Flood Emergency Preparedness

Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Visit the Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center page to get detailed information to assist you in preparing your family, property, and business for emergencies, natural or manmade, that may affect our community. You will find Storm Surge maps, Evacuation Routes, Emergency Shelters, Planning for Special Needs, and Recovery information on those pages.
Evacuation Zones
Evacuation Routes
Hurricane Storm Surge Map Category 2
Virginia Hurricane Storm Surge Tool
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) has created a new web map that allows users to view storm surge risk, shown by color-coded storm surge category any location or address in Virginia.

"Storm surge" is an abnormal and potentially dangerous rise of water pushed to the shore by strong winds from a hurricane or tropical storm. It is also the main reason that evacuations are ordered. The storm surge zones of this map indicate the maximum area that may be inundated by a hurricane of a given value.

The map also identifies primary Hurricane Evacuation Routes data is to identify primary evacuation routes. Not all routes that people can use will are identified on this map.

Before the Flood
It is important to make plans before the flood arrives. Your advanced plan should include the following (at a minimum):
  • Purchase flood insurance at least 30 days before the event and keep your policy and other important papers in a safe place such as a fire-proof box, safety deposit box, or waterproof container.
  • Learn the safest route from your home in case you have to evacuate.
  • Fill the gas tank of your automobile.
  • Purchase sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting to protect your property. Never place sandbags directly adjacent to walls.
  • Make arrangements for your pets.
  • Create an emergency supply kit to include:
    • Fresh water to last seven days (one gallon per person per day)
    • Non-perishable food to last seven days with paper products and plastic serving utensils
    • One change of clothing and footwear per person
    • First aid kit with prescription medicines
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Portable radio (preferably a weather band radio) and flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
    • Extra set of car keys
    • Cash, preferably in small bills
    • Necessary items for infants, elderly, disabled family members and pets
    • A small basic toolkit
During the Flood
In Your Home
If you are in your home when it begins to flood, move to the second floor or to the roof. Do not try to swim to safety; floodwaters can move very rapidly. If time permits, turn off all utilities, particularly electricity and gas, and board up windows. Bring outdoor possessions inside the house.

In Your Vehicle
Turn Around. Don't Drown. If you are in a vehicle during a flood, do not drive into standing water. Two feet of water can cause most vehicles to float. A majority of deaths occur because the driver didn’t feel the water was that deep. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.

Flood Warning System
The Portsmouth Fire Department is responsible for Emergency Preparedness and the Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In addition, they hold primary responsibility for the City’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) which partners with local broadcasting stations to give citizens the most recent weather up-dates and precautions. The EAS is broadcast on television on WTKR, WAVY and WVEC. It is also broadcast on all manned 24-hour radio stations.