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As local, state and federal officials watch Hurricane Florence approach the East Coast, Fredericksburg emergency operations staff is urging citizens to take measures now to prepare for the storm to affect their home and work.

“Simple measures taken now can help you weather the storm better,” said Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Victor Podbielski.  “Our concerns center on heavy rainfall in our region or to the west as well as possible high winds. These conditions can affect power, transportation, access to clean water and more.”

Portions of downtown Fredericksburg are prone to flooding and residents and businesses in those areas should take action now to secure their buildings and property.  With ground already saturated from an unusually rainy year, the Rappahannock is very likely to flood with this weather event.

He stresses that it is important to communicate with family and to develop evacuation or sheltering plans.  If you leave your home,

He enumerates measure to take now:

  • Stock up on a supply of water and a food (canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food) to last at least three days.
  • Renew prescriptions and assemble over the counter medications.
  • Get fresh batteries, an operable flash light, and a battery powered radio.
  • Gas up your vehicles, get gasoline for a generator if you have one, and propane tanks if you use a gas grill.
  • Secure any items on your property that could blow in high winds, such as trash and recycling receptacles, lawn furniture, etc.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.
  • Check your sump pump operation if you have one.
  • Check storm drains near your property to make sure they are clear of debris.
  • Collect important documents and put them in a watertight container.

Podbielski also encourages citizens to collect hurricane supplies, including:

  • A can opener.
  • A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.
  • A small fire extinguisher.
  • Whistles for each person.
  • A seven-day supply of medications.
  • A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.
  • Cell phones and chargers, especially a car charger.
  • Contact information for the family.
  • A sleeping bag for each person.
  • Extra cash.
  • A silver foil emergency blanket.
  • A map of the area.
  • Baby supplies.
  • Pet supplies.
  • Antibacterial wet wipes.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Rain gear.
  • Tools and supplies for securing your home.
  • Plastic sheeting.
  • Duct tape.
  • Dust masks.
  • An extra set of house keys.
  • An extra set of car keys.
  • An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor.
  • Household bleach.
  • Paper cups, plates and paper towels.
  • Activities for children.
  • Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.

Fredericksburg citizens can get additional information throughout the storm from the city notification system FredAlert, police and fire department from social media and website, www.fredericksburgva.gov

The National Hurricane Center will frequently update with the latest on Hurricane Florence.

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