Hurricane Florence FAQ

Tropical Storm Florence Preparation, FAQ

This webpage was last updated on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 9:00 a.m.

*Mensajes de Seguridad Esenciales y Preguntas Frecuentes estan debajo*

Key Safety Messages:

  1. Prepare an emergency kit and enough food and water to last for at least 72 hours. 
  2. #TurnAroundDontDrown. Do not attempt to drive in flowing water. If you are trapped in a vehicle and it is filling with water, stay calm and wait until the vehicle is full of water. Once it's full, the doors will be able to open. Hold your breath and swim to the surface. If you're swept into fast-moving floodwater, point your feet downstream. 
  3. If you require special health or medical accommodations in Emergency Situations and power outages, please fill out the confidential Emergency Needs Registry form.
  4. For immediate updates, please enter your phone number into Emergency Management’s Reverse 9-1-1 Citizen Phone Alert system. 
  5. To report a power outage or downed lines, please contact Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237.
  6. To report a water or sewage emergency, please contact the Western Virginia Water Authority at 540-853-5700. 
  7. Calls or texts to 911 should be reserved for medical, fire, or police emergency situations only. 

Preparing for the storm FAQ: 

1. What do I need at home before the storm?

Residents are asked to prepare for the storm by gathering emergency supplies in advance:

- Three-day supply of water and non-perishable food
- Emergency cash and small bills (stores may run out of change and be unable to process card transactions)
- Extra food and supplies for pets and infants (don’t forget leashes for animals and identification tags)
- One-week supply of medications and prescription copies
- Flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, antibiotic ointment
- Make list of important phone numbers
- Blankets, sleeping bags, and warm clothes
- Critical paperwork in waterproof bag (Driver's license, birth certificates, social security cards, prescription medicine labels, wills, proof of residence, medical and vaccination records, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, etc.) 

Download the full emergency kit checklist provided by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Download Emergency Preparedness Booklets provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement translated in English, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Farsi, French, Nepali, Somali, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Sgaw Karen, and Karenni. 

2. Is my home located in a floodplain? 

Please check the City of Roanoke's GIS website, click on the "Layers" menu tab, then select "Planning", then select the "Flood Zones" option. This will generate a rendering of Roanoke's floodway and 100 year floodplain. 

3. Where can I buy sandbags and how can I make an effective sandbag wall? 

The City of Roanoke is not providing sandbags. Residents can order pre-filled bags online. Big box stores, hardware stores, military surplus stores, and gun stores in the region may also have small quantities of sand bags on hand. Please review this quick how-to guide from our Stormwater Division for more information about how to build an effective sandbag wall. View Sandbag Installation Instructions

4. My home is in an area that is prone to flooding. What can I do now to prevent flooding? 

Please clear out your roof gutters and clean leaves and debris from stormdrain inlets or ditch lines near your property. Remember to elevate all valuable items off of the ground, particularly in basements. Read Roanoke's Flood Preparedness and Recovery Guide

5. How can I keep my family safe? 

If your family needs to find alternate shelter, develop a plan for where they will go. Keep a copy of important phone numbers that you can dial from a landline phone in the event that cell phones are inoperable.

6. I'm dependent on oxygen. What should I do? 

If you are on oxygen and need to evacuate, please bring your oxygen with you to your destination.  If you plan to stay in your home, please contact your oxygen vendor to order additional supplies. If you haven't done so already, please fill out the confidential Emergency Needs Registry form.

7. Are there power outages in my area, and how do I report an outage if power goes out in my home? 

Report an outage and check outage status by downloading the Appalachian Power mobile app. Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their accounts via text message and/or email by subscribing to Appalachian Power outage alerts. You can also report an outage by calling 1-800-956-4237.

8. Can I get drone footage of Hurricane Florence?

The FAA is warning unauthorized drone operators to stay out of the skies around areas impacted by the storm. Unauthorized flights during and after the storm could disrupt emergency response flights. Fines for such interference can run up to $20,000.

9. If I go to an emergency shelter, what should I do with my pet? 

If an emergency shelter is opened, domestic pets -- cats, dogs, and birds -- are allowed. Please make sure that you do not leave tethered dogs in the yard. Bring ID tags, leashes, and copies of any vaccination information for your pet. Dangerous or aggressive dogs will not be allowed in the shelter. Exotic pets, such as snakes and reptiles, and wildlife are not allowed in the shelter.

10. I want to help. Can I volunteer or donate items? 

We appreciate your willingness to help, but no volunteers or donations are needed at this time. 

11. What should I do if my car is swept away by flood water? 

If you are trapped in a vehicle and it is filling with water, stay calm and wait until the vehicle is full of water. Once it's full, the doors will be able to open. Hold your breath and swim to the surface. If you're swept into fast-moving floodwater, point your feet downstream.

12. My road flooded. What are some general safety tips that I need to remember?

Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. It is also important to remember that flood waters can remove manhole covers and if you step into one of these manholes, you will drown. It is best to stay out of flood waters and exit any area that is expected to be impacted before flooding occurs. 

Important Update from Regional Partners: 

On September 11, the City of Roanoke and regional agencies hosted a joint press conference. Download the video's transcript [PDF] [Word Document] [View with ASL Interpretation]

Mensajes de Seguridad Esenciales:

1. Prepare un botiquín de emergencia y provisiones suficientes para un mínimo de 72 horas.
2. No intente conducir por agua fluyente de inundación. #VireNoSeAhogue  #TurnAroundDontDrown.
3.  Si usted requiere acomodaciones médicas u equipo especial en Situaciones de Emergencia y cortes de electricidad, por favor llene el formulario confidencial  Emergency Needs Registry  (Registro de Necesidades de Emergencia).
4.  Para información al momento, por favor registre su número de teléfono en Reverse 9-1-1, el sistema Telefónico de Alerto al Público de la Agencia de Emergencia.
5.  Para reportar un corte de electricidad, contacte a Appalachian Power al 1-800-956-4237.
6.  Para reportar una emergencia de agua u alcantarilla, por favor contacte a Western Virginia Water Authority al 540-853-5700.
7.  Llamadas o mensajes de texto al 911 se deben hacer únicamente en situaciones de emergencias médicas, incendio o de policía.

Preparación para la tormenta  -  Preguntas Frecuentes:

1. ¿Que necesito tener en casa antes de la tormenta?  

Se sugiere al público reunir suministros para emergencia en adelante:

-  Agua y alimentos no procederos suficiente para un mínimo de tres días.  
- Dinero en efectivo de Emergencia en billetes pequeños (es posible que en las tiendes se acabe el efectivo para vuelto y no puedan procesar trámites de tarjeta).
- Alimento extra y suministros para bebés y mascotas.
- Suministro de medicamentos suficiente para una semana, y copias de recetas médicas.
- Linterna, pilas, botiquín de primeros auxilios y pomada antibiótica.
- Haga una lista de números de teléfono importantes.
- Cobijas, bolsas de dormir, y ropa abrigada.
- Papeles esenciales en una bolsa impermeable (licencia de conducir, actas de nacimiento, tarjetas de seguro social, etiquetas de medicamentos recetados, testamentos, comprobante de domicilio, registros médicos y de vacunas, registración de vehículos y comprobante de seguro, etc.)

2. ¿Dónde puedo comprar bolsas de arena?

La Ciudad de Roanoke no va a proveer bolsas de arena. Residentes pueden comprar bolsas de arena pre-llenadas en línea. Es posible que tiendas grandes tales como Grainger, Fastenal, y las ferreterías y tiendas de artículos militares en su área tengan pequeñas cantidades de bolsas de arena disponible.    

3. Mi casa queda en un área que suele tener inundaciones. ¿Qué puedo hacer para prevenir inundación?

Por favor limpie los canalones de techo y quite hojas y escombras de los desagües y zanjas cerca de su propiedad. Acuérdese de elevar del suelo todos los artículos de valor, sobre todo en los sótanos. 

4. ¿Cómo puedo mantener a mi familia segura?

Si su familia necesita encontrar refugio alternativo, desarrolle un plan de dónde ir. Mantenga una copia de números de teléfono importantes que pueda marcar de una línea de teléfono fija en caso que los teléfonos celulares no funcionen.