Hurricane Florence Storm Preparation Tips

Tips for preparing for significant weather.


  • Portable radio. If your power goes out, radio will be your lifeline. 
  • Extra food. Consider some foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration. Have a three-day supply on hand.
    • Don’t forget your pets.
  • Bottled water. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.
  • Prescription medicines. Fill any you may need ahead of time.
    • Including pet medications.
  • Extra baby supplies — diapers, formula, etc.
  • First-aid supplies.
  • Flashlights.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Extra blankets.
  • Batteries.
  • Cash.
  • Whistle, in case you need to signal for help.


  • Gas up your vehicle.
  • Charge your cellphone (and portable batteries).
  • Make a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and flashlights.
  • Set your thermostat a few degrees higher.
  • Refrain from calling 911 or other emergency services unless it is a true emergency or life-threatening condition.
  • Make sure you check on your neighbors who are senior citizens.
  • Make sure the account information on file with your electric utility is correct. Have the number to your utility handy should the power go out. (*AEP Customer Service 1-800-956-4237).


  • Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
    • The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.
  • If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.
    • If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. 
    • Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.
  • Don’t try to remove tree branches from a power line. Treat fallen wires as if they are energized.
  • If the power goes out and you use a portable generator, always keep it outside — away from doors and windows — to prevent carbon monoxide fumes from coming inside.

When to call 911:

  • Fire
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Downed power lines
  • Witness a crime
  • Motor vehicle crash

If you call 911:

  • Know your location
  • Answer all of the dispatcher’s questions
  • Follow the dispatcher’s instructions

The non-Emergency number for the New River Valley Emergency Communications Regional Authority is 540-382-4343.

Use this number for:

  • Noise complaints
  • Reporting offenses that have already occurred (danger has passed)
  • To speak to law enforcement personnel

Do NOT call the center to report power outages, or inquire about power restoration. Please contact AEP customer service at 1-800-956-4237.