RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - AAA says four out of five Virginia families are not ready with a plan and supplies if a Hurricane were to hit.
"Just think through: what would you do if suddenly a storm hit, harder than expected, and you didn't have any plan of what all your family members were going to do?" said spokesperson Martha Meade.
Meade says in addition to being ill prepared, people often engage in irresponsible behavior during severe weather. Putting an emergency plan in place ahead of time could actually save you the headaches.
"If you have an emergency plan in place ahead of time, that says 'I won't drive through high water even if I can't get in touch with you, because my safety is more important,' that gives both of you a little bit of peace of mind going into it that safety comes first," said Meade.
Meade says you should discuss alternate forms of communication, in case cell phones can't be used. Have a pre-determined meeting point - maybe more than one.
Also, pack some emergency supplies now. The essentials may not be available if you wait until the last minute. Make sure to have enough supplies on hand to last each person at least three days.
Rick Denning, the assistant manager at Pleasant's Hardware in the Tuckahoe Shopping Center, says he believes it will get busy this weekend. He says the first things to fly off the shelves are: batteries, flashlights and lanterns.
"To be prepared means to have it when you need it. Once the storm hits, sometimes it's too late to get what you need, so you're really not prepared," he said.
You want to make sure to have copies of your important documents, and keep them in two places. Even if you don't use them, they'll be ready. Also put together batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, medications, chargers and water - things that don't expire quickly.
"Then you can get the food and things closer to the storm, but maybe not in the last 24 hours when everybody else is out in Richmond, Virginia doing the exact same thing," said Meade.
Dominion Energy crews are prepared as well. Robert Brookfield has been restoring power to the Richmond area for more than three decades. He has some concerns about Irma.
"Isabel wasn't that powerful. This one is," he said.
Even an extensive amount of wind and rain could mean crews will be on the road.
"The ground is soaked right now from the rain we got yesterday," says Brookfield. "If we get more rain and the wind picks up 10, 20, 30 miles an hour, it's going to knock some trees down."
In addition, don't forget your free NBC12 First Alert Weather App to stay aware of the track of the storm. To make it work even better for you, select "Radar" at the bottom of the screen, then select the Map Layers button, next to the Past | Future time (looks like three squares stacked together). That will bring up all the layers that you can tap into - radar, satellite, wind speed, etc. It also shows different Overlays and Alerts - in particular, what you need to put on here is "Tropical" alerts and "Tropical Tracks" in Overlays. Exit the Map Layers menu by tapping the X in the top corner, and now you should see on the radar the latest information on any tropical storms or hurricanes that are out in the Atlantic.
Consider packing these items in a hurricane survival kit:
- Food - three-day supply for each family member, including pets. Store in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the expiration date and replace every six months.
- Bottled Water - At least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days. Don't forget to add water for your pets, too.
- Water Purification Tablets
- Non-Perishable Foods - At least enough for three to seven days. You may need to make special consideration for infants or the elderly.
- High-Energy Packaged Foods - Peanut butter, crackers, nuts, raisins and dried fruits, snacks, cookies, etc.
- Packaged Juices - Cans or Cartons
- Canned Prepared Meats
- Canned Prepared Foods
- Baby Food and Baby Formula
- Pet Food (Note: Many shelters do not allow pets.)
- Powdered or Canned Evaporated Milk
- Special Dietary Needs
- Important supplies
- Toilet Paper and Moist Towelettes
- Baby Diapers and Wet Wipes
- Sponges and Paper Towels
- Soap and Shampoo
- Toiletries - Toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant
- Change of Clothing - At least one change for each person
- Rain Gear - Ponchos, Umbrellas, Boots
- Blankets, Sleeping Bags and Pillows
- Flashlights - One flashlight per person with one extra package of batteries each.
- Battery-Powered Radio - Don't forget extra batteries
- Alarm Clock
- Portable Cooler/Ice Chest
- Bleach - Pure, unscented liquid
- Can Opener - Hand-operated
- Utility Knife
- Pots, Pans, Cooking Spoons
- Disposable Plates, Cups, Utensils
- Sterno Cans
- Butane Lighters and Waterproof Matches - Keep in plastic bags to protect
- Portable Barbecue Grill or Camping Stove
- Charcoal and Lighter Fluid or Stove Fuel
- Pet Carriers, Bowls, Leashes, Chain and Stake
- Plastic Grocery Bags - You'll use them for everything!
- Mobile Device Chargers and Power Supplies
- Important Documents
- Driver's License or Photo ID - For each person
- Important Phone Numbers - Updated address book
- Home Video/Photos for Insurance
- Extra Set of Car Keys
- List of Important Family Information - Serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers, etc.
- Health Needs
- Prescription Medication - A two-week supply if possible
- Doctor and Pharmacy Contact Information
- Medical Paperwork - Including insurance cards, a copy of all prescriptions and a list of known allergies
- Pain Relief and Anti-Diarrhea Medications
- First-Aid Kit
- Insect Repellent
- Feminine Hygiene Products and Birth Control
Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved