Due to Eastern Virginia Medical School's geographic location, it is vulnerable to severe weather. The chance of severe weather may strike at any time, with or without warning, and may cause damage and destruction to the campus. Severe weather can be defined as a weather event that may affect EVMS. 

Emergency action to these events are universal in the goal to protect life, safety and property of EVMS' community. In the event severe weather threatens our campus, notifications to the EVMS community will be sent out.


The main campus is located within 20 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the close proximity we are open to a wide variety of severe weather possibilities one of them being hurricanes. 

Preparation tips: 

  • Prepare an Emergency kit
  • Know your property elevation and if it is flood-prone
  • Make an evacuation plan
  • Secure loose objects from your yard 
  • Secure your property 
  • Get a portable radio to receive updates on storm information and clean up efforts

Norfolk storm surge maps: 

If evacuation is required due to a hurricane – Know Your Zone.

Find out more information on hurricane preparedness


EVMS is located in a low lying coastal area. Norfolk's elevation and its proximity to several rivers make it susceptible to flooding. Norfolk experiences flooding nearly every year, and sometimes several times throughout the year during times of heavy rain, hurricanes or nor'easters storms. The community surrounding EVMS is threatened with the potential of precipitation, wind-driven flooding and low-land flooding. 

Safety tips:

  • Prepare an Emergency kit 
  • If advised to evacuate your home, do so immediately 
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood then move to higher ground
  • If possible bring in outdoor furniture and move essential items to an upper floor
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so, and disconnect electrical appliances
  • Do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches of moving water can make you fall 
  • If you have to walk in water then walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safety. 

Find out more information on flood preparedness.


The most difficult type of disaster to prepare for is an earthquake. There is absolutely no warning when one is going to strike and how or where it will strike. Two earthquakes of the same magnitude aren't necessarily going to have the same destructive capability. 

Find out more information on earthquake preparedness


Due to close proximity to the Atlantic we are susceptible to Nor'easters. In November 2009, a Nor'easter closed the school for 72 hours due to flooding, fallen trees and power outages. Nor'easters often start in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean and are given their name because of the winds blowing in from the northeast ahead of the storm. The wind from these storms most often exceed hurricane force intensity and should not be taken lightly. 

Safety tips: 

  • Prepare an Emergency kit
  • Bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.)
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment 
  • Stay away from floodwaters
  • Keep updated about the storm's progress and find out about your community's disaster response plan

Find out more information on Nor'easters.

Winter Storms

Snow is always a threat during the winter months to EVMS. This can affect power, roadways and the ability to perform normal school functions. In December 2010, Hampton Roads accumulated 14.2 inches of snow which forced the school to close for 72 hours. 

Safety tips: 

  • Prepare an Emergency kit
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full 
  • Insulate your home by installing plastic on the inside of your windows to keep air out 
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices in advance so they can be used to report an emergency 
  • Travel only if absolutely necessary and keep emergency supplies in your vehicle
  • Dress to fit the weather

Find more information on winter storms.


EVMS is like everywhere else in the fact it has the possibilities of tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen anywhere at anytime with little to warning. 

Safety tips: 

  • Prepare an Emergency kit 
  • Have an Emergency plan
  • Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado touches down 
  • Go to a room with no windows
  • If you can get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table
  • Do not try outrunning a tornado 
  • If you are in a vehicle get out and go to a low lying area 

Find more information on tornado preparedness.

Straight-line Winds

Winds produced by thunderstorms can cause gusts reaching speeds of 85 mph which would classify the storm as severe. The difference between these storms and tornadoes is that all the damage flows in one direction which is where this condition received its name. 

  • Prepare an Emergency kit
  • Stay away from all windows and doors during the storm. If you can do it safely, draw the window shades or blinds to reduce the risk from flying glass shattered by high winds.
  • Bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind
  • Avoid using a corded telephone or other electrical appliances until the storm passes
  • Monitor the radio, television or Internet for the latest weather information

Extreme Hot and Cold

EVMS is located in Virginia which makes it subject to extreme weather changes. We would like to keep you informed on what to look for during these conditions. In a very hot environment a serious concern is heat stroke. In the absence of immediate medical attention a heat stroke could become fatal and there are fatalities that occur every summer. Heat exhaustion and fainting are less serious illnesses which are not fatal but interfere with a person's ability to work. 

At very cold temperatures the most serious concern is the risk of hypothermia or dangerous overcooling of the body. Serious effect of cold exposure is frostbite or freezing of the exposed extremities such as fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Hypothermia could be fatal in the absence of immediate medical attention.