Emergency Preparedness

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. When a disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A winter storm could confine your family at home. A flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services – gas, water, electricity and telephone for days. After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You and your family can best be prepared for disaster before the disaster hits.

Steps to Creating Your Family Disaster Plan

  • Find out what could happen to you. Among the more likely emergencies in our area are fires, hazardous spills and weather-related situations such as winter storms and tornadoes. You can also contact your Office of Emergency Management at (540) 545-4721 or the American Red Cross (540) 662-5412 to request more information.
  • Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
  • Formulate your Disaster Plan. 
  • Use and complete this check list:
    • Post emergency telephone numbers in easy to find locations around your home (fire, police, ambulance, etc.) 
    • Make a Family Communications Plan
    • Teach children how and when to call 911
    • Show and teach each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches
    • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it is kept
    • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms
    • Conduct a home hazard hunt
    • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
    • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class
    • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room
    • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster
    • Print this list
  • Meet with your neighborhoods, share your plans and discuss how neighborhoods can help each other work together in an emergency.
  • Create a Family Disaster Supply Kit:
    • There are six basic categories that your family should include in your supply kit: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and special items
    • This disaster kit assembly check list will help you put together your disaster supply kit
    • Assemble your items in an easy to carry container, camping backpack, duffel bag or large, covered trash container

Preparedness for Natural Disasters

Other Resources