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. Most cities have at least one pet-friendly shelter. Check with your local emergency services or emergency planning office (see numbers below) on whether your locality has a pet-friendly shelter. For their safety, do not leave pets unattended at home.
General information about Sentara hospitals in bad weather
Surgeries and cancer treatments may be rescheduled.
- Hospital staff may contact patients during a bad storm to postpone outpatient procedures, chemotherapy and radiation treatments until after the storm.
- Our hospitals may be on limited emergency power, and it may be unsafe to drive to appointments until the storm has passed and roads are clear.
Sentara hospitals can support only in-patient ventilators.
- Our hospitals may be on limited emergency power during or after a storm and will be unable to accommodate home-based patients on ventilators or other medical equipment.
- Patients who require ventilators at home should take precautions by purchasing a home generator or evacuating to a shelter with power.
- Some local emergency management agencies have designated ‘Medically Friendly Shelters’ for which patients with special medical needs can pre-register.
- Register with Dominion Virginia Power as an ‘Electrically Dependent’ customer to alert the power company of your medical needs. However, this may not result in quicker restoration of service after widespread outages.
- For those with serious medical conditions that require electricity, Dominion Virginia Power requires a form be submitted and updated annually.
- To learn more, call 888-667-3000.
Sentara hospitals can support only in-patient dialysis.
- Kidney dialysis patients at home should make treatment arrangements with their community providers before severe weather strikes.
- Dialysis providers are required to make provisions to treat patients during power outages and other emergencies.
- The National Kidney Foundation’s Richmond office has a list of dialysis providers at 804-288-8342.
Hospital visitation suspended during hurricanes.
Our facilities will have limited access 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 has passed.
Sentara parking decks and lots are for staff during storms and not for public vehicle storage.
- Sentara parking decks and parking lots are reserved for staff and physicians working or sheltering at our hospitals during storms.
- Please do not use Sentara parking lots or garages to protect your vehicles from flooding. Sentara hospitals are not public shelters.
- Every city and county has an Emergency Services or Emergency Management department that operates public shelters during inclement weather. Before a storm, find your local emergency manager.
Contact Information for Public Shelters
Every city and county in the region has an Emergency Services or Emergency Management department that operates public shelters during hurricanes. The shelters will remain open as long as necessary during and after the storm.
Chesapeake: (757) 382-6464
Hampton: (757) 727-1208
James City County: (757) 564-2140
Newport News: (757) 269-2900
Norfolk: (757) 441-5600
Portsmouth: (757) 393-8338
Prince William County (Woodbridge): (703) 792-4636
Suffolk: (757) 514-4536
Virginia Beach: (757) 385-4232
Williamsburg: (757) 259-7200
York County: (757) 890-3600