Wind & Rain – Preparing for a Storm

Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch: Increased possibility of flooding or a flash flood.

Flood Warning: Flooding occurring or will likely very soon. If advised, evacuate immediately.

Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding occurring. Seek higher ground immediately – do not wait.

  • Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could become airborne and cause damage.
  • Clean out gutters, storm drains, etc. (keeping drains clear of trash, leaves and branches) so rainwaters can easily flow, reducing possible flooding and ponding.
  • Rake leaves to cut down on flying debris and prevent clogged storm drains.
  • Expect downed trees and power outages. (How to report downed trees.)
  • Stay at home as severe weather arrives.
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries, a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio in case power goes out.
  • Ensure mobile phones are fully charged. (And consider pulling out your land-line phone.)
  • Have food that doesn’t need refrigeration and 1 gallon of water per person per day. Other important items: first-aid kit, medication, and other critical supplies.
  • Ensure outside items in yards and on decks and patios are secure.
  • Top off fuel tanks in your vehicles.
  • Obtain cash in advance in case ATMs are down due to power outages.
  • Store water in big pans and the bathtub for personal use before the storm in case of a power outage.
  • Expect downed trees and power outages. Check out how to report downed trees.
    • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Have a communications plan. Make sure all family members understand who to call if you get separated. See details on our “Make a Plan” page.
  • Have essential items on hand to last at least three days — non-perishable food, water, first-aid kit, medication. Have enough for each person in your household. See more details about emergency kits.
  • Check out these tips to Reduce Your Risk of Flooding.
  • See more tips to minimize damage to businesses and homes.

Tips for Flooding: During & After a Storm

How the County Prepares

  • Monitors weather closely and coordinating with regional partners and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM)
  • Departments review emergency plans and procedures. For example:
    • Top off fuel tanks, vehicles. Check/refuel generators.
    • Check roofs/gutters, clean them out. Check and clear storm drains.
    • Organize/position heavy equipment to deal with storm damage.
    • Check backup equipment, fuel levels.
    • Remove/secure equipment that may be impacted by high winds.
  • Develop staffing schedules for the storm and aftermath.