Campus Life / Health / Local / Virginia

Tips to prepare for a possible hurricane

Hurricane season for the Atlantic Coast begins June 1 and continues until November 30. Now is the time to make a plan, stock up on supplies and emergency equipment. Remember that old saying your mother used, “It’s better to be safe than sorry?” Well, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management agrees. A hurricane is a severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico or the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Preparing for Hurricanes:
Interior Preparations:

  • Verify that vital records are in a safe storage area. Files, records and storage cabinets might be wrapped in plastic for moisture protection. If necessary, temporarily relocate records to a safe storage facility off-site.
  • Inventory hurricane emergency supplies and restock if necessary.
  • Clear all desk and table tops of small loose items.
  • Secure first floor doorways with sandbags, duct tape or heavy plastic to protect the interior from possible flooding.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment.
  • Box or place any loose papers, books, hanging plants, etc., in desk drawers or storage cabinets.
  • Close and lock all windows. Draw the blinds or drapes.
  • Secure adequate cash to operate for several days.

Exterior Preparations:

  • Secure your property. Install hurricane shutters over glass doors and windows or install protective material such as plywood (at least ½ inch thick). Make sure the plywood is flush against the wall and tight – gaps will allow the wind to enter.
  • Tie down or bring indoors any objects that might be blown around and can’t be brought inside.
  • Remove all outdoor signs, particularly those that swing or might cause damage during strong winds.
  • Remove antennas and loose objects from the roof.
  • Ensure that all vehicles are serviced and fueled. Determine where they can be stored during the storm.


If you are not advised to evacuate, stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and doors, even if they are covered.

  • Close all interior doors. Closed doors will help prevent damaging hurricane winds from entering rooms.
  • Have a flashlight and extra batteries within reach. Flashlights provide the safest emergency lighting source.
  • If power is lost, turn off major equipment to reduce the power surge when electricity is restored.
  • Stay out of flood waters, if possible. The water might be contaminated or electrically charged. If you find yourself trapped in your vehicle in rising water, get out immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be alert for tornadoes and flooding. If you see a funnel cloud or if local authorities issue a tornado warning, take shelter underground, if possible, or in an interior room away from windows. If waters are rising quickly or local authorities issue a flood or flash flood warning, seek higher ground.

For more information on hurricane preparedness and other types of emergencies, visit

*Source: The Virginia Department of Emergency Management


Local preparation tips from Norfolk State University

Inclement Weather Guidelines

We cannot predict to what degree a hurricane will affect the Norfolk community and the Hampton Roads area. However, we may experience significant wind and rain as well as possible power outages during a hurricane. In order to reduce the potential for injury and/or damage, please do the following:

bullet The university’s severe weather statement is available by calling (757) 684-INFO for information about classes and other important matters.
bullet Listen to your local TV/radio stations for the latest weather updates. In the event of a power outage, carry a battery-operated radio to stay aware of current weather conditions.
bullet Please remain in a secure location. Do not stand in front of windows. Do not operate a motor vehicle or bicycle during the storm. Stay away from any downed power lines. In the event of a power outage, please use flashlights (do not use candles). Report any emergencies to Campus Police at 911 (from an on campus phone) or (757) 684-2444 (from a cell phone).
bullet Serious weather conditions, such as flooding and downed trees, may affect campus transportation; bus service may be hampered, delayed and/or canceled. If the weather conditions are severe and you have questions about whether classes will be held, please call (757) 684-INFO.

If a tornado/hurricane warning is issued:

(Notification will occur via radio and/or TV)

bullet Upon such notification immediately move to the lowest interior floors of your building, into an enclosed hallway or a room without windows. As you leave your room, close and lock your room door behind you.
bullet STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS, DOORS, AND OUTSIDE WALLS. PROTECT YOUR HEAD. Be sure to warn others of these precautions. Please note that glass may shatter during the high winds of a tornado, and glass as well as other loose debris such as tree limbs, trashcans, etc., can move through open spaces so please be sure to stay in an enclosed area. (If you can see outside, you are not in a safe place).
bullet Clear stairwells as quickly as possible to avoid wind tunnel effects.
bullet Do not evacuate the building unless a fire ensues, or if the building structure is unsafe.
bullet Do not evacuate into the underground tunnels. These areas are prone to flooding and have high voltage lines.
bullet After the storm has passed, evaluate the situation and if emergency help is necessary, contact Campus Police at (757) 823-9000.
bullet If you are outside in your vehicle and you observe a tornado approaching, do not remain in your vehicle. If there is a sturdy structure nearby, go to the lowest level of that structure to obtain protection. If you are out in the open lay in as low an area as possible. Be sure and move as far away from your vehicle as possible to avoid the possibility of being struck by it.

For your safety, please be sure to follow any directives by University

officials and call 911 in the event of an emergency.


According to the latest NPR Report, residents should prepare for 3 days without power.

bullet Withdraw emergency cash
bullet Turn off electricity, gas; unplug electronic equipment (ensure chimney damper is securely closed)
bullet Refill gas grill tank or buy charcoal for grill
bullet Fill bathtubs and coolers with water (to be used for commodes and drinking if boiled)
bullet Keep insurance policy on hand
bullet Carry all credit cards
bullet Plan possible escape routes
bullet Check food, batteries, emergency tools and supplies (non-perishables, chain saw, etc.)
bullet Monitor latest advisories (battery operated radio)
bullet Leave low-lying areas
bullet Board windows or protect with shutters or tape (closed blinds, curtains, etc.)
bullet Secure outdoor areas (deck tables, umbrella, etc.)
bullet Store drinking water
bullet Check battery-powered equipment (lanterns, etc.)
bullet Keep car fueled


Watch: Hurricane force winds possible within 36 hours.

Things to do: Check food, batteries, emergency tools and supplies; monitor latest advisories.

Warning: Hurricane force winds likely within 24 hours.