the risks to your family or property from storm
result from both heavy sustained rainfall or storm surge
inundation. As the hurricane moves inland, it will be accompanied
by a large amount of rainfall over a short period of time. This
adds to the previous storm surge flooding and collects outside the
normal boundaries of rivers, streams, lakes and canals. Depending
upon a storm surge's wave size and ground elevation, water may
become trapped. This creates additional associated hazards, such as
drowning, electrocution from fallen power lines, health risks
associated with drinking contaminated water and property damage or
BEFORE A HURRICANE
How Safe Is Your
If you live near the coast, plan to relocate during a
hurricane emergency. If you live in a mobile home, always plan to
relocate. Don't forget that public utilities may fail if a
hurricane strikes. Utilities include cable television, electric,
natural gas, sewer, storm water, telephone and water. It may take
days or weeks before they can be restored. This may make
survivability extremely difficult. How would your family survive
with one or more of the above utilities no longer available for
days or weeks? Your home may be safe, but you could be affected
by the loss of one or more public utilities by being close to the
disaster stricken area. Contact your local Emergency Management
Office for assistance in evaluating the vulnerability of your home
as to the flood risks.
Take a Regular Inventory
of Your Property
A complete inventory of personal property will
help in obtaining insurance settlements and/or tax deductions for
uninsured losses. Inventory checklists can be obtained from your
insurance representative. Don't trust your memory! Emotional stress
upon your family will already be traumatic after a disaster.
Document personal property by listing descriptions, taking pictures
or video of household belongings. Store important documents in
waterproof containers or a safety deposit box.
Do You Have Adequate
Review your insurance policies and coverage to avoid costly
misunderstandings. In addition to your homeowner's insurance, do
you have flood insurance? If you are within a flood plain and/or
storm surge area, flood insurance must be purchased under a
separate policy. Don't forget that storm surge maps are
different from flood insurance rate maps. Separate insurance
policies are needed for protection against wind and flood damage.
Most people don't realize this, until it is too late. If you live
in an apartment or condominium, do you have adequate renter's
content insurance to cover your furniture and personal
property? Don't wait until the last minute to get coverage. It will
not be available to you in sufficient time.
Do You Have an
Out-Of-State "Family Contact"?
Do you have an out-of-state friend or relative who can be your
"family contact," in case your family members are separated? After
a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Family
members should call this person and advise them of their location
and status. Everyone must know the telephone number of your
designated family contact.
What About Family
Don't forget to make special arrangements and
plans for a place that will safely house, feed and care for your
pets. If you evacuate, are the pets going with you? Don't forget to
include food and water in your Family Disaster Supplies Kit. You
will not be allowed to bring your pets to public shelters. Make
arrangements with your veterinarian, humane society or private pet
shelter outside the normal hurricane impact areas.
Family Members Must Plan
Families can cope with a disaster by preparing and working
together as a team. Create a family disaster plan. Planning what to
do is your best protection and your responsibility. Involve all
family members in the planning process, so that they know what to
expect, as well as what to do when a Hurricane Watch or Warning is
issued. When will you evacuate or go to a shelter? Routinely
practice and update your plan.
Family Disaster Supplies Kit
Keep these supplies at home throughout the year in
preparation for major emergencies or disasters. We recommend that
you keep them in a separate "Family Disaster Supplies Kit" so they
are easy to find when you need them. Identify a safe room for
storage of the supply kit and where you can go if a hurricane hits.
Don't forget to rotate and replace expired items throughout the
Family members should discuss and plan additional supplies
that might be needed over an extended period of time. Be ready for
the hurricane season. Some supplies will be required in the event
you elect to stay in your home. Others may be required if you
evacuate or relocate or go to a shelter. Plan supplies so they are
clearly accessible and identifiable. After a hurricane watch is
issued, there may be a high demand and short supply of many
- AM/FM radio (AC/DC battery operated)
- Baby food, diapers, formula and other
- Backpack, duffel bag, portable cooler or other
- Bleach (without lemon or any other
- Canned or packaged foods, milk and beverages
(minimum 7-day non-perishable food supply for each family
- Can opener (non-electric)
- Changes of clothing, hard soled shoes and rain
gear for each family member
- Eating utensils and supplies
- Emergency cooking facilities (camping equipment
and supplies are great)
- Extra prescription medications, glasses or
hearing aids (see your doctor)
- Fire extinguishers (checked and serviced
- First aid kit (adequate capacity and type for the
size of your family)
- Flashlights & extra batteries (size and type
for flashlights, radios, etc.)
- Food and water for pets
- Important documents (driver's license, birth
certificate, insurance documents, etc.)
- Lanterns and fuel (stored in safe container &
- Matches (stored in a safe and protective
- Mosquito repellant
- Non-perishable foods, milk and beverages (minimum
7-day supply for each family member)
- Plywood boards ¾" to board up windows (cut
& fit ahead of time)
- Quiet games, toys, books and cards
- Sleeping bag and blankets for each family
- Spare batteries for flashlights, radios,
- Spare keys for home, vehicles, boats,
- Toilet paper, soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste
and other personal hygiene items
- Water (1 gallon per person per day for drinking
- Water purification procedures & tablets
(check with your local health department)
- Weather alert radio (AC/DC battery
- Other items preplanned by the family
Critical Special Needs
The disabled community and individuals under medical care,
like the rest of the community, are at risk during an emergency.
Because of their disability or medical conditions, individuals in
these situations must take additional precautions and pay special
attention to emergency planning and how their disability and
condition may affect them in a disaster.
Important Things to
how your disability or condition may affect you in a disaster,
including warnings, evacuation, sheltering, loss of public
utilities (water, electricity, telephone, cable television) and
alternatives to support your needs in these situations.
with physicians, health care providers, support groups and service
agencies regarding your needs.
with physicians and health care providers regarding your needs.
Special in-home medical services and transportation services could
shelters can only provide limited resource support and only basic
first aid services. Most often, shelters have no beds, bedding,
medical equipment or supplies, or medical staff.
- If you are
medically dependent upon electricity, you need to contact vendors
or your physician for back-up power sources.
DURING A HURRICANE
What Is a Hurricane
A Hurricane Watch is issued by the National Hurricane
Center to ALERT specific regions or states that hurricane
conditions pose a threat to a specified area within 36
hours. Monitor storm reports on radio and television closely.
Implement your family plan. If evacuation has not already been
recommended, consider leaving the area early to avoid long hours
along congested and limited evacuation routes.
Portable Radio with Fresh
Your radio will be your most useful information source. This
includes both your AM/FM and Weather Alert Radios. Have enough
batteries to last several days. Electricity may not be available
for days or weeks, if you choose to stay. Don't wait until the last
minute to buy fresh spare batteries. There will be a high demand
and short supply of vital supplies shortly after a hurricane watch
Flashlights, Lanterns and
Store matches in a waterproof container. Have lantern fuel in
a safe container and location adequate to last for several days, if
you plan to stay. We do not recommend candles. Keep fire safety in
mind. If you had a fire, emergency response could be difficult or
Full Tank of
Never let your vehicle's gas tank be less than half-full
during hurricane season. Fill up as soon as a hurricane watch is
issued. Adequate fuel will be needed in the event of an evacuation.
Remember, when electrical power fails, gas pumps will not
Canned Goods and
Store packaged foods that can be prepared without cooking and
need no refrigeration. Don't forget a manual can opener!
Containers for Drinking
Have clean, air-tight containers to store sufficient drinking
water for several days. The local water supply will probably be
interrupted or contaminated.
Materials for Protecting
Windows and Doors
Have shutters or lumber ready to protect large windows and
doors. Be sure to include the necessary hardware and tools to
securely cover windows and doors.
DURING A HURRICANE
What is a Hurricane
A Hurricane Warning is issued by the National
Hurricane Center where sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or
higher are expected within a specified area within 24 hours or
less. All precautions must be completed immediately.
If You Live in a Mobile
Check tie-downs, turn off utilities and leave immediately
for a safer place. Mobile homes are unsafe in
hurricanes, tornadoes or severe thunderstorms. Can you imagine what
hurricane-force winds would do to your mobile home?
Prepare for High
Brace your garage door. Lower antennas. Be prepared to make
repairs. Awnings, garbage cans, grills, lawn furniture, loose
garden tools, toys and all other loose objects can be deadly
missiles. Anchor securely or bring indoors. Securely board up or
shutter large windows. Draw drapes across windows and doors to
protect against flying glass.
Move Boats on Trailers
Close to House
Fill boats with water to weigh them down. Lash securely to
trailer and use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.
Check mooring lines of boats that must remain in water, then leave
them. Accomplish this ahead of the hurricane watch to save time.
(See information concerning Safe Boating Precautions)
Store Valuables and
Put important documents (birth certificates, heirlooms,
personal inventory lists, pictures, titles, wills, etc.) in
waterproof containers and store them in the highest possible
location protected from potential flooding. If you evacuate, be
sure to take them with you. You should have secured most of your
valuables and important papers in a safety deposit box, during the
family planning process.
Prepare for Storm Surge,
Tornadoes & Flooding
Storm surges, tornadoes and floods are killers associated
with a hurricane. In a Tornado Warning, seek inside shelter below
ground level if possible. Otherwise, go to the inner-most small
room away from outside walls, doors and windows on the lowest level
of your structure. If you are outside, seek cover in ditch or other
low spot. Do not attempt to outrun a tornado!
Mobile homes and portable buildings are extremely unsafe,
during a tornado! The surge of the ocean water plus flash flooding
of streams and rivers due to torrential rains cause 90% of the
deaths associated with hurricanes. If you anticipate that your
family will be at risk, evacuate early before the hurricane watch
is issued! Complete evacuation well before the arrival of tropical
IF YOU MUST
Implement Your Evacuation
Know where you are going and leave early (preferably at the
beginning of the watch period), leaving sufficient time to avoid
heavy evacuation traffic. Evacuate in daylight with a full tank of
gas. Take only the most valuable possessions with you; otherwise
place them in high points away from flooding within your home.
Listen to your car radio for additional emergency information or
evacuation routing problems.
Lock Windows and
Turn off gas, water and electricity. Check to see that you
have done everything you can to protect your property from damage
Carry Along Survival
You should have preplanned what to take within your vehicle
(blankets, bottled water, canned or dried provisions, eating
utensils, extra family medications, first aid kit, games, hearing
aid, manual can opener, prescriptions, sleeping bags, spare
batteries, spare glasses and other essential survival items). Take
additional changes of clothing and foul weather gear.
Keep Important Items with
You at All Times
You should have preplanned to keep in your possession your
driver's license, personal identification papers, insurance
policies, personal property inventory, medic-alert or device with
special medical information, maps to destination, heirlooms,
valuable pictures and essential paperwork that may be vital during
and after your evacuation. Take cash, since ATM or credit card
machines may not be working.
Going to a
Take blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights, special dietary
foods, infant needs, games, lightweight folding chairs, and water.
Register every person arriving with you at the shelter. Do not take
pets, alcoholic beverages or weapons of any kind to the shelter. Be
prepared to offer assistance to shelter workers if necessary, and
advise all family members of their obligations to keep the shelter
clean and orderly.
Evacuation Route to
If You Must Leave VDOT has developed a traffic control plan
that is designed to maximize roadway capacities during a mass
evacuation. During emergency situations, residents need to listen
to radio or television stations for specific information from local
emergency management officials. Situations will be constantly
changing through the evacuation period. Leave as early as possible
and use routes specified for your area.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
The following traffic control plan was designed and published
by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Because of the large population, and the limited capacities and
number of highways leading out of Hampton Roads, it is necessary to
have a phased evacuation with assigned routes (see map below, Phase 1 map and Phase 2 map).
Northern Neck: Individuals
residing in the Mathews, Gloucester and Middlesex counties will
evacuate along Route 17 north.
Middle Peninsula: Individuals
residing in Northumberland, Westmoreland, Lancaster and Richmond
counties will evacuate along Routes 202 and 203 to Route 3 north
Eastern Shore: Residents of
Northampton and Accomack counties will use Route 13 north as the
evacuation route. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is not an
Phase 1 Evacuation
Phase 1 evacuation may involve the Cities of Hampton,
Poquoson, Virginia Beach and Norfolk and York County. It is
expected that evacuation notices will be issued for certain areas
of Hampton, Poquoson, Virginia Beach and York County prior to other
Virginia Beach: Individuals
residing south of Route 44 (now called I-264) and along the ocean
front will use I-64 toward Suffolk. Individuals residing north of
Route 44 (now called I-264) will use I-64 West toward
Norfolk: Individuals residing
east of I-64 (outside of interstate loop) will use I-64 west toward
Richmond. Individuals residing west of I-64 (inside the inter-
state loop) will use I-64 toward Suffolk.
Hampton: Individuals residing in
the area of King Street and north of Pembroke Avenue will use I-64
toward Richmond. Individuals residing east of King Street and south
of Pembroke Avenue (including Fort Monroe) will use Mercury
Boulevard to the James River Bridge to Route 258/32 in Isle of
Wight County or Route 60 west. Individuals residing north of
Mercury Boulevard between King Street and Armistead Avenue (in the
vicinity of Langley Air Force Base) will take Armistead Avenue to
Magruder Boulevard and use Route 17 north toward Gloucester County.
Langley AFB will be evacuated out of the west gate toward Magruder
Boulevard - South to I-64 east to Mercury Boulevard to the James
River Bridge. Individuals will follow that route to their
evacuation assembly area at Fort Pickett Army Barracks.
Poquoson and York
County: All residents will use Route 17 north toward
Gloucester County. Residents also may use Victory Boulevard to I-64
west toward Richmond.
Illustration of Phase 2 Evacuation
Phase 2 evacuation may involve the City of Newport News, the
remainder of Hampton, and the Cities of Chesapeake, Portsmouth and
Suffolk. It is expected that evacuation notices will be issued for
only certain areas within the above jurisdictions depending upon
Portsmouth: Individuals residing
north of I-264 will use route 17 north to Route 258/32 south in
Isle of Wight County; Route 337 west and I-664 north to Route 17
north, then to Route 10 west toward Smithfield. Individuals
residing south of I-264 will use Airline Boulevard to Route 58/460
west toward Suffolk.
Chesapeake: Residents will use
I-64, I-264, I-464 or I-664 to Route 58/460 toward Suffolk.
Suffolk: Residents north of
Route 125 will use Route 17 north, to Route 258/32 to Route 10 west
Newport News: Residents will use
Route 143 West (Jefferson Avenue) or Route 60 West (Warwick
Boulevard) through Williamsburg via Route 162, Route 143, Route 132
then to Route 60 towards Richmond.
Hampton: Individuals residing
west of King Street and south of Mercury Boulevard will use I-64
west toward Richmond. Individuals residing west of Armistead Avenue
and north of Mercury Boulevard will use Route 17 north toward
IF YOU STAY AT
Stay Indoors and Away from
Windows and Glass Doors
Stay indoors within an inner room on the lowest level away
from doors and windows. Do not go out in the brief calm during
passage of the hurricane's eye. The lull sometimes ends suddenly
and winds return from the opposite direction. Winds can increase in
seconds to 75 mph or more.
Your ability to cope with emergencies will help other members
of your family. Stay calm, reassuring and use common sense. Use
the telephone or cellular phones only in the event of an emergency
or life-threatening situation.
Without taking any unnecessary risks, protect your property
from damage. Temporary repairs may reduce further losses from wind
and water. Move furniture away from exposed doors and
Keep a Continuous
Keep radio or television tuned to receive information from
official sources. Unexpected changes can sometimes call for last
- Heed and
respect National Weather Service watches and warnings. Begin a safe
anchorage trip before storm tide arrives.
boats should be removed from the water and stored.
- Out-of-area boat owners should inquire and plan a desirable and
convenient location for safe anchorage or follow local boats to
safe anchorage areas.
anchor rigging should consist of new or good mooring or dock lines,
with extra length and at least three or four substantial anchors
for the craft.
possible, boats should anchor in groups with bow lines individually
tied high to a tree or piling on mainland with loose line for
rising tide, and the sterns well anchored. Boats in the group
should also be tied together at bows and sterns using protective
- Do not tie
up parallel to the bank; receding tides often breach or capsize a
boat in this type of anchorage.
- Be sure
that a navigable passage at the stern of secured boats is made
available for late-arriving boats seeking safe anchorage beyond the
first boats anchored.
anchorage boats should be tied high, using a half hitch knot. Lines
should be sufficient to take care of excessive high water.
When To Return
If you evacuated, delay return until authorized or
recommended by local authorities. Telephone services within the
evacuation zone may be overloaded or non-existent for an extended
period of time. Listen to radio or television for information
concerning returning to your home. Keep in mind that local
emergency authorities will be addressing life and safety concerns
on a priority basis, as well as trying to clear debris from
roadways. There most likely will be electrical power lines down,
extensive flooding of roads and other situations that may not allow
safe immediate return to your home. It takes time for governmental,
emergency and public utility authorities to clear the way for your
Beware of Outdoor
Watch out for loose or dangling power lines. Many lives are
lost by electrocution! Treat all downed lines as live wires and do
not touch them. Report the fallen power lines to your local power
company or police. Stay inside your car if a wire is touching it,
and wait for help to arrive.
Walk or Drive
Debris-filled streets are dangerous. Use hard-soled shoes.
Poisonous snakes and rodents may be a hazard. Washouts may weaken
road and bridge structures that may collapse under vehicle
Loss of Electric
If you and others have lost power, call Virginia Power using
the emergency or "Lights Out" number found in the white pages of
your phone book (1-888-667-3000). Give your name, address and the
general area of the outage. If the line is busy, try again later. A
busy signal means others are also reporting outages. Disconnect or
turn off any major appliance like stoves, televisions, air
conditioners and water heaters that could come on suddenly when
power is restored. This will help prevent blowing fuses, tripping
circuit breakers and fires. Leave a light on so you will know when
power is restored. Use a battery-powered radio to obtain up-to-date
information on the outage. Consult a professional electrician or
your local power company regarding the proper and safe use of
generators before the disaster strikes.
Telephone & Cellular
Make only emergency telephone calls. Keep all calls
brief. Report emergencies to 911. Identify yourself and your
location. Speak clearly and calmly. Be respectful of the fact that
emergency agencies and others involved with life or death
emergencies will need to use these communication systems. When
using a cellular phone, call the local non-emergency number listed
in the telephone directory. Telephone and cellular phone services
will either fail or become overloaded during a major emergency or
disaster. Be prepared not to have services available. Cordless
phones depend upon electricity; make sure you have at least one
non- cordless phone to use if phone lines are working during a
Guard Against Spoiled
Food may spoil if refrigerator power is off for more than a
few hours. Freezers will keep food for several days, if doors are
not opened after power failure. Do not refreeze food once it begins
Do Not Use Water Until
Use your emergency supply or boil water before drinking until
officials advise that the water is safe. Check with your local
health department or emergency management agency regarding water
purification procedures. Report broken water or sewer mains to
Take Extra Precautions to
Avoid using candles as a light source. Unsafe use of candles
can cause tragic fires. Instead use flashlights or lanterns. Fire
safety practices are essential to prevent deaths, injuries or more
property losses. Keep in mind that you may not have a telephone to
call the emergency services if a fire does start.
Insurance representatives will be on the scene soon after a
major disaster to speed up the handling of claims. Notify your
insurance agent concerning any losses. Leave word where you can be
contacted. Be patient. Insurance representatives will settle
hardship cases first. Don't assume your settlement will be the same
as your neighbor's. Policy forms differ and storm damage is often
Take Steps to Protect
Make temporary repairs to protect property from further
damage or looting. Use only reputable contractors (sometimes in the
chaotic days following a disaster, unscrupulous operators will prey
on the unsuspecting); check with the Better Business Bureau. Keep
all receipts for materials used. If you observe looting or
unscrupulous activities, advise law enforcement.
Building Private &
Public Sector Partnerships
Responsibility for the clean up of public areas falls to
numerous local, state and federal agencies. A local disaster
coordinator or representative will be on hand to help residents.
Bringing the community eventually back to normal is a TEAM effort
between the private and public sector. Sometimes, it takes years
for communities to totally recover from a major disaster. Your
preparedness planning and cooperation will help the recovery
process. If you and your family are okay, some extra volunteer time
can go a long way to aid others.
COPING WITH CHILDREN'S
REACTIONS TO DISASTERS
The course of growing up for the average child consists of
certain regularities. For most school-age children regularity
involves the presence of parents, awakening in the morning,
preparing for school, meeting with the same teacher, the same
children, playing with friends, sleeping in the same bed,
essentially being able to depend on a series of predictable events.
The child expects dependability from adults and certainly from the
forces of nature. For the pre-school child, life is much the same.
He or she spends the day within a familiar world at home, with a
babysitter or at the nursery school. The family environment remains
more or less constant. When there is an interruption in this
natural flow of life, the child experiences anxiety and fear. How
adults help the child to resolve these problem times may have a
lasting effect on the child.
Encourage the child to talk and express her or his
Explain to the child known facts that can be
Listen to what the child tells you about fears. Listen
when your child tells you about personal feelings and his or her
interpretation of what has happened.
Once things settle down, try to get routines back to
normal as quickly as possible. Don't be surprised if your child
is afraid to go to bed, fall asleep or has nightmares.
Be understanding of the fears and flexible to
somewhat adjust to the child's needs. School counselors, teachers
and other professional help may be needed if situations do not
return to normal within a reasonable period of time. Don't wait too
long, if problems persist. Seek professional help.
A child needs reassurance by the parents' words and actions:
"We are all together and nothing has happened to us." "You don't
have to worry, we will look after you."
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO
Keep Tuned In!
While trained officials and volunteers organize to oversee
such things as evacuations and storm preparations, the
responsibility for keeping in touch with changes during the threat
is the public's. By being aware and staying tuned to local radio
and television broadcasts, the public is able to find out
what to do, when to do it and where to go. In
addition, 24-hour a day storm information can be received from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
weather radio. Weather alert radios that are AC/DC battery powered are
available at local electric appliance stores. These devices will
automatically alert you to special weather advisories, watches and
Flooding can begin well before a hurricane hits land. Plan to
evacuate early and keep a full tank of gas, during the hurricane
season. Learn the best evacuation route before storms form. Make
arrangements with friends or relatives inland to stay with them
until the storm has passed. Never attempt to drive during a
hurricane. Wait until the all clear is given after the storm. Flash
flooding can occur after a hurricane has passed. Avoid driving on
coastal and low-lying roads. Storm surge and hurricane related
flooding are erratic and occur with little or no warning.
Flood: Get Out Of
Never attempt to drive through floodwater on a road. Water
can be deeper than it appears and can rise very quickly. A car can
be buoyed by floodwaters and then swept downstream during a flood.
Floodwaters also can erode roadways. A missing section of road or
bridge will not be visible underneath floodwaters. Wade through
floodwaters only if the water is not flowing rapidly and only in
water no higher than the knees. If your car stalls in floodwaters,
get out quickly and move to higher ground. The floodwaters may
still be rising and cars can be swept away at a moment's
What To Expect Following A
Direct Hit Of A Hurricane
Damage from a direct hit can mean polluted water, limited
communications, no electricity, storm sewers overflowing,
structures undermined, severe erosion to shorelines, debris-clogged
roads and more.
Breakers coming ashore in a hurricane travel at about
one-half the speed of winds in the storm. Relating this to pressure
created by the breakers means an impact of 10,000 pounds of
Pressure per square inch.
This brochure is intended to help you prepare for a major
emergency or disaster. Many of the guidelines presented are
applicable to other situations. Are you
A Check List for Survival
- Learn what
to do before, during, and after a hurricane.
your family's plans for a disaster.
- Assemble a
"Family Disaster Supply Kit" (see checklist on page 8) and store it
in safe room, preferably in the room you will go to if a hurricane
an out-of-state relative or friend as your family contact.
- Learn the
storm history and elevation of your area to determine if evacuation
would be necessary, contact your local Emergency Management
Agency for guidance.
- Prepare an
emergency plan for family members and those who are elderly, who
have disabilities or have special needs.
provisions for pets in case of an evacuation. Pets are not allowed
in shelters. Identify alternate shelters such as homes of family
members or friends outside of risk area.
primary and alternate evacuation routes to a safe
- Learn how
to turn off utilities in case you need to evacuate.
your children's schools or day care centers to find out about their
- Take a
First Aid and CPR course or refresher.
- Review the
status of your automobile, flood, home owners or renters insurance
coverages. List and photograph or videotape valuable
- List and
photograph or videotape valuable property.
Last Update: 23 May 2012