9/30/2015 - VDEM: time is now to prepare for severe weather

Summary of Current Conditions (9/30/15)

  • The National Weather Service is tracking multiple weather patterns that may impact Virginia over the next five days. Joaquin has been upgraded to a hurricane as of 8 a.m. today.
  • Yesterday, several localities in Southwest Virginia experienced generalized and flash flooding conditions. Multiple flood warnings were extended due to heavy rains but all of them have expired.
  • A secondary storm may develop off the coast of Virginia from a different system which may bring significant tidal issues late Saturday into Sunday.
  • Rainfall is anticipated to begin Thursday into Sunday with accumulations between 2.5 to 5 inches across central to eastern Virginia with possibility of 4 to 8 inches of rain.

What People Should Do

  • Know the weather terms and what you should do:
    • Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch: There is an increased possibility of flooding or a flash flood in your area.
    • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will likely occur very soon. If emergency officials advise you to evacuate, do so immediately.
    • Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately – don’t wait for official instructions.
  • Be prepared to evacuate. If evacuated, don’t return to your home until local officials say it is safe. After floodwaters recede, roads could be weakened and could collapse. Buildings might be unstable, and drinking water might be contaminated.
  • Use common sense and look for information. If water is rising quickly or you see a moving wall of mud or debris, immediately move to higher ground.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Look for areas where the water is not moving. What might seem like a small amount of moving water can easily knock you down.
  • If you depend on electricity for medical equipment or a mobility device, ensure all batteries are fully charged each day and be prepared to evacuate with extra batteries and any charging equipment you will need.
  • If you will need to use paratransit, be sure to consider the amount of extra time you may need should evacuation be recommended. Find out now if you will need to schedule a ride 24 hours in advance, how many personal items you are allowed to evacuate with, and whether or not your pets will be allowed on the paratransit vehicle.
  • If you use durable medical equipment, need medical supplies, or take critical medications, ensure you have enough on hand for 5-7 days and include these items in your go bag in case evacuation is recommended.
  • Notify your support network now and start planning ahead for any disability-related or medical needs.

Get Ready

  • Download the free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™, which features a customizable emergency plan, a checklist for gathering emergency supplies and an “I’m Safe!” feature that allows you to quickly send a text message to let family and friends know you are safe.
  • Decide how and where everyone will meet up with each other if separated.
  • Choose an out-of-town emergency contact for your family and give that person’s phone number to each family member.
  • Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.

Drive safely

  • Know the road conditions before you travel. Go to www.511Virginia.org or dial 511 from any phone for real-time traffic information and road condition reports.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground, if possible.
  • Flood water might cut off access to roads. Be prepared to stay where you are until floodwaters recede.

Stay informed

Other Resources

  • If you need help, information or resources during or after the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 to connect to the Virginia Relay Center for assistance with the call. Videophone users may dial 1-800-230-6977.
  • www.vaemergency.gov – go online or on your smart phone for statewide storm updates
  • @vdem – Twitter feed for storm updates from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • VAemergency – Facebook page for VDEM
  • @ListoVirginia - Twitter y listovirginia1 Facebook en Español. @ListoVirginia - Twitter feed in Spanish and listovirginia1 on Facebook.



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