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Governor Promotes Hurricane Preparedness Week

© Leesburg Today - 05/28/2015

Hurricane season is about to get under way, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared this week, May 24-30, as Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week.

The governor's proclamation coincides with National Hurricane Preparedness Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service.

""It's critical that every Virginian take hurricane season seriously and understand how they could be affected by flooding, high winds and tornadoes during this time of year,"" said State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern. ""Those who live along coastal areas also need to learn how storm surge could affect them so that they know what to do when tropical systems are approaching. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones depend on getting ready before a hurricane or tropical storm hits.""

There have been predictions of a below-normal hurricane season this year, NWS warning coordination meteorologist Bill Sammler said. But that doesn't mean Virginians aren't at risk for the damaging effects of coastal and inland tropical storm systems and widespread flooding.

""Let's all remember that it only takes one storm to cause severe damage and even loss of life,"" Sammler said. ""Everyone should get ready now for this hurricane season.""

Virginia's Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday May 25-31 will provide Virginians with an opportunity to buy emergency equipment and supplies tax-free. All Virginia retailers participate in the tax holiday.

Among the items that are exempt from sales tax are batteries, including those for cell phones, flashlights and lanterns, bottled water of all types and sizes, first aid kits, coolers, NOAA Weather Radios and portable generators. For more information on the sales tax holiday, including a list of tax-exempt items, go to http://www.vaemergency.gov.

Things residents can do to prepare are: download the free Ready Virginia app, create a family emergency communications plan, sign up for text alerts/weather warnings, and talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance.

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