RVA Mag Guide to Surviving Hurricane Florence

by | Sep 10, 2018 | ENVIRONMENT

Hurricane Florence is coming in hot and she’s one pissed off woman. According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence has strengthened to a category 4 hurricane with winds near 130 mph.  

Dare County, North Carolina officials issued evacuation orders for the Outer Banks and Hatteras Island and Gov. Northam has declared a state of emergency for Florence, which is set to hit Virginia shores by Thursday, with high tides already swelling along Hampton Roads and much of the Atlantic seaboard. At 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, Florence had top sustained winds of 85 mph and was centered about 720 miles southeast of Bermuda while moving westward at 7 mph.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management advises there are several indications of greater catastrophe to bear in mind as the hurricane heads to our shores.

“Hurricanes cause high winds, tornadoes, and landslides, but their deadliest hazard is flooding,” said Jeff Caldwell, Director of External Affairs at the VDEM speaking to RVA Mag on disaster preparedness last year. “Tropical storms and depressions can be just as dangerous. These threats are not just for coastal regions like Hampton Roads. Some of Virginia’s deadliest storms have struck inland and even in the western portion of Virginia. Inland flooding can be devastating and deadly.”

While the storm’s path is still unclear, whether it will merely skim much of Virginia with focus on the Carolinas, Gov. Northam wasted little time in declaring a state of emergency last Saturday in early expectancy of the storm as it intensified to a level 4 and continues to grow in strength.

And while many sites offer their own list of hurricane essentials, we at RVA Mag decided to put together one of our own. What you will find below is a complete list of supplies to prepare yourself for the mighty Florence, with a few fun items thrown into the mix to make the stormy days to come bearable. We recommend purchasing any of these you feel necessary at least 48 hours of when the hurricane is expected to hit, as stores will be crazier than a sale on hacky sacks at VCU.

  • Water- at least a four-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food. 
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (contact lenses, if needed, syringes, canes)
  • Multi-purpose tools (Including all the wrenches and swiss army knives your uncle probably gave you for Christmas three years in a row)
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items – deodorant will be a must, waterless shampoos and conditioners are available at some grocery stores.
  • Extra Cash
  • Family and emergency contact information- write it down on a pad or notebook.
  • Emergency Blanket- cuddle in style.
  • Map of the area
  • Baby Supplies, if needed (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home- knife, escrima sticks, pet barracudas, hulk hands
  • Extra set of keys for car, bike, and home
  • Clean clothing, sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear- an umbrella in a hurricane is a fool’s game, just get a jacket or poncho if you can.
  • Sunscreen (not being ironic)
  • Important Documents (Insurance policies, medical information, proof of address, birth certificates, passports)
  • Camera- for all the “professional” photographers out there, hurricanes make for great Instagram stories and rarely require a filter. But it’s also important to take photos of damage to your home and property, for insurance purposes.

Now here are some things we threw in to save yourself from the second deadliest thing in the midst of a hurricane: Boredom.

  • Cannabis- That Columbia gold, the fire, the tweet, you know what we mean. We don’t recommend any other substances to be stuck in an enclosed space with, so make sure you load up on a healthy stockpile of greenery. And RAW papers work well and taste fantastic if you have a bubbler or bong, now is the time to change out the water.
  • Munchies-If you’re partaking in the above, it’s not complete without a stocked pantry full of Funyuns, soda, cheese puffs, Fritos, Double-Stuffed Oreos, Pop-Tarts, Pringles, candy bars, or anything else that suits your fancy after blazing one or four.
  • What’s weed and munchies without its third partner in crime? Booze. Whether you’re a red wine lover, stick to the finest of whiskeys, or a pack of PBR will do the trick, it’s imperative you stock up on your preferred poison to get you through the storm. Although make sure you have a DRG, that’s designated raft guide, in case you need to venture out into the storm in search of higher ground. Literally.
  • Engage in some good ol’ fashioned Hurricane sex. Hey, why not get some exercise and have a little fun to pass the time?
  • Board games. I know, I know, in the age of cell phones and Netflix I’m sure we’re getting some crazy stares and laughs, but people do still play them and can be a good way to pass the time. Crush your friends and/or significant other in a game of Clue by candlelight or do some day drinking and play the college favorites, “Kings”, “Cards Against Humanity,” beer pong, and flip cup.  
  • For some light reading when the Wifi kicks out and hysteria ensues we recommend: “For Whom The Bells Toll” by Ernest Hemingway, “Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History” by Erik Larson (to make one plenty paranoid) “Guerilla Warfare” by Che Guevara, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” by Oliver Sacks, “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace (you might finish the first 900 pages by the end of the weekend), and “Fire and Fear: Trump in The White House” by Bob Woodward (For a good laugh and later anxiety).   

While much of the list provided above is from the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness List, please do not hesitate to visit the Red Cross online for further information what to do in the days ahead. To learn how to make an emergency preparedness kit, check out the video from the American Red Cross below:

Stay alive out there Richmond!

John Donegan

John Donegan

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