Preparing for Hurricanes on the River and Chesapeake Bay October 6, 2016 @ 9:39 am

Preparing for Hurricanes on the River and Chesapeake Bay

Published on October 6, 2016 @ 9:39 am

When you love being on the water, looking at the calming waterfront, watching the peaceful waterfowl, boating, crabbing, or fishing out your back door, these are the reasons you want to be here.  As we know, weather can be unpredictable, and best to be prepared if on the waterfront.  Our beautiful waterways on or off the Chesapeake Bay can be more protected as we are further up the Chesapeake Bay off of the Ocean.  Make sure you are prepared for if and when the weather might change from those beautiful waterfront breezes.


When is Hurricane Season in Virginia?

Hurricanes in Virginia
Photo Taken By: Brian Birke
Source: Flickr
Licensed by: CC BY 2.0

Hurricane Season in Virginia is between June 1st and November 30th. Many are not aware that hurricane season lasts for such a long period of time or how a hurricane is created. A hurricane needs warm tropical oceans, moisture, and light winds to form. Hurricanes rotate in a counterclockwise direction around the center, which is known as the eye of the storm. Heat and energy from the warm waters of the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or Eastern Pacific Ocean create evaporation which fuels the storm and increase the power and size. Hurricanes have winds of 75 mph or more and once they get on land they create strong winds, heavy rainfall, and can possibly create flooding. Strong waves are created by these storms known as storm surges. These are very dangerous which is why you should not be in the water during a storm or storm warning.

Prepare the Piers: Protect Your Boat from Hurricanes

Being on the Eastern coast of Virginia in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula areas, we enjoy the beautiful waterfront views and lifestyle.  But living on the waterfront, one may be impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes. When a storm is coming, the tides rise and the water becomes choppy. If the storm is expected to have storm surges and wind gusts you might want to either raise the lift as high as it can and tie your boat on the boat lift or if your boat is not located in an isolated area, it would be safer to pull your boat for the duration of the storm if possible and store in a safe area.  Make sure if you have power on your pier that you turn the power off as the tides will be higher than usual.  Take in all little water toys such as kayaks, canoes, paddle boards as they can easily be taken away.  Have your life jackets, fish poles, etc all secured and out of the elements.  If you notice on your pier something in the storm, please use caution if going out in the storm and on the pier and make sure you wear a life jacket.


Generator or not?

It may even be a good investment for a “whole-house” generator or “standby” generator. Many of the power lines are above ground, making them more susceptible to strong winds and lightning. If you are not ready to invest the money in a whole house generator of that capacity, you can purchase a smaller “standby” one for a fraction of the price to keep items that you find a necessity in continue running use.


So, how else can you prepare for a hurricane? Here are a few tips to get you ready:


Hurricane Season Preparation: Before Hurricane Season

  1. Living on the coast can make you susceptible to flooding; know the evacuation routes and check on your flood insurance in advance. Look up your local evacuation routes if you do not know where they are and check to see that there have not been any updates.
  1. Check that your home can withstand strong winds with protection with items like storm shutters and doors.
  1. Secure objects outdoors and protect your windows.
  1. Make sure your gutters are cleaned out so they don’t get clogged and cause damage to your home.
  1. It is important to keep trees trimmed to reduce the risk of falling limbs. If have a power saw, it a good idea to keep gas around as well. If trees do fall, make sure you are able to make your way out.
  1. If you have a generator, make sure that it is working properly and when the time comes, you have enough fuel to run it as long as necessary.
  1. Go get any supplies, fuel, food, medications and water necessary for a 3 days. Many sources suggest having 72 hours’ worth of supplies per person.
  1. Check your flashlights to see if they are in good condition and you have plenty of extra batteries.
  2. Fill your bathtubs with water in case you lose use of your sinks and toilets.
  1. Make sure to pay attention to the news and track the storm. The National Weather Service is a great resource to stay up to date. Listen to the local radio stations and check to see if your county has an Emergency CodeRED system in place.
  1. Be aware of what surrounds your vehicle or boat. Make sure that it is in a safe and secure place.
  1. Charge cell phones in case of emergency.
  1. Make sure to check on your neighbors, family and elders in your area and see how you may help them.
  1. Make sure all your Medication is filled and you have enough supply.
  1. Check out this map for your area for storm surge.
  1. Don’t forget your animals! Make sure have enough food and water for your furry friends and please find a secure shelter for them too!
  1. Make sure insurance is proper for your home. If in the flood zone, make sure you have flood insurance.


What can I do right now to prepare for a hurricane?

In order to be prepared for a hurricane, it is important to be an alert knowledgeable citizen. Make sure to ensure your family’s safety and secure your belongings. There are many ways to stay safe during a storm. Be sure not to endanger yourself or others by going out during a storm and pay attention to your local news. Visit websites like The Weather Channel, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and The Virginia Department Emergency Management to say up to date and get more information. Stay safe by being prepared this Hurricane Season.

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