Join Fluvanna’s 72 Hour Club

Submitted by Debbie Smith

The arrival of hurricane season is the perfect time to talk about getting – and staying – prepared for severe weather. While Central Virginia doesn’t typically feel the full force of these storms at their strongest, it’s still important to know the potential for severe weather brought by hurricanes.

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes and landslides.

Hurricanes can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, and can affect areas more than 100 miles inland. Hurricanes are most active in September.

If hurricane warnings have been issued, find safe shelter right away.

  • Protect yourself and loved ones: Evacuate if told to do so, and take refuge in a designated storm shelter or an interior room.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn around; don’t drown. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters.

Don’t wait for the storm. Be prepared by taking the steps listed below.

Know your area’s risk of severe weather. Hurricane season begins soon, but severe weather can happen any time of the year.

Listen and watch for emergency alerts and Information. Sign up for Fluvanna County’s emergency alert system: Go to and click on the alerts sign up button at the bottom of the page. The emergency alert system and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio also provide emergency alerts. If you live in an area at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.

Practice. Know where to go for safe shelter from high winds. Small interior rooms, rooms on the lowest level not prone to flooding, or a ready-made emergency safe shelter are best. Make plans for evacuation or sheltering in place. Become familiar with the county’s shelter locations.

Gather supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.

Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.

Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Review insurance policies.

Join Fluvanna County’s 72 Hour Club.After an emergency, it is vital that every household be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Emergency services and responders will be busy and often overwhelmed. Representatives from FEMA will take time to arrive and set up to help. A prepared community is a resilient community and will recover faster.

Your 72 Hour kit should contain:

  • Water: a minimum of one gallon per person, per day;
  • Medication: for people and pets, refilled before the storm arrives (pharmacies could be down for days);
  • Flashlights; glow sticks for children;
  • Battery, solar or hand-cranked radio; extra batteries;
  • Waterproof lighter or matches;
  • Can openers; knife;
  • Children and infants: diapers, formula, coloring books and games;
  • Cell phones: Keep them on chargers. If the power goes out you will still have a form of contact;
  • At least three days’ worth of nonperishable foods, such as crackers, peanut butter, trail mix, dried fruit and canned meats;
  • Pets: Stock up on food and water. Have pets microchipped or keep collars with tags on at all times. If you are separated from your pet, microchips and collars will make the reunion much easier and quicker; and
  • Water for livestock.

Whenever severe weather is forecast, Fluvanna County emergency management is monitoring the situation.  Alerts can be sent from the county’s emergency alert system to every resident in Fluvanna who may be in harm’s way. But we can only alert you if you sign up. Visit and click on thealerts sign up icon at the bottom of the home page.

Have questions or concerns? Please call Debbie Smith, emergency management coordinator, at 434-591-1927 or email


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