Hurricane season started June 1st and runs through November 30th. Now is the perfect time to think about making some preparations.
Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely we can put the pieces of their lives back together. We encourage all realtors, association managers and property owners to take advantage of the no-cost emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (www.ready.gov/publications)
The most important thing to consider for your home is flood insurance. A common misconception is that homes that are not in a flood zone are not eligible for such coverage. That is not the case. Any home can have a flood insurance policy. Insurance is sold through local agents as part of the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. Homeowners can take out separate polices to insure the structure and any contents inside. Homes that are in a designated flood zone are required to have flood insurance, and it is typically a stipulation during the sale of a house. In fact, it is recommended that homes outside of a flood zone also have coverage, especially in coastal communities, like Hampton Roads. Nationally, about 30 % of flood insurance claims come from homes that are not in a flood zone. Premiums vary by numerous factors such as location, age of the dwelling and value of insured contents inside the home. For more information about the NFIP, please visit FEMA.gov/NFIP.
Know your Zone.
The state introduced “Know Your Zone” to simplify evacuation processes when it becomes necessary. There are four zones, lettered A-D, that specify your evacuation zone based on your address and nature of the emergency event. State and local agencies will alert residents by their zones if there is a need to evacuate or shelter in place. While not every neighborhood is in a zone, that does not mean you will never have to evacuate, so you’ll still need to pay attention to official announcements and news.
To find your zone, go to KnowYourZoneVA.org. Once there, follow the on-screen instructions to enter your address and determine where you fall on the map.
Know your way out.
Have an evacuation plan, become familiar with it and make sure your family is aware of it as well. The most common routes:
- If you live north of I-264, head north and west along I-64 and across the HRBT and move inland.
- If you live south of I-264, head south and west on I-64 towards Suffolk and Highway 460 Continue to head inland and away from the coast to lessen the impact of a storm.
Keep in mind that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel will likely be closed if an incoming storm has high winds. Avoid going north on Highway 13 and opt for the other routes.
If you choose to Shelter in Place
Have a cache of supplies that will last each member of your household, including any pets or infants, at least three days. Some of the basic supplies are:
- Water – one gallon per person, per day
- Food – Non-perishable or canned goods
- Medications and first-aid supplies
- Portable lights and batteries
- Portable radio
- Personal hygiene supplies
- Toilet paper
- Cash – to purchase one week’s worth of supplies for your household.
Should you or someone you know experience a water damage from a hurricane or a leaking pipe please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Virginia Beach at 757-431-1400