NORFOLK, Va. — FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program are urging coastal Virginia residents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News to prepare for hurricane season before it's too late!

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During Hurricane Florence last year, the dangerous storm surge and high tide caused flooding in normally dry areas near the coast, and this year, NOAA is predicting 4-8 hurricanes, including 2-4 storms category 3 or higher.

Since the 2019 hurricane season has already started, one of the most important steps homeowners and renters can take to prepare is to buy flood insurance, which allows individuals, communities, and businesses to recover faster and more fully after a disaster.

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Whether it’s a major flood or just an inch of water, flood insurance helps cover the cost of flood damage and allows residents to get back to normal faster after a storm. Just one inch of water in an average-sized home can cost more than $25,000 in repairs, and most homeowners and renters policies typically do not cover flood damage.

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The 2019 hurricane season started June 1 and will end November 30. FEMA is urging residents to purchase flood insurance as soon as today because a policy usually takes 30 days to go into effect.

In addition to purchasing flood insurance, residents are advised to prepare by creating an evacuation plan, stocking an emergency kit with enough supplies (food, medicine, water, etc.) for at least three days for family and pets, keeping important documents in a safe place, and taking measures to protect property from storm damage. 

For more information, visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-4661. 

For full hurricane season cover from 13News Now, be sure to visit our Hurricane Center.