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Governor Terry McAuliffe today proclaimed September as National Preparedness Month in Virginia, encouraging business owners, families and communities to make the preparations necessary in the event of an emergency.
“As the most historically active time for hurricane activity in our Commonwealth, September is the right month for Virginians across the Commonwealth to take precautions that could save their lives in an emergency situation,” Governor McAuliffe said. “Individuals, families and businesses should always be prepared in advance for natural disasters, accidents, and human-caused emergencies. The right equipment, quick reaction time, and the proper safety precautions are crucial in emergency situations and can make a life-saving difference.”
“Our number one priority is to help ensure Virginia families are safe and prepared in case of emergencies,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. “Encourage your friends, neighbors and relatives to prepare for disasters by using the steps outlined below and having a plan in place.”
All Virginians are strongly encouraged to prepare for emergencies, including hurricanes, by taking these steps:
• Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.• Assemble an emergency supply kit for your home, office and car. Important items to have during an emergency include: cell phone backup power, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, and portable generator. Account necessary items for pets, children, elderly and family members with disabilities. For a complete list of important emergency items, visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov.• Download the free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™. Features include: National Weather Service warnings, customizable emergency plan, an emergency supplies checklist, the “I’m Safe!” text feature for notifying friends and family in an emergency, and an interactive map to identify potential storm surge risks.• Create a family emergency communications plan. o Decide how and where everyone will meet up with each other if separated.o Choose an out-of-town emergency contact for your family and give that person’s phone number to each family member. o Make a sheet of emergency contacts and post it in visible places in your home and workplace, rather than relying on smartphones or online contact lists.o Get a free emergency plan worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov, www.ListoVirginia.gov, or use the Ready Virginia app.• Talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance. o Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding; often, this is a separate policy. Renters and business owners also can get flood insurance. o Often times, just one inch of water in a mid-size home or office can result in about $20,000 in repairs.o Go to www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 for more information. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect.
Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Moran encourage all Virginians to have plans of action during power outages and/or during evacuations. People with disabilities or access and functional needs may need to take additional precautionary steps. For more information regarding emergency preparedness with special needs, please visit www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit/disabilities.