Are You Prepared for an Emergency
For Release
October 25, 2012
Within the past few years, Virginians have been experiencing severe weather of all types; everything from a Derecho, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes to heavy and often crippling snowfalls.  Planning ahead is the key to increasing chances of survival during an emergency.  By following a few simple and low-cost steps, you can prepare and protect your family, business, neighborhood and community when emergencies and disasters arise.
Stay Informed & Get Alerts. Getting reliable information during an emergency situation is vital. The National Weather Service broadcasts warnings and post-event information 24 hours a day for all types of hazards – including natural (severe weather), environmental (chemical release or oil spill) and public safety (amber alert or 911 outage). Make sure you do the following:
  • Have a NOAA Weather Radio at home and at your worksite. Like a fire alarm, NOAA Weather Radios sound when there is an emergency in your area.
  • Register on the County’s emergency notification system – PWCAN – to receive emergency information. It’s easy and free. Go to
Make a family emergency plan. When a disaster occurs, your family may not be at home or together. Make sure everyone knows how to get in touch and where to go.
  • Designate a safe-room in the house where everyone can gather. The best choice is an inside room above ground with few windows and doors.
  • Choose an out-of-town emergency contact. Families may not be together when an emergency happens, and often it’s easier to make a long distance call than a local call during emergencies. The out-of-town contact can relay messages to other family members that you’re ok.
  • Select a safe gathering place outside of town where everyone can meet if evacuation is necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself with emergency plans for places where you and your family may be located such as schools, day care providers, and businesses.
  • You can design your family emergency plan at or get a family emergency plan worksheet at
Make an Emergency Supply Kit! Below is a list of essential items for your emergency supply kit:
  •  At least three days of supplies for each family member:
o   Food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods
o   Water, at least one gallon per person per day
o   Essential medications
  • Other items useful in an emergency supply kit:
o   A NOAA Weather radio
o   A hand-crank or battery-powered AM/FM radio and extra batteries
o   A family emergency plan
o   Flashlights with extra batteries
o   First aid kit
o   List of prescriptions and doctors
o   Special items for young children and disabled or older family members
o   Food and water for your pets

To learn more on how to protect you and your loved ones during an emergency, visit, and