With the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season in full swing, Stafford County Government officials emphasize the importance of being prepared. Commonly, residents are asked to make a family emergency plan, stock up on supplies, and ensure they have the correct amount of home and flood insurance. The season begins June 1 and runs through November 30 so having a plan is critical.
Access to Information
The first step to being prepared is ensuring you have access to official sources of information. To receive severe weather alerts, road closure information, evacuation notifications, and other emergency information, all residents should sign up for Stafford Alert - www.staffordcountyva.gov/alert. Residents can also access emergency information on the Stafford County website www.staffordcountyva.gov and follow Stafford County Government on Facebook, Twitter and Next-door. Emergency updates and information are available on local radio stations and news channels.
Have the Ability to Shelter in Place for at Least Three Days
It is recommended that you have at least three days of food, water, and emergency supplies on hand. In an emergency, first responders may receive a large volume of calls, and it may take some time before they can get to you. Consider what you would need for a power outage or if you needed to evacuate from your home for a few days. It is essential to plan for your family's specific needs. Some recommended items include nonperishable food items, bottled water, prescriptions, batteries and other things to help you during an emergency. Do not forget to plan for your pet's needs. A weather radio can also be ideal as it updates your location instantly during severe weather events like tornadoes. Visit www.Ready.gov for a complete list of recommended items to include in an emergency kit.
In the case of an extreme emergency, Stafford County may elect to offer a reception center to evaluate citizen needs and an overnight shelter. If you will be evacuating with pets, the Animal Shelter has a mobile shelter that can accommodate a small number of pets.
One of the most important steps residents can take to prepare today is to obtain flood insurance. Flood insurance, whether through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private carrier, allows individuals, businesses, and communities to quickly and sufficiently recover after a flood. Most homeowners' and renters' insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods. Remember, the Federal Emergency Management Agency states that just one inch of water in a home can cause up to $25,000 in damages. Flood insurance can mean the difference between recovering and being financially devastated; it takes 30 days to go into effect. To determine if your property is in a flood zone, please visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/floodzones.