Protecting Yourself and Your Family

This part of the handbook covers the topic of protecting yourself and your family from natural hazards. In particular, it is important that your household has a stock of emergency supplies, an evacuation kit, and evacuation plans for several types of hazards, including floods, coastal storms (hurricanes and/or northeasters), and severe wind events such as tornadoes. Your response may differ depending on the nature of the threat. You should discuss and practice the evacuation plan with your family once a year or whenever there is a major lifestyle change (for example, when a member of the family goes to a new school or is working in a different location). Visit the Useful Tools section for help making a plan that fits your family’s needs.

For a community to be resilient (i.e., able to bounce back quickly from a hazard event), it is important that all individuals and organizations prepare. Get to know your neighbors. Contrary to popular belief, the most likely assistance you will get after a natural hazard that turns into a disaster is not from the local, state, or federal government. It is likely to be from your neighbors or local community members. This is because the government may be overwhelmed in responding to life-threatening emergencies or maintaining critical infrastructure. Your community will be better able to cope with a disaster when you work with your neighbors and local government agencies as a team. Visit the “VDEM Volunteer Opportunities” link under the Get Connected section of this website to learn more about how you can get involved in your Virginia community.

A general rule of thumb when preparing for a hazard event is to remember to be self-sustaining for the first 72 hours (three days) after a hazard event. Due to a lack of access or availability, basic supplies may be unobtainable, so it might be wise to have supplies for three to five days depending on the type and extent of the disaster event. Therefore, a stock of emergency supplies will be helpful during a major event like a hurricane, tropical storm, or northeaster, as well as for a minor event like a simple power outage. The importance of these supplies has been demonstrated during several recent storms—after Hurricane Irene in 2011, it took 5 days to return power to 95% of affected customers, and after Hurricane Sandy, due to additional outages from a Nor’easter, 95% of reported outages weren’t restored until 10 days after the peak [1]. Your supplies should be prepared by the beginning of hurricane season, which runs June 1 to November 30.

Your emergency supplies should be gathered as soon as possible and checked monthly to ensure that they are complete, unused, and fresh (mark and check expiration dates). A good time to stock up on supplies is Virginia’s Tax Free weekend (the first weekend of August). Do not keep expired supplies. Your supplies should include at least the following:

  • Portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries (or flashlight and radio with hand-crank rechargeable batteries)
  • NOAA weather radio
  • First-aid kit
  • List and supply of special medications (prescriptions and others)
  • Three-day supply of nonperishable foods
  • Hibachi with charcoal, camping stove with fuel, or barbeque grill with propane. Do not use these items indoors or in an area with no ventilation. Follow all manufacturer instructions.
  • Manual can opener
  • Matches or lighter
  • Disposable plates and kitchen utensils
  • Supply of water—A reasonable estimate is one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene needs. It is important to have available good water containers for any water-interruption situations. Four- to six-gallon water containers are readily available in stores. Larger containers that sit in a bath tub and can be used to store up to 100 gallons of potable water are also available. Remember to store water for toilet use (in bathtubs, rubbish containers, washing machines, water heater, etc.).
  • Pet supplies (food, water, bedding, leash, medications)

Additional items you may want to add to your stock include:

  • Sanitary supplies and/or a portable toilet
  • Basic first aid supplies including over the counter treatments for allergies, cough and cold, fever and pain, and upset stomach
  • Spare cash—Automated teller machines require electricity to operate and may not be available or accessible for weeks.
  • Waterproof plastic sheeting or tarp, string or rope, and duct tape
  • Cell phone with a car charger and a hardwired single line phone—Cell phone networks may be overloaded during times of natural hazards. Cordless phones with a base station will not work without electricity. If you need to rely on cordless phones, get an alternate source of power. Otherwise, have an old-fashioned corded phone. Use your phone only in an emergency during a natural hazard event.
  • Bedding and clothing for each person
  • Blankets and towels
  • Rain jackets and pants
  • Sunscreen and bug repellent
  • Baby supplies (diapers, food, medication)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, cleanser, bleach, trash bags, towelettes, water-free hand disinfectant
  • Copies of important documents—Driver’s license, social security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, medical records, family pictures, etc.
  • Alternate power supplies—During an emergency or power outage, alternative sources of power may be needed (among these are generators, inverters, power stations, and battery chargers). See Protecting Your Property for descriptions of alternative power sources that may supplement your emergency supplies.

Note that if you plan to take shelter in your home (outside the flood evacuation zone, well inland of the strongest winds of a hurricane, and in an exceptionally strong dwelling), you may wish to have more than five to seven days of supplies. There is always the possibility that a major storm or hurricane can disrupt the supply line of goods- as demonstrated by the photo on the left (courtesy of Virginia State Parks) taken during Hurricane Irene; roads can easily become impassable during weather events. If space is available and your house is protected, stocking up for a two-week period is prudent. Gather supplies over a period of time rather than rushing out during an emergency when shortages are likely.

The evacuation kit differs from your stock of emergency supplies because the kit is what you will take if you need to leave your house in an emergency. Your evacuation kit should be prepared as soon as possible. The components of the kit should be stored in one place, perhaps in a duffel bag or backpack so that it is ready to go at a moment’s notice. The kit is primarily for evacuation during a hurricane, although it could be used for other situations.

It may include:

  • One gallon potable water per day per person
  • Personal items and family needs, such as a two-week supply of daily prescription medications, a three-day supply of nonperishable food and any special dietary foods, manual can opener, infant formula and diapers, prescription eyewear and personal hygiene items such as waterless cleaner, toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper
  • List of any required medications, special medical information, medical care directives, health insurance card, personal identification, and other important documents
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlights, batteries, and spare bulbs
  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  • Change of clothes and towels
  • Pillows, blankets, and folding mattresses/air mattresses

You should also include a small waterproof box, bag, or pack with important documents:

  • Cash or traveler’s checks for several days of living expenses
  • Map of the immediate area and any area to which you might evacuate
  • Emergency phone numbers: doctors, pharmacies, financial advisors, clergy, repair contractors, family and friends
  • Copies of identification documents: Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, passports, visas
  • Copies of medical information documents: health/dental/vision insurance cards, prescriptions for medication or eyewear, shot records, medical care directives, special medical information
  • Copies of insurance policies: auto, flood, renters, homeowners, along with policy numbers and contact information for local agents and company headquarters
  • Copies of financial information: bank account numbers, credit card numbers, loan numbers, investment account numbers, debt obligation due dates and contact information, stock and bond certificates, recent investment statements, and tax information
  • Copies of other documents: deeds, titles, wills and trust documents, power of attorney, home inventory, certificates (birth, death, adoption, marriage), employee benefit documents, proof of residence
  • Computer account usernames and passwords
  • Spare key to homes, apartments, vehicles, or lock boxes
  • Important family photos (can be a flash drive or external hard drive)

A general recommendation is that the evacuation kit should contain supplies for five to seven days. Should the supply chain be disrupted (because of damage to airports or warehouses, for example), you will be better off than others who do not have adequate supplies. There is a fine line between bringing too many supplies that overload limited shelter space and not bringing enough. However, if you go to a shelter, keep in mind that there will be limited space, so bring only what is recommended unless you are instructed otherwise by your local emergency management agencies.

In Virginia, it is important for families to plan for various natural hazard events, including floods and coastal storms. When you put your evacuation plan together, here are some things to consider:

  • Stay alert, stay calm, and be informed (tuning in to local radio and television is important). Create an evacuation plan and review it with your family every year.
  • Evacuation procedures for a hurricane or coastal storm may differ from those of an inland flooding event. You must plan for both. In a hurricane or strong coastal storm, you must protect yourself from strong winds, torrential rain, and coastal inundation. In a flood, you must protect yourself from rising water.
  • Virginia Department of Emergency Management maintains a web resource to help citizens determine possible routes of evacuation during disaster. Evacuation maps may be updated at any time, so do not depend on outdated versions. In addition, the type of disaster may impact which evacuation route should be considered. It is important for citizens to be familiar with multiple evacuation routes and test them to see which best meets their needs. Individuals should also be mindful that bridge closures may be enforced during inclement weather, such as snow or high-wind conditions. VDOT’s “511” system provides real-time traveler information that includes updates on travel advisories, road closures, and restrictions via webpage, phone (call 511), or mobile app (search “VDOT 511” in your app store). Alternatively, you can access VDOT’s Highway Advisory Radio at 1620 AM in VDOT’s Northern, Southwestern, and Central regions, and at 1680 AM in the Eastern region. Learn more about how you can stay informed by clicking on the Get Connected section of this website.

Listen to your local radio and television stations carefully as there may be additional or modified directions based on the type of disaster and best available information at that time. Mother Nature is unpredictable, and a team of scientists and emergency responders will always be monitoring unusual conditions for public safety. “Local” means radio and television broadcasts specific to the area in which you live. Television is important but because a station may broadcast over a larger area—including multiple states—the information provided may be more applicable to one area than another.

Your evacuation plan should consider yourself, the members of your family, those with special health needs for whom you take responsibility (like the disabled or elderly), and your pets. Practice evacuation procedures with your family through yearly drills.

  • In an evacuation or emergency situation, it is expected that all able bodied persons (men, women, and children) should be able to take care of themselves if they act calmly and with proper direction. This is why it is important to practice your plan regularly.
  • Parents should confirm with their child’s school the evacuation plans that are in place, specifically, where the students will be held and for how long during each type of natural hazard. You should not have to drive to school to pick up your children.
  • As part of your evacuation plan, consider how family members will communicate if they become separated. Each family member should have a list of telephone and cellular phone numbers and email addresses of everyone in the family and phone numbers of a few contacts outside of the family. This list should be readily accessible and not require power to access (e.g., not stored on a cell phone or computer).
  • If needed, develop a plan to help those who cannot help themselves, such as the disabled or those with limited mobility. If people with special health needs are with a care provider, confirm that the care provider has an evacuation plan. Otherwise, you, your relatives, your friends, or a specified designee can take responsibility for that person.
  • Develop a plan for your pets. Listen to local radio to determine if there are any pet-friendly shelter locations near you. Pets entering such shelters should be caged and owners must provide food, bowls, bedding, waste disposal bags, leash, and medication for their pets. If possible, take your pet with you to high ground outside of the evacuation zone. Detailed disaster preparedness information for pet owners is available from ReadyVA, and can be found in the Learn More section of this website.
  • If you are outside an inundation zone or flood zone and in a strong house that is located in a safe and appropriate location, you may be better able to store food and water and take care of your loved ones—including those with special health needs, the elderly, and your pets. This is why it is important to strengthen your home as much as possible. A strong house is built with connectors that tie the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation (see Protecting Your Property). In addition, the house should have coverings for windows that protect against wind pressure and impacts.
  • In general, stay off the roads. Only drive if it is absolutely essential. The police may close many roads during an emergency, so people can exit a highway, but not necessarily get on it.
  • Monitor official radio and television broadcasts for an updated list of refuge areas or shelters that may be open for a specific hazard event. Do not count on all shelters to be open. Immediately following a large disaster, suitable shelter sites will be selected from a pre-designated list based on the type of hazard, areas of need, and estimated numbers of displaced people. Therefore, it is not possible to say in advance with certainty which sites will actually operate as shelters. As soon as specific emergency shelter sites have been formally designated, this list will be announced through local media to the public. When shelters are open, the list will also be included on the American Red Cross website. If it is unsafe to shelter-in-place and you do not have an alternative, evacuate to a designated emergency shelter.
  • Plan and prepare to be at your evacuation point for several hours or days. Plan for a minimum of 72 hours, but it would be wise to prepare to be self-sustaining for three to five days, depending on the type and extent of the disaster.
  • Know the difference between a watch and a warning. Do not confuse the two (learn more about the definitions below). When each is triggered, there are different actions you and your family should take. Also note that state and local emergency management agencies may issue a mandatory evacuation.

Hurricane Watch
Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 48 hours. During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a hurricane warning is issued. As discussed earlier, preliminary preparations should begin even before a watch has been issued.

Hurricane Warning
Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 36 hours. Complete hurricane preparations and leave the threatened area if directed by officials.

Tropical Storm Watch
Winds of 39 to 73 mph or higher pose a possible threat, generally within 48 hours. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding. During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a tropical storm warning is issued.

Tropical Storm Warning
Winds of 39 to 73 mph or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.

Coastal Flood Advisory
Minor coastal flooding is occurring or imminent. Listen to the NOAA weather radio station or local radio stations or check your local television station for information.

Coastal Flood Watch
Moderate to major coastal flooding is possible. Such flooding would potentially pose a serious risk to life and property. Be prepared to move to higher ground—listen to the NOAA weather radio station or local radio stations or check your local television station for information.

Coastal Flood Warning
Moderate to major coastal flooding is occurring or imminent. This flooding will pose a serious risk to life and property. Take necessary precautions at once. If advised to evacuate to higher ground, do so immediately.

Flash Flood or Flood Watch
Flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated watch area. Be prepared to move to higher ground—listen to the NOAA weather radio station or local radio stations or check your local television station for information.

Flash Flood or Flood Warning
Flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take necessary precautions at once. If advised to evacuate to higher ground, do so immediately.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch and Warning
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur; it only means they are possible. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued when severe thunderstorms are occurring or imminent in the warning area. Severe thunderstorms are defined as having winds of 58 mph or higher and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Tornado Watch and Warning
A Tornado Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur; it only means they are possible. A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado is imminent. When a Tornado Warning is issued, seek safe shelter immediately.

If a situation or event becomes a potential threat to Virginia residents and visitors, the public will be alerted by one (or several) of the following methods, as appropriate:

  • NOAA Weather Radio
    A NOAA weather radio is the best way to get weather warnings for your area. They carry information from local National Weather Service offices 24/7. Visit their website for more information.
  • Ready Virginia
    Download the free Ready Virginia app for alerts and more emergency information by searching “ready Virginia” in your app store, or click here. If this is your only source of emergency information, be sure to have a power source (such as a generator or external battery) to charge your mobile device and be aware that most home wi-fi systems require power to operate.
  • Local Emergency Alerts
    Many counties, as well as some workplaces and universities in Virginia, have local alert systems. Look up your local system here or visit Get Connected.
  • Local Media
    Listen to local TV and radios for information from emergency officials. It is best not to rely on smartphones and social media only; have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, or a hand-crank radio to receive information when the power is out.

The following precautions should be taken well before a hurricane or severe coastal storm arrives:

  • Wedge sliding glass doors with a brace or broom handle to prevent them from being lifted from their tracks or being ripped loose by wind vibrations.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances.
  • Shut off gas valves.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to their coldest setting.
  • Place a penny on a glass of ice in your freezer. If the penny is at the bottom of the glass, or moves down from the very top, you will know that power was disrupted and your frozen food may have been contaminated.
  • Back up digital information on a flash drive or external hard drive, turn off and unplug computers.
  • If you are going to evacuate, shut off electricity at its main switch and gas and water at their main valves.
  • Package your valuables, such as jewelry, titles, deeds, insurance papers, licenses, stocks, bonds, inventory, etc., for safekeeping in waterproof containers. Take these with you if you are going to evacuate. However, valuables such as jewelry should not be taken to a shelter.
  • Outside, turn down canvas awnings or roll them up and secure them with sturdy rope or twine.
  • Check door locks to ensure doors will not blow away.
  • Check outdoor items that may blow away or be torn loose; secure these items or move items such as potted plants inside.
  • Store chemicals, fertilizers, or other toxic materials in a safe section or secure area of the premises.
  • Secure propane tanks. They should not be stored near sources of heat (like your water heater or other appliances).
  • Fill the gas tank of your car and fill fuel cans for generators.
  • Deploy window protections well in advance of the arrival of any winds. For those who have already prepared plywood shutters, partial deployment could begin before there is any official hurricane or coastal storm warning. Closely monitor advisories and warnings to guide your deployment (see Protecting your Property).
  • Ensure that you have a sufficient amount of cash in hand to purchase goods and items if needed following the hurricane, as banks and ATM machines may be inaccessible because of a lack of electricity.

Your emergency supplies and evacuation kit should already be in place before there is a hurricane watch or warning. In your evacuation plan, you should already have decided if you will stay in your house, go to a shelter, or go elsewhere (e.g., a friend’s or relative’s house). You should stay in a place that is away from any flood or inundation zones and that is able to withstand strong winds and rain. If you evacuate, you should already have prepared your house and made plans for your pet. Shelter locations are not designated in advance but are determined based on the type and location of hazard event. If you plan to go to a shelter, listen to your local radio or television station for information about the closest open shelter location.

  • As a general guideline, you should evacuate if you are located: along low-lying coastal areas; along low-lying areas subject to flooding (for example, near a stream or river); in any Federal Flood Insurance Zone such as a high velocity wave zone (V zone) or flood zone (A zone), even if your house is built for wave action and flooding; along ridge lines exposed to strong winds; in certain wood-frame structures (e.g., single wall without a continuous load path design) or lightly constructed buildings. The following image shows how storm surge may affect low lying homes [2]:
  • Go to a shelter only if it is open. Listen to your local radio station or connect to redcross.org for a list of shelters that are open to the public. Local television stations may also provide this information. Shelter locations will be specific to the type of hazard and threat posed by the event.
  • Listen to instructions issued by emergency management officials and evacuate with your evacuation kit before danger arrives. If you’re evacuating to a designated shelter, follow the directions of personnel who are staffing the shelter. If there are no personnel, the shelter is either not open or you are at a part of the facility that is not being used as a shelter.
  • When you get to an evacuation shelter, you will have limited space and there may be a bare floor. You should plan to provide your own bedding and other essentials such as personal hygiene items and medications. Your evacuation kit should contain all of these important items.
  • Make the best of the situation and cooperate with the volunteers.
  • Local emergency management officials and/or shelter staff will provide notification when it is safe to return home

Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms that move repeatedly over the same area, or heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, “turn around, don’t drown.” You will not know the depth of the water nor will you know the condition of the road under the water [3]. The photograph to the right shows the extent moving water can damage roadways, courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service, taken at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in 2012.

If you are in a flood warning area or if flooding occurs, get to higher ground immediately. Get out of areas subject to flooding and avoid areas already flooded. Never attempt to cross swiftly flowing water or waters of unknown depth by foot or in an automobile. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams, even a small one, on foot. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Never drive through flooded roadways and do not attempt to cross water covered bridges, dips, or low water crossings. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers. The general rule if you are evacuating from a flood is to stay away from flood waters and head to higher ground. Stay away from moving water. Even six inches of water can make you fall or cause your car to stall. Two feet of moving water can move your car. If there is a flash flood and you are caught in your house, go to the second floor or the roof, if necessary.

Tornadoes can occur at any time of day, any day of the year. Have a plan of action ready before severe weather threatens, as you will need to respond quickly when a warning is issued or a tornado is spotted. Keep in mind that even though the weather may be calm at the time a Tornado Watch or Warning is issued for your area, conditions can rapidly deteriorate and become life threatening. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado such as a dark, often greenish sky, large hail, or a loud roar similar to a freight train.

The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement, or safe room. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative. Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. Abandon mobile homes and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately. If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter, or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt, and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Stay in your vehicle with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands [4].

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Other common causes of injury included falling objects and heavy, rolling objects[5]. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution, or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards. For more information regarding what to do after a storm, visit the Learn More section of this website.

Gas

  • DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or appliances, or operate light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas and cause an explosion.
  • If you smell the odor of gas or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shutoff valve located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the “off” position.

Electricity

  • After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion.

Water

  • Water may be turned off at either of two locations: -At the main meter, that controls the water flow to the entire property- At the water main leading into the home (If you need an emergency source of fresh water, it is better to shut off your water here, because it will conserve the water in your water heater).
  • Attach a valve wrench to the water line (This tool can be purchased at most hardware stores
  • Label the water mains for quick identification;
  • After tornadoes, excess moisture and water can contribute to growth of mold in homes and other buildings.

Injuries

  • Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Get medical assistance immediately.
  • If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so.
  • Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound; Clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water; Apply an antibiotic ointment; If a wound gets red, swells, or drains, seek immediate medical attention; Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician; Contact a doctor to find out whether more treatment is needed (such as tetanus shot).
  • If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.

Safety During Clean-Up

  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves.
  • Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids, and other potentially hazardous materials.

Children’s Needs: After a tornado, children may be afraid the storm will come back again and they will be injured or left alone. Children may even interpret disasters as punishment for real or imagined misdeeds. Explain that a tornado is a natural event. Children will be less likely to experience prolonged fear or anxiety if they know what to expect after a tornado.
Here are some suggestions:

  • Talk about your own experiences with severe storms, or read aloud a book about tornadoes.
  • Encourage your child to express feelings of fear. Listen carefully and show understanding.
  • Offer reassurance. Tell your child that the situation is not permanent, and provide physical reassurance through time spent together and displays of affection.
  • Include your child in clean-up activities. It is comforting to children to watch the household begin to return to normal and to have a job to do.

NOTE: Symptoms of anxiety may not appear for weeks or even months after a tornado; they can affect people of any age. If anxiety disrupts daily activities for any member of your family, seek professional assistance through a school counselor, community religious organization, your physician, or a licensed professional. Counselors are listed under Mental Health Services in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.

Home   |   Introduction   |   Overview of Natural Hazards   |   Protecting Yourself and Your Family   |   Protecting Your Property   |   Insurance   |   Coastal Construction and Beach Management   |   Climate Change

  1. Comparing the Impacts of Northeast Hurricanes on Energy Infrastructure. Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, 2013, US Department of Energy. Accessed July 2016.
  2. Image from Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
  3. Turn Around Don’t Drown. National Weather Service website. Accessed August 2012.
  4. Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning… Nature’s Most Violent Storms. National Weather Service, 2012. Accessed August 2012 at nws.noaa.gov/os/severweather/resources/tt16-10.pdf.
  5. After a Tornado. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed July 2016.