Caroline MacGregor Published

State of Preparedness Issued Ahead Of Storms

A close up of the center of a road that has been flooded with water. There are trees in the distance.
Network members say there's not a lot of time to act to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
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Gov. Jim Justice issued a State of Preparedness Thursday ahead of predicted heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service is calling for heavy rain Thursday night through Friday and wind gusts of up to 40 mph into Saturday. 

The West Virginia Emergency Management Division has been placed on standby. Floods can develop slowly or quickly with little or no warning at all. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), meanwhile, is reminding the state’s residents to be prepared for the eventuality of spring flooding.

James Young is the disaster field coordinator for FEMA – Region 3. He said it’s important that homeowners prepare ahead of time for the possibility of high water.

“In a state like West Virginia where the terrain can cause flooding at any time, we recommend that people have evacuation plans and know how to get to higher ground,” Young said.

Flood waters can rise quickly, something Young said people should take that into account as they consider their checklist and evacuation plan.

He said it is a good idea to keep drinking water or nonperishable food on hand, and other supplies like batteries and radios.

“We also talk about go kits or ready kits, making sure you are ready to leave at a moment’s notice should the water start to rise,” Young said. A ready kit is essentially a disaster supplies kit containing basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Other tips include moving appliances upstairs, raising the height of electrical outlets by three feet above the floor, keeping gutters clear of debris and securing essential documents in a waterproof container. 

“One thing people don’t think a lot about is important documents, making sure those are ready to go, having those in zip lock bags or sealed and ready. The same thing with medication,” Young said. “People need to be aware of the risk potentially posed by where they live and be ready so if something does occur they are ready to leave. Just six inches of water can knock someone off their feet if waters do rise and a foot of water could move a car.”

FEMA advises homeowners to fully understand their home insurance policy and to consider insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Young said just an inch of water in your home can cause $26,000 in damage and flooding is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.

For more information on preparing for floods visit