Dare County schools closed Tuesday

Prepare for a hurricane before it is forecasted

IN SPACE - SEPTEMBER 30: In this handout from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Joaquin is seen chruning in the Caribbean September 30, 2015. Joaquin was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane early on September 30. The exact track has yet to be determined, but there is a possibity of landfall in the U.S. anywhere from North Carolina to the Northeast. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The National Weather Service advises families to start preparing for Hurricane Season well before the first storm hits.

Have an emergency kit ready. Include things like flashlights and batteries, food and water with a manual can opener, a First Aid kit, toiletries, map and cell phone charger.

Make sure your family has reviewed their insurance policy and established an emergency plan or where to meet if separated and how to stay in contact.

Most importantly, according to the VA Department of Emergency Management, know your zone.The Commonwealth has recently been split into four zones, A, B, C and D. Zone A include the lowest lying areas, the ares most effected by storm surge.

Jeff Caldwell, Director of External Affairs with VDEM said,” what this new plan does is consolidate those 4 regions and we will all communicate together that simplified instruction to those most at risk in the storm.”

Evacuation routes in and out of cities is the same, but the zones help the communication process in order of those most threatened in the event of a storm. “The actual routes people use to evacuate are the same, they don’t change because of this plan. What we have tried to do is better consolidate and communicate to folks so everybody doesn’t hit the roads at once and cause traffic backups that hinder evacuation. We want to be able to speak to those most at risk and have them move out of the way of the storm,” said Caldwell.

1.2M-1.3M people are in each zone. To know your zone go to the VDEM website.