With hurricane season ahead, authorities urge Virginians to prepare
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Dock Street flood wall lay dormant on Tuesday afternoon, a long way last fall when the city closed massive gates for the first time in decades last November.
While the threat of heavy rains last November forced the wall to close, crews will now test the strength of it and others in the city as the Atlantic hurricane season begins.
Experts predict an above-average number of storms like last year, which brought Hurricane Isaias to central Virginia. As a result, emergency officials are urging Virginians to start preparing for storms now.
Families say it was never going to hit us and then it happened and we found ourselves doing our own thing, ”said Jonathan McNamara, director of communications for the Virginia Red Cross.
McNamara says families should put together an emergency preparedness kit that includes standards such as food, water and medication tailored to their specific needs.
“If you have young children, if you have pets, your plan will be different than someone who doesn’t,” McNamara said.
As the pandemic is ongoing and not everyone is vaccinated, officials say they are also including masks and hand sanitizer.
McNamara says people should also include copies of important documents like deeds and insurance.
“Because it’s going to get you through that process after a storm hits your family,” McNamara said.
Katha Treanor of the State Corporation Commission said people should review their current policies and consider whether they need flood insurance if not.
“Even an inch of water can cause up to $ 25,000 in damage to your property,” Treanor said.
Treanor said that while it’s not generally covered, people can get it through some private insurers or the National Flood Insurance Program.
“Remember there is a 30 day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect. So it’s time to get it right now,” Treanor said.
Treanor adds that everyone should take inventory of what they own in case they need to make a claim in the future.
“Go room by room in your house and take notes, take photos, videos, serial numbers,” Treanor said.