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The original item was published from 9/6/2019 3:22:00 PM to 9/6/2019 5:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: September 5, 2019


The City of Suffolk will be opening an Emergency Shelter this afternoon, Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. due to the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian:

  • King’s Fork High School, 351 Kings Fork Road (ADA compliant, fully generator powered for citizens who are medically dependent on electricity) 

Emergency shelters should be considered a means of last resort once all other safe options have been exhausted.

Based on current Hurricane Dorian forecasts, significant flooding is possible during high tides through at least Friday evening. The Commonwealth of Virginia previously enacted the “Know Your Zone” evacuation initiative which provides residents clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home. Information as to your designation based on your physical address can be obtained by visiting for a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. If you don’t have access to a computer or internet service, call 2-1-1. If you live in Zone A, or if your location is prone to flooding based on previous weather incidents, you may want to consider moving vehicles to higher ground, protecting your belongings, and possibly identifying a higher location within Hampton Roads (Zone B or higher) or the identified Emergency Shelter to relocate to should the need arise.

Important information regarding Emergency Shelter rules, what to bring, prohibited items, and more are noted below:

Evacuation Shelter Rules

You must sign in before being officially admitted into any shelter

"Shelter hopping" is not permitted

You are responsible for your belongings. Valuables should always be locked in your car or kept with you. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items

Parents are responsible for controlling the actions of and knowing the whereabouts of their children. Children should not be left unattended.

If you have a medical condition or are taking medications, please notify the shelter registrar for referral to the nurse.

Noise levels should be kept at a minimum during all hours of the day. Quiet hours are observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Please do your best to keep the shelter as neat and orderly possible.

What to Bring to a Shelter

Be sure to bring enough supplies to last at least two days for each family member.

bottled water

manual can opener and cooler

portable flashlight and batteries

folding chairs

cot/sleeping bag/blanket and pillow

first aid kit and any medications

ID, car keys, credit cards and cash

photocopies of important papers (i.e. insurance policies)

canned/packaged food

disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.

battery powered radio, TV, headphones

change of comfortable clothing and shoes

quiet games, toys, books, cards

toiletries, glasses/contacts, hearing aids and dentures

special-diet foods

baby supplies (i.e. food/formula, diapers, etc.)

Prohibited Items

alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances

pets (except assistance dogs)

loud radios or televisions

smoking, vaping, matches, lighters

weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

When to consider going to a shelter

You live in an evacuation zone where there likely will be flooding

You live in a mobile home or trailer

You know your building is unsafe and you cannot repair it before the storm

You use life-support equipment that requires electricity

If none of these conditions in red font above apply to you, you should think about staying put and fortifying your home, something experts call "sheltering in place." However, if your house is not prepared and fortified or windows or doors are not properly covered, even the weaker winds at the perimeter of a hurricane can cause serious damage.

Should citizens have questions as it relates to the Emergency Shelter or if they need to make accommodations for a pet since the King’s Fork High School Emergency Shelter is not pet-friendly, please contact the Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number at 923-2350, Option 8.  As a reminder, there are no pet drop-offs permitted at Emergency Shelters. 

We are continuing to closely monitor the storm track and potential local impacts. During weather or other emergencies affecting the City of Suffolk, residents have several methods to obtain and/or receive information related to road closures and other updates from the City and Emergency Management. Those methods include:

Suffolk On the Alert - – Residents can sign up for alerts delivered primarily via email. Categories include Traffic Updates, Parks & Recreation, Public Utilities-water outages, Public Works-trash collection, and Special Events. Residents can select what topics are of interest to them for the latest information.

City social media -- Facebook (@suffolkva) and Twitter (@CityofSuffolk)

Suffolk Police Department social media – Facebook (@suffolkpolicedepartment)

Suffolk Fire & Rescue social media – Facebook (@suffolkfirerescue)

Nextdoor – The City of Suffolk, Suffolk Police, and Suffolk Fire & Rescue all have the ability to post messages to all Suffolk members of Nextdoor regardless of neighborhood.

City of Suffolk Website –   

Suffolk Municipal Channel – Spectrum Channel 190. Information will be displayed on the Bulletin Board portion of programming. For those without Spectrum TV, the channel is streamed live 24/7 at this link:

The Emergency Operations Call Center can be reached beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, Thursday, September 5th, at 514-4570 and will be staffed 24-hours a day until advised otherwise for citizens seeking storm-related information for this weather event. The Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number is 923-2350 (Option 8), and the number for non-emergency roadway-related issues is 514-7600.

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