An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article Display
NEWS | May 9, 2024

Now is the time to ask, is your family hurricane prepared?

By JBLE Office of Emergency Management 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

One of the most significant natural disasters faced by the Joint Base Langley-Eustis community are hurricanes. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1, and ends on  November 30 of each year, meaning it’s crucial to stay hurricane prepared during that time.

There are precautions people can take to help prepare themselves and their families: Building a disaster supply kit, create a family disaster plan that includes a family emergency communication plan, along with staying informed by watching the news and knowing your zone.

There are steps to take on the FEMA webpage to properly build a disaster supply kit. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days.  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 the event of an emergency, such as: bottled water, non-perishable food that meets your family’s nutritional needs, manual can opener in the event power is out, flashlight and batteries, prescription medicines, diapers, baby wipes, formula and other items as needed.  Additionally, if there are long term power issues, have cash handy as banking ATM services may not be available, extra pair of glasses, clothing items, shoes, blankets, books, games and other activities to keep children busy.  Be prepared to have a kennel, food, and water for pets.  As a reminder, some shelters do not accept pets. 

Second, go to FEMA’s Ready.Gov 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 or copy and paste this webpage in your browser,  Remember, during a hurricane or other disasters, communication networks may be unreliable and electrical power could be disrupted.  Having family members know how to communicate during a disaster will help your family meet up 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.

Third, ensure you and your family stay weather informed.  Local television and radio media outlets will convey details of the storm.  JBLE Public Affairs personnel will keep people informed if an evacuation happens.  A recommendation is to keep your car’s fuel tank at least three quarters full. Additionally, take your Disaster Supplies 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 executed.  The general criteria for evacuation of JBLE is a category III or greater hurricane or storm surge of 6.7 feet threatening our area.  The 633 ABW/CC is the decision authority and will issue a Limited Evacuation Order as required.  The last evacuation order given was on 4 Sep 2019.  A Limited Evacuation Order was given to residents living in JBLE housing and for those living in Virginia Department of Emergency Management Evacuation Zone A.  This took place during Hurricane Dorian and 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 and D.  This website displays a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each of the four evacuation zones.  Users can enter their physical address in the search bar to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.  Once at the site, if your home is located in a clear or white area, you do not live in a coastal 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. Pull out that 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 become flying projectiles.

Once a Hurricane Warning is issued it is time to sit tight. Do not leave your house.  Hurricane force winds are extremely dangerous.

Please watch this short video from FEMA called “Preparing Makes Sense” it explains how to plan ahead and be prepared during hurricane season.

Link to the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide or copy and paste the address below into your browser: