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NEWS | June 1, 2023

JBLE 2023 Hurricane Season Readiness

By Fort Eustis Office of Emergency Management Joint Base Langley-Eustis

The possibility of a hurricanes is one of the most significant natural disasters the Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE) community faces every year. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts until November 30, which comes to 182 days, or about the duration of a six-month deployment. Now is the time to ask: is your family hurricane prepared?

Here are three easy steps you can take to prepare your family for hurricane season:

  1. Make a Family Disaster Plan which includes a “Family Emergency Communication Plan”
  2. Build a disaster supply kit
  3. Stay Informed – JBLE Public Affairs, JBLE App, local TV and radio stations, and Know Your Zone

Go to FEMA’s webpage,, for an explanation on how to create a disaster plan for your family.  Once there, you will also find instructions on how to create a “Family Emergency Communication Plan” (

Remember, communication networks may be unreliable and electrical power could be disrupted during a hurricane or other disasters. Having family members know how to communicate during a disaster can help your family meet if members are away from home. Texting is the best way to communicate during a disaster as it requires much less bandwidth than a phone call.

Your next step is to “Build a Kit” ( Your family may need to survive on their own after an emergency for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last. At a minimum, plan to sustain yourself and your family for three days without electrical power. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household needs in an emergency.  Examples of needed items include bottled water (plan on one gallon of water per person per day for consumption); non-perishable food that meets your family’s nutritional needs; manual can opener in the event power is out; prescription medications, diapers, baby wipes, formula, and other items as required.  Additionally, if there’s long-term power issues, have cash handy as ATM banking services may not be available; extra pairs of glasses, heavy/light clothing items, sturdy shoes, blankets, books, games, and other activities to keep children busy. Be prepared to have extra water, food, and a kennel for your pets,  as some shelters will not accept them. 

Finally, you and your family will need to stay informed. Local television and radio media outlets will convey details of the storm. The JBLE Public Affairs Office will keep personnel informed, should an evacuation order be given. A recommendation is to keep your car’s fuel tank three-quarters full, should an evacuation be required. Additionally, have your disaster supply kit with you in case an evacuation order is executed. This will ensure your family has all the essentials needed if an evacuation order is given.

The general criteria for evacuation of JBLE is a Category III or greater hurricane threatening our area, or a flood surge of 6.5 feet or greater. The 633 ABW/CC is the decision authority and will issue a Limited Evacuation Order (LEO) as required. The most recent evacuation order was for Hurricane Dorian in 2019. An LEO was given to residents living in Langley housing and those living in Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Evacuation Zone A. Though the storm eventually turned and missed the base, many residents did not realize they lived in one of Virginia’s tiered evacuation zones. 

‘Know Your Zone’ is an awareness initiative that applies to roughly 1.25 million residents in 23 localities along coastal Virginia.  Go to to find out if you live in an evacuation zone, labeled A, B, C, or D.  This website displays a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each of the four evacuation zones. Follow the prompts to ascertain whether your home is within one of the four evacuation zones. If your home is not in an evacuation zone, the website result will state “No Zone”. If you live near an evacuation zone, but are not in the zone, check during the month of May each year prior to hurricane season, as rising oceans level could change and include your home an evacuation zone.

When the National Weather Service issues a “Hurricane Watch” it means a storm with sustained winds over 74 mph is a possible threat within 48 hours. Review your emergency plan and double check your kit. Install hurricane shutters, test your generator, and make sure you have enough fuel. Bring in patio furniture and any other loose items that could blow into windows.

A “Hurricane Warning” means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours or less. Once a “Hurricane Warning” is issued it is time to shelter in place; do not leave your house, as hurricane force winds are extremely dangerous. Only depart when Emergency Managers tell you to evacuate; then do so immediately. 

Finally, a short video from FEMA called the “Preparing Makes Sense” explains how to plan and be prepared during hurricane season: (Control plus Click to follow link)

Link to the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide below: (Control plus Click to follow link)