RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hurricanes are not just a problem for the coastal region. Their impact — and ripple effects — can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Now, as Hurricane Ian proceeds on a catastrophic path towards Florida, and up the eastern United States, Virginia government agencies are telling citizens it’s important to keep a supply kit ready at all times in case of emergency.

Preparedness tips from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Health

Basic Disaster Supplies

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Individual Needs

  • Soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Prepare your home

  • Bring loose, lightweight items inside
  • Anchor objects unsafe to bring inside
  • Trim/remove limbs and damaged trees near structures
  • Clear and secure rain gutters and downspouts
  • Purchase a portable generator
  • Document the condition of your home prior to the storm

Purchase Flood Insurance

  • Contact the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) call center at 888-379-9531 to request an agent referral or visit
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect.

Know Who to Call

  • 3-1-1: In select localities throughout the Commonwealth, 3-1-1 connects callers to their local government, non-emergency, citizen services including information, services, key contacts and programs
  • 5-1-1: “Know Before You Go,” offers real-time traffic information throughout the Commonwealth. Anytime you need it, anywhere you are. For more information, visit
  • 8-1-1: For emergencies only, including fire, medical, reporting accidents, crimes in progress and suspicious individuals or events. 9-1-1 is not to be used for traffic or weather updates and information request, please keep the lines clear for those seeking emergency support