Prepare for an 'Above Normal' 2024 Hurricane Season

Published on May 30, 2024

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The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, and it is shaping up to be a busy one. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts an above normal hurricane season, with more frequent and stronger storms predicted. With this heightened risk, being prepared is more critical than ever. Preparing for emergencies before they strike can significantly reduce stress and ensure your family's safety.

Stay Informed

Identify multiple ways to stay informed about emergencies.

Follow Arlington County departments on social media for additional news and updates:

Reduce your Flood Risk

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the nation, a costly threat exacerbated by hurricanes and major storms. Hurricane-related flooding could inundate areas with low to moderate flood risk.

  • Explore your property’s flood risk, which varies within the same neighborhood and even from property to property.
  • Purchase a flood insurance policy.
  • 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. Store valuables off of the ground, in waterproof containers.
  • If your home needs a sump pump, ensure it has a battery backup and is regularly maintained, especially if it’s over 8 years old.
  • Save copies of birth certificates, passports, medical records, and insurance papers in a safe, dry place, or store photographs of them in the cloud. Keep original documents in a watertight safety deposit box.

Learn more about how you can reduce your risk of flooding

Make a Plan

Ensure you and your family are prepared for hurricanes and major storms by planning ahead. Consider the specific needs of your household such as transportation, prescriptions, language translation, and medical equipment.

  • Key information: Include emergency phone numbers, transportation options and any special needs. Keep this information somewhere safe in case of power outages.
  • Assemble an emergency kit: Gather basic supplies for at least three days, including food, water, and medications (and don't forget to include the needs of pets!).
  • Know evacuation routes: Locate the nearest shelter and different routes to get there. If shelter locations in your area have not been identified, learn how to find them.
  • Talk to your children: Discuss emergency preparedness and what to do in case you are separated.
  • Pet owners: Identify pet-friendly shelters or accommodations. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets in the event of an evacuation.

Know the difference between a hurricane "watch" and "warning"

Watch or listen for National Weather Service alerts via ArlingtonAlert, TV, radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:

  • Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions (74+ miles per hour [mph] or higher winds) are possible within 48 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected within 36 hours.

For more information about hurricane watches and warnings, visit the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center.  

Help Others Prepare

Join local volunteer groups like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to help other Arlingtonians prepare for and recover from emergencies. Visit ArlingtonCERT.com to learn how to get involved. Remember: Preparing for hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding now is the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe during the Atlantic hurricane season.

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