We are sure you are aware of Hurricane Florence hitting the East Coast, primarily in the Carolinas. The storm has led to evacuation orders in the Carolinas and Virginia and could bring weather conditions some residents have never experienced before, such as torrential rains, widespread flooding, flying debris and high winds. 

Whether you are evacuating, or preparing for the storm to hit, here are a few things to remember: 

  • Pack an emergency kit that includes things like: cash, prescriptions, food and water (for people and pets). 
  • Plan a meeting spot for your family in case your cell phone does not work. 
  • Clear your yard and secure windows. Tie down bikes, trash cans, etc. or move them inside. 
  • Photograph or scan important documents like driver's licenses, social security cards, passports, prescriptions, and other legal papers. Store the documents in fireproof, watertight containers. 
  • Take irreplaceable keepsakes with you if possible. If not, try to move them to high shelves to protect them from floodwaters. 
  • Consider switching your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and move fridge items to the freezer so they stay cold longer if the power goes out. 
  • Check your garage and home for dangerous substances (bleach, ammonia, drain cleaners) and check that all lids are tight and move them to high shelves. Chemicals mixed with floodwaters can be dangerous. 
  • Move electronics to high shelves so they are as far from water as possible. 
  • After the storm, avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. They can be electrically charged from downed or underground power lines, or contain debris like glass, dead animals or contamination. 

The millions of Americans who will be affected by this massive storm, especially in VPPPA Regions III and IV, will be in our thoughts and prayers. We hope everyone stays safe.