VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Tropical storms, tornadoes and most recently, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in North Carolina. This area has experienced its fair share of severe weather already in 2020.
Tuesday morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency stopped by the Virginia Beach Emergency Operations Center to discuss hurricane preparedness strategies.
FEMA administrator, Pete Gaynor, said one of the easiest ways to prepare is through your phone.
"Today you can download the FEMA App," he encouraged. "It's a great way to know your risk. What is the risk in where you live, understand it and take actions to reduce it," he said.
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Gaynor said COVID-19 has made the process of keeping people safe more difficult this year.
"Evacuations are now going to take more time," he said. "It may take more transportation - because we can't put people on a crowded bus. We may have to put people into hotels instead of gymnasiums like we use to do, pre-COVID, to keep people separated."
Gaynor also stresses how important flood insurance is. If your house is in a flood zone, it's a smart idea to get it. Don't wait until the last minute; always prepare the season before, they said.
An inch of water is equal to about $25,000 dollars of damage to your home.
Other ways to prepare include making sure you have the proper equipment, like flashlights, sand bags, a fire extinguisher and extra batteries.
Finally, make sure you connect with loved one days before any forecasted severe weather, to go over an action plan for the case of immediate danger.