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It is important to remember that every county and city in the state is vulnerable in some way to the destructive forces of hurricanes, even counties that are far inland, like Rockbridge, are vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes. Whether the threat comes from violent winds, storm surge, flash flooding, or spawned tornadoes, the important factor in saving lives and property is being prepared. Hurricanes, once they make landfall, can produce extensive flooding and high winds hundreds of miles from the coast.

Before the Storm

  • Flash floods can develop in a matter of minutes, if you hear a flash flood warning take action immediately.
  • Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could fly around and cause damage.
  • Trim back dead or weak branched from trees.
  • Learn the safest route from your home and place of business to areas that are safe from high winds and flooding.
  • Have a family emergency plan ready.
  • Prepare before the storm.
  • Purchase flood insurance, as homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • Monitor your local news and the NOAA Weather Radio for weather-related information and broadcasts continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service, 24 hours a day.

When a Hurricane Approaches

  • Consider filling plastic containers with water in your freezer, leaving about an inch of space inside each one, as water expands when it freezes.
  • Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer to keep food chilled for a few hours.
  • Fill your bathtub with water to use for toilet flushing in case water services are unavailable following the storm.
  • Fill your car's gas tank. Functional gas stations will be in short supply in a power outage.

Issued Flood Warning

  • Be alert to signs of flooding.
  • If flood waters are threatening your home, evacuate immediately and move quickly to higher ground.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Shortcuts or alternate routes may be blocked or damaged by floodwater.
  • If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route. 

If Heavy Rains Occur

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately; move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
  • Keep your battery-operated radio tuned to a local station, and follow all instructions. If you are told to evacuate, move out of the house or building to safe, high ground.
  • Do not wade into flooded areas, turn around and go back to higher ground.
  • Never drive across a flooded road

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