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Prepare now for storms

As awful as 2020 has been, there was little doubt that a tropical system or two would come along to complicate our already chaotic circumstances for a few days.

Hurricane Isaias seems prepared to erase any doubt that was left. Confidence is increasing that the storm will have at least some effects on Hampton Roads, although how much remains to be seen.

Jeff Orrock, meteorologist in charge at National Weather Service Wakefield, said Friday that this area is likely to see some rain and wind. Regardless of what Isaias does, however, this is still expected to be an active hurricane season. Most of this year’s storms have set records for early formation — surpassing even the infamous 2005 season — so the expectations seem to be becoming reality.

Even if Isaias doesn’t amount to much, another one might, so it’s always best to be prepared. Besides, in 2020, there’s no telling what will go wrong next.

COVID-19 adds an extra element to the planning this year. Suffolk’s Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Stephens said earlier this year that more supplies like hand sanitizer and masks have been ordered, and noted that individuals, families and businesses may need to take extra precautions beyond a normal hurricane season, as well. People will want to have extra masks and hand sanitizer on hand. The key, as always, is to prepare well ahead of time.

There’s not much time before Isaias comes, but there may be before the next storm, so take note of the following that should be in your emergency kit:

One gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days

A three-day supply of food requiring minimal water, no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, such as canned foods, granola bars, trail mix, etc.

First aid supplies and medications

Masks and hand sanitizer

Extra eyeglasses, contact lenses and lens solution

Food, medications and other needs for pets

Manual can opener

Complete change of clothing

Sturdy footwear

Sleeping bag

Tools and emergency supplies

Important family documents and phone numbers

Cash in small bills

Credit card

Extra set of car keys in waterproof container

Toilet paper

Soap

Disinfectant

Five-gallon bucket with lid

Feminine hygiene supplies and diapers

Garbage bags

Games, toys and books

Blankets

Jumper cables

Cell phone charger

Flashlight and extra batteries