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Virginia hurricane season starts June 1

Make sure you’re prepared for what NOAA says could be an “above-normal” hurricane season

A satellite image of a hurricane

Richmond might not be on the coast, but hurricanes can still present a major threat.

Photo via NOAA

Atlantic hurricane season tomorrow, June 1 and runs through November. In Richmond, the risk usually peaks between August and September.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that rising temps mean summer 2024 will likely bring more severe weather than usual.

However, severe weather doesn’t have to come with severe consequences — start prepping now to make sure you’re ready for whatever El Nino throws at you.

Plan ahead

Richmond’s only evacuation due to hurricane risk was in 1994, when Hurricane Gaston threatened the stability of Falling Creek Dam in Chesterfield. That said, it never hurts to have a plan in place.

Evacuation plans can be as simple as choosing a friend or family member’s home as a landing place. Plan based on how many vehicles you’ll have at hand, and remember to account for any pets you’ll be bringing along.

Pro tip: Follow the Richmond Department of Emergency Communications on social media or sign up for the newsletter to get local information.

a black and white image of richmond, flooded, taken from above

Category 5 Hurricane Camille brought serious flooding to the Richmond area, destroying infrastructure and making large-scale evacuation impossible.

Photo via Mark Fagerburg, Library of Virginia

Start stocking up

Hold your horses — no need to fill your basements with toilet paper and canned beans. A thoughtfully-assembled emergency kit can serve your household through any number of serious situations.

A basic kit should include a first aid kit, a battery powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights and batteries, some cash, and enough food, water, and prescription medications for 3-5 days. If you can, look to add items like extra clothes, sanitation supplies, and spare blankets.

RIC Shockoe Retention Basin

The view from the top of the Shockoe Retention Basin, which is designed to hold up to 50 million gallons of water.

Photo by RICtoday

Secure your home

With no storms currently on the horizon, now is the time for homeowners to make sure their insurance is up to date. If you live near the James, flood insurance is especially important.

If a storm is coming, there are steps you can take to protect your home. Pruning dead limbs from trees, bringing in lawn items, and securing large windows with plywood can all prevent dangerous damage.

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