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Hurricanes are among the most powerful and destructive phenomena in nature. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents. Hurricane season started on June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30.
The location of Winchester and the Shenandoah Valley removes us from the direct path of hurricanes, tropical storms, or depressions. However, there have been those events when the residual effects of hurricanes have impacted Winchester and Frederick County. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a long history of hurricanes and tropical storms each leaving its mark. Hurricane Hazel impacted the state in 1954 creating damages of $1.5M, hurricane Agnes had a significant impact on Winchester and the surrounding area in 1972 inundating the City with floodwaters and resulting in damages in the state of $222,000,000. Hurricane Isabel visited the state in 2003 creating damages of $1.85B. Although Winchester is not concerned with storm surge, rising tides, and the impacts of the storm making direct landfall in the coastal reaches of the state we are not immune from the impacts of the storm.
As a community, we must prepare for the results of tropical activity as history will repeat and we will again be inundated with the remanence of hurricanes, tropical storms, and depressions.
Remember, plan now for survival. For more information, please visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
We are a StormReady Community
The City received recognition from the National Weather Service as a StormReady Community by meeting the preparedness criteria identified in their program. To learn more about this program, please visit NWS StormReady Program.
Get Emergency Alerts
Receive notifications about emergencies and non-emergency (refuse/recycling schedule changes, snow plan activations, City facility closures, scheduled road closures, etc.) by signing up for our notification system.
Create an account and receive time-sensitive messages however, you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. Register a 22601 address (work, home, school, church, etc.).
Report Power Outages Immediately
If you experience a power outage, please call Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. SVEC urges its customers to call 1-800-234-7832 anytime there is a power outage and to not assume that others have reported the outage. By calling any time you experience an outage, you help crews respond more efficiently and restore your service more quickly.
Emergency Sheltering | Refugios de emergencia
When an emergency happens in the city that causes a large number of residents to evacuate their homes, the City may activate a mass care emergency shelter. Click here to learn more about what to bring to a shelter, shelter rules, and what to expect if you need to evacuate to a City shelter.
Emergency Operations Plan
The City of Winchesters Emergency Operations Plan is an all-discipline, all-hazards plan that establishes a single, comprehensive framework for managing incidents in the city. It is compatible with the National Response Framework and provides the structure for coordinating within our local and with the state government in delivery of disaster assistance. The plan improves the City of Winchester’s capability to respond to and recover from threatened or actual natural, technological or man-made disasters.
Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Northern Shenandoah Valley Region - Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is most effective when implemented under a comprehensive, long-term mitigation plan. State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events. Mitigation plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.
Scott E. Kensinger, VPEM, EFO, MA
Emergency Management Coordinator
Public Services Building
301 E. Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601