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Emergency Preparedness

    Emergency Preparedness

Many who are devastated by a hurricane, flood, or other disaster did not think it could happen to them. Individuals, families, and businesses can follow simple steps to prepare for the worst by getting an emergency supplies kit, making a plan, becoming familiar with local evacuation routes, and paying attention to instructions from emergency officials. Virginia Cooperative Extension has resources for citizens who want to be knowledgeable about the types of emergency warnings and what they can do before, during, and after a disaster. This media kits has details about Extension’s partnership with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, contact information for our emergency preparedness experts, feature stories on preparing an emergency plan, instructions for people with special needs, public service announcements about responding to a flood, and much more.

Latest News
Virginia Cooperative Extension encourages citizens to have an emergency plan (October 2007)
The end of hurricane season is approaching, but that doesn’t mean that weather emergencies won’t occur. In fact, weather and other emergencies know no season. That is why Virginia Cooperative Extension urges residents to make an emergency plan, stay informed, and never disregard a hurricane, flood, or other emergency warning.

Know what to do when an evacuation order comes (October 2007)
Virginia Cooperative Extension urges residents never to disregard an evacuation order called because of a hurricane, flood, or other emergency.

Individuals with special needs must take extra precautions during an emergency (October 2007)
Everyone needs to plan for the worst. Virginia Cooperative Extension encourages individuals with special needs not only to have plans in place for possible emergencies but also to consider what capabilities and limitations they might have after a disaster.

Experts

Bobby GrissoAssociate director of agriculture and natural resources for ExtensionVirginia Tech(540) 231-1980rgrisso@vt.edu

News Releases
Tips to stay safe during thunderstorms (October 2007)
When lightning brightens the sky with a billion volts of power, it is dangerous power. Each year, about 400 children and adults in the United States are struck by lightning. Approximately 67 people are killed annually, but hundreds more are left to cope with permanent disabilities, according to information from the National Weather Service.

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management form disaster response partnership (February 2007)
A new statewide initiative will pair Virginia Cooperative Extension agents with Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) personnel to improve the commonwealth's response to emergencies and disasters.

Magazine Articles
In Case of Emergency (Solutions, June 2007)
Regardless of how much attention a hurricane or drought receives at a national level, all disasters are local to the communities affected. Through a new partnership with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), Extension agents in certain localities will be mobilized in the event of a federally declared disaster in Virginia.

Multimedia
Virginia Cooperative Extension compiled the following public service announcements in March 2002:

Be overly cautious to avoid injury in aftermath of flood  
Know how to purify water sources contaminated by floodwater
Generator power supply must be properly sized with appliances
Follow safety guidelines with chainsaws
Ensure that no live power is in flood-damaged buildings
Floors soaked by floodwater may be contaminated
All fabrics soaked by floodwater require proper cleaning
Cleaning clothes left in flooded buildings is necessary
Recovery of emotional well-being is slow process after flood
Children's reactions to stress from a flood vary
Snakes displaced from floods can help with rodent populations
Learn to identify poisonous and non-poisonous snakes
Snakes are possible hazard after flood

All video and audio resources are courtesy of University Relations Office of Visual and Broadcast Communications.

Additional Resources
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management protects the lives and property of Virginia’s citizens from emergencies and disasters by coordinating the state’s emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. Its website has valuable resources for individuals and businesses as well as updates on emerging issues.

In addition, VDEM has now given Virginia’s Spanish-speaking communities access to essential emergency preparedness information through www.ListoVirginia.gov. This new website, which is a one-stop resource for residents to learn about disaster readiness at home and at work, is part of a statewide public education effort to prepare Virginia’s Latino and Hispanic communities for emergency situations.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and The Advertising Council developed Ready.gov to educate citizens about getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, and being informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. It has public service announcements, instructional videos, and more. 

An online resource, Protecting Your Chemical Storage Area from Storms and Floods, from Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs helps producers know how to safely secure agricultural chemicals.

Many counties and cities have Extension agents who can assist with both preparation and response to disasters. Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office for more information about your area.

Extension also has a directory of Extension experts on all of the topics it covers. If you need help locating a source or looking for additional information, contact Lori Greiner at (540) 231-5863.