With our first tropical storm warning of the season, Hampton Roads is preparing. There are new technologies and apps to help you plan for a hurricane. You no no longer have to rely on a printed hurricane tracking guide. Old Dominion University has recently created an app for Android users. HEED (Hurricane Evacuation Encouragement Demonstrator) has a list of shelters and evacuation routes close to you. It also has a storm tracker and open gas stations.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has a web site and a new app for hurricane preparedness. Go to http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia or download the mobile app Ready VA. If you live in Currituck or Camden Counties, you would need the Ready NC app. Both of these sites have great information for preparing for a hurricane (or tropical storm). You are encouraged to have a family emergency plan and familiarize yourself with all of the possible evacuation routes. There is a list of what you should include in your hurricane kit.
If there are voluntary or mandatory evacuations announced, you need to evacuate as quickly as possible. This is where planning is helpful. Once there is a mandatory evacuation (more typical in coastal counties), you will not be allowed to re-enter until the emergency management allow. Keep in mind most shelters do not allow pets so you have to make arrangements for them. Do not leave them outside during a storm.