Preparing for Hurricane Florence

Additional Resources 
For up-to-date information and additional instructions during the storm, please turn to the local news or the following references:
National Weather Service:
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management
or dial 211.
Dominion Virginia Power:
To report power outages or downed lines, call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).   Dominion will update its website,, with information about the storm. A Twitter feed (@domvapower) and Facebook page (Dominion Virginia Power) also are available. 

For Up-To-Date Information and Additional Instructions Regarding the Storm:

City of Richmond residents should visit or follow the City on Twitter

Henrico County residents should visit or follow the Henrico Office of Emergency Management on Twitter

Charles City County residents should visit 

Hanover County Residents should visit or follow the county on twitter @HanoverCountyVA

As always, stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for additional updates. You can also follow me on Twitter @JennMcClellanVA for more information as necessary.

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On Saturday, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to anticipated impacts from Hurricane Florence. Currently a category 4 hurricane, Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolinas on Thursday and stall as it heads north through the weekend.  
Governor Northam just finished a conference call briefing legislators on what to expect.  While the
storm remains unpredictable and our region must pay close attention to forecasts. Hurricane Florence has the potential to be a catastrophic event for portions of the Commonwealth, especially if the storm turns and makes landfall in Virginia Beach.  The eastern third of Virginia is most at risk, and coastal areas should see the worst of the storm. Remember to Know Your Zone and remind family and friends in Zones A and B to prepare for potential evacuation.  
As the Governor's office has pointed out, flooding is the most dangerous part of a hurricane: "Citizens should prepare for rising waters, flash flooding, and remember to never drive across flooded roadways. Most injuries and deaths occur when motorists try to cross flooded roads. Roads and bridges can be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Remember, turn around, don't drown." 
In preparation of potential impact from Hurricane Florence:
Make an emergency supply kit.
Include essential supplies that will last at least three days. Supply kits should include a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, food and water, toiletries, flashlights, a first aid kit and medications. Also, include items needed for infants, seniors, and pets. You may want to keep a second kit in your car in case you are told to evacuate.  For a comprehensive list of supplies you should have in your kit, visit:
Bring in or secure any object that may be blown about by high winds, including plants, patio furniture, garden decor, etc.
Do not connect your generator directly to your home's wiring. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home's wiring may 'back feed' onto the power lines connected to your home.
In the event you must leave your home, create a family communications plan by discussing with your family what actions should be taken during an actual emergency. Decide in advance on a meeting place if your family cannot return home. Designate an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact, and plan for the specific needs of your household, such as transportation of medical equipment or pet evacuation needs.
Please remain at home during the storm.
If you must travel, take the following precautions:
  • If you do have to drive, drive cautiously;  
  • If driving, decrease speed;  
  • Have a full tank of gas;  
  • Have a cell phone with a full charge with you;  
  • Beware of high water; Vehicles can float in 2 feet of water; 6 inches can cause you to lose control. 
Dominion Power suggests visiting their website Their website allows you to report and check outages, and the new interactive map allows you to see where crews are currently working. 
Following the storm, Dominion Power customers can report outages at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

Charge Cell Phones and Laptops. Make sure cell phones and laptops are fully charged so they can be used in the event of a power outage. 

During the storm, if electricity is interrupted, here are some practical tips for dealing with power outages:  

  • Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored. 
  • Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you open it.
  • Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
  • Frozen food can last up to three days. It is safe to eat if it still has ice crystals at the center.
  • If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.  

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