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NOAA Predicts Active Hurricane Season

pie chart of hurricane season outlook

The 2021 hurricane season kicked off early with its first named subtropical Storm Ana, marking the seventh consecutive year that the season started earlier than the official June 1 start. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above average hurricane season, with a possibility of six to ten hurricanes. While Charlottesville may not experience the coastal hazards hurricanes createe, Grounds can still experience severe weather such as flooding, strong winds, tornadoes, and power outages.  Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Flooding

  • Check with your insurance provider about your flood insurance policy
    • Many property insurance policies do not include flood insurance
  • If you encounter a flooded road, turn around
    • Roads may look stable but saturated soil underneath the road could cause a collapse
    • Six inches of water is enough to flood car engines; a foot of water can cause vehicles to float
  • Avoid contact with flood waters because they can carry contaminates; just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet

Strong Winds

  • Move lightweight objects that could be picked up by winds to safety indoors
  • Secure all objects that are too large or dangerous to bring inside (e.g., propane grill)
  • Document conditions of your home prior to a storm

Tornadoes

  • Go to the lowest level of the building
    • If you do not have a basement or cannot access the lowest level, go to an interior room without windows. Bathrooms and closets work well.
  • Take shelter under a sturdy object such as a desk or in an area where heavy objects will not fall on you

Power Outages

  • Keep a small generator or backup batteries to power the essentials in you home
    • Never use a generator indoors. Generators need to be placed in a well-ventilated area where fumes will not go into your home
  • Ensure you have a few gallons or cases of water
  • Have a flashlight or other battery-powered light source

Because hurricanes can bring a combination of hazards all at once, the best approach is to prepare early. Having an emergency preparedness kit in your home or car can reduce stress and ensure you have what you need. In addition to an emergency kit, have multiple ways to receive warnings in case one of the systems fail. Some of the warning systems you can utilize include:

For more tips on how to remain safe during hurricane season please see the links below. To stay up to date on hazards effecting the University of Virginia, follow the Office of Emergency Management @UVA_EM on Twitter.  For statewide information follow the Virginia Department of Emergency Management @VDEM.

Additional Links

UVA Alerts

University of Virginia Office of Emergency Management

Virginia Department of Emergency Management Hurricane Resources   

National Hurricane Center

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Safety Resources