Hurricane Information from Sentara
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2010 Sentara Hurricane Information 

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Updated August 27, 2010

Things to consider before a hurricane If you stay ...
Be prepared to be on your own for at least 36 hours. This means no police, no fire department, no rescue squad and no power.
Refill prescriptions. Have enough on hand for at least a week. Plastic pill minders make it easier to manage medications in rough, unfamiliar conditions.
Put important personal documents in zip bags or airtight containers.
Review insurance policies.
Photograph your property and document your possessions.
Have an extra pair of eyeglasses, or a drug store pair, just in case yours break.
Fill up the car well before the storm. Gas stations may be dry or without power after a storm.
Have a gallon of water per day, per person on hand.
Have non-perishable, easy-to-eat foods on hand, such as energy bars, boxed juices and canned soup.
Have a camp stove and gas bottles for heating water and canned food.
Have cash on hand. ATMs might not work for days after a storm.
Have mosquito repellant. With no power, windows will have to be open.

If you evacuate or use a local shelter ...
Leave early. The roads will be crowded.
Take the above-mentioned medications, documents, personal items, food and water.
Take one or two changes of clothing per person. Don't overpack.
Take some cash.
Take some quiet games and books to keep kids occupied.
Make sure your pets are safe in a kennel or with you. Public shelters will not allow pets. Motels and hotels that accept pets often charge extra for them. Do not leave pets unattended at home.

Avoid injuries after hurricanes
Emergency rooms often fill up after hurricanes with injuries sustained during cleanup. Eye injuries, cuts, back sprains, falls from heights and even electrocutions occur. Wear eye protection, heavy gloves, long pants and work boots when removing foliage and debris. Observe safety practices for chain saws. Avoid fallen power lines. Be extra careful on ladders and roofs to avoid falls.

Important Planning Information

Sentara hospitals are not public shelters.
Every city and county in the region has an Emergency Services or Emergency Management department that operates public shelters during hurricanes.      

Chesapeake (757) 382-6464
Hampton (757) 727-1208
James City County (757) 567-2140
Newport News (757) 269-2900
Norfolk (757) 441-5600
Portsmouth (757) 393-8338
Prince William County (Woodbridge)

(703) 792-4636

Suffolk (757) 514-7586
Virginia Beach (757)385-4232
Williamsburg (757) 259-7200
York County (757) 890-3600

Please do not come to a Sentara hospital during a hurricane unless you are injured or sick and need emergency care.

Sentara hospitals can support only in-patient ventilators.
Our hospitals may be on limited emergency power during a hurricane, and unable to accommodate home-based patients on ventilators or other medical equipment.  Such patients should take precautions well before a hurricane by purchasing a generator for their home or evacuating, by ambulance if necessary, to inland accommodations where there is power.  They can also contact Dominion Virginia Power to register as an ‘Electrically Dependent’ customer, however, this may not result in quicker restoration of service after a hurricane or major storm with widespread outages.  Call 888-667-3000 or go to to obtain a medical certification form that must be signed by your physician and updated annually.

Sentara hospitals cannot perform outpatient dialysis.
Kidney dialysis patients should make dietary and treatment arrangements with their providers before a hurricane in the event of widespread power outages.  Patients should work with their dialysis providers in advance to ensure plans are in place for dialysis in the event of emergencies. A list of area dialysis providers may be obtained in advance by calling the National Kidney Foundation’s Richmond office during business hours at 804-288-8342.

Hospital visitation suspended during hurricanes. 
Our facilities will be ‘locked down’ during a hurricane for safety and security.  While you may call a loved one in the hospital as long as telephones are working, please do not attempt to visit until after the storm and the lockdown is lifted.

Surgeries and cancer treatments may be rescheduled.
Hospital staff may contact scheduled patients in the hours before a hurricane to postpone outpatient procedures, chemotherapy and radiation treatments until after the storm.  Many of our hospitals will be on limited emergency power, and it will be unsafe to drive.

Sentara parking lots not for public vehicle storage.
Sentara parking decks and parking lots are for hospital staff working during hurricanes.  Please do not use our parking to protect your vehicle from flooding.

Sheltering your pets during emergency.
October 6, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006. Under this law local and state disaster plans are required to include provisions for household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency. During past hurricanes, many people resisted the decision to evacuate when the welfare of their pets is uncertain.

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