Hurricane season traditionally starts June 1 and runs through November 30; however, last Saturday Tropical Storm Ana formed in the Atlantic, marking the seventh straight year a named storm has formed prior to the start of the official hurricane season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another "above-normal" 2021 season. Forecasters predict a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.
So, there is no better time to prepare to keep your family and possessions safe than now.
Before the Storm
Secure your family:
- Build your family’s emergency kit, including enough supplies to sustain you and your family for three days.
- Assemble individual “go bags” for each member of your family, including pets.
- Develop a family communication plan and test it to make sure all members understand how you will connect with each other in an emergency—tips on how to develop a plan.
- Talk with your kids about being prepared. Learn helpful tips on how to find fun ways for children to learn to be prepared.
- Sign up for emergency alerts and warnings. Norfolk will use all available means to notify people of an evacuation, but the best way to get the message is to register for the City’s notification system, Norfolk Alert. Registering ensures that you are notified directly in the way you prefer and receive updates after the storm has passed.
- Know Your Zone: Find your evacuation zone. If you need assistance, please call Norfolk CARES at 757-664-6510.
- Know your local evacuation routes. Use the evacuation map to identify places you could go. If needed, emergency shelters will be open, but these are bare minimum facilities, so be prepared to bring what you need.
Secure your home and possessions:
- Organize important documents, including insurance policies.
- Trim large trees around your home; anchor any fuel tanks on your property.
- Secure your windows and doors.
- Catalog the contents of your home by videotaping room by room.
- Update your flood insurance if needed. Make sure you have the right amount of insurance and fill in a few key gaps in coverage.
During Hurricane Season
- Monitor local news and weather reports.
- Obey any evacuation orders issued by local authorities.
- After a storm:
- Return to the area only after authorities have declared it safe to do so.
- Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through floodwaters.
- Look out for downed or unstable trees or power lines.
Disaster Preparedness is a responsibility shared by all. Everyone in the community, regardless of age or ability, should take steps to ensure they are prepared for a disaster individually as well as in their neighborhood, place of work, place of worship and other activities. Visit our website for more information on how to prepare your family for hurricane season.
Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response