Be Prepared for the 2023 Hurricane Season
Published on June 02, 2023
Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, 2023, and now is the best time to prepare for hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding. Here are four helpful tips:
1. Reduce Your Risk of Flooding
Emergency preparedness starts with knowing your risk. In Arlington, the biggest risk associated with hurricane season is flooding, which could inundate areas with low to moderate flood risk. The risk for flooding can vary within the same neighborhood and even from property to property.
- Flooding can be a costly disaster. Here’s how you can minimize potential impacts:
- Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house in the event of flooding.
- Make a household inventory of belongings, especially contents in the basement.
- If your home needs a sump pump, get a battery backup if the power goes out. Check the pump regularly, especially if it’s more than 8 years old.
- Purchase a flood insurance policy.
Learn more about how you can reduce your risk of flooding.
2. Be Informed and Know Who to Call
Identify and subscribe to multiple ways of receiving information so you can stay informed about emergencies even if one stops working.
Follow Arlington County departments on social media for additional news and updates:
Knowing who to call during an emergency can save lives. Write down important phone numbers and keep them somewhere safe in case of power outages.
- Emergencies: 9-1-1
- Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT): 1-800-367-7623
- Water and Sewer Emergencies: 703-228-6555
- Emergency Shelter: 703-228-1010
- Environmental Services Customer Contact Center: 703-228-5000
- Non-Emergency Line: 703-558-2222
- Dominion Energy: 866-366-4357
- Washington Gas: 703-750-1000
- Comcast of Arlington: 703-841-7700
- Verizon FIOS TV in Virginia: 1-800-837-4966
- Animal Welfare League of Arlington (pet sheltering): 703-931-9241
- Mental Health Services: 703-228-5150
- Help with Food, Utilities & Rent: 703-228-1300
- Parks and Community Centers: 703-228-4715
- Arlington Public Schools: 866-322-4277
- County General Questions: 703-228-3000
3. Make an Emergency Plan
It's important for you and your family to have a plan to help everyone stay calm and know what to do during an emergency. You may not be together when it happens, so plan for all locations you and your loved ones frequent like your home, work and school.
Your emergency plan should include:
- Meeting Place: Where to go in the event your home is inaccessible or you’re not together when an emergency happens.
- Contacts: Identify an out-of-town friend or relative as a point of contact.
- Personalized Needs: Plan for the specific needs of your household such as transportation, prescriptions, and medical equipment.
Learn more about making an emergency plan
4. Build an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in an emergency. Gather supplies to last for at least three days (and don't forget to include the needs of pets!) Kit items include:
- Water—1 gallon per person, per day
- Non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand cranked radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit and medication refills
- Phone and electronics chargers (cord and battery-powered)
- Pet emergency kit—Learn more about pet emergency preparedness
- Games that don’t require batteries or electricity, like cards or board games
Learn more about the importance of an emergency kit and recommended supply list items
Remember: Preparing for hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding now is the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe during Atlantic hurricane season.