Be Prepared as You Start a New Year!

The Office of Emergency Management would like to welcome you to NOVA or welcome you back if you are a returning student!  We want you to be safe and prepared for any emergency that may happen while here at NOVA.  We encourage you to take a few minutes during your first weeks on campus to look around for the nearest exits to your classrooms in case of a fire or other emergency evacuation.  Also, look for the nearest Severe Weather Shelter location to your classroom in case there is a tornado or an especially severe storm.  These locations are marked by a green sign with a picture of a tornado.  Each classroom also has an Emergency Procedures poster.  Take a look at this as well as it describes what to do in just about any emergency situation you may encounter while on campus.

For more information on emergency preparedness at NOVA, please visit our website.

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NOVA’s Office of Emergency Management and Woodbridge Campus Conduct Simulated Emergency Functional Exercise to Test Emergency Response

What would you do if an emergency occurred on your campus? How would you and your department respond? These were questions asked on May 27th when NOVA’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Woodbridge Campus conducted a simulated, interactive functional exercise.Functional Exercise 2 

The functional exercise was designed to test the coordination, integration, and interaction of the NOVA and Woodbridge Campus policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities during the simulated event. Woodbridge Campus staff responded in real-time with on-the-spot decisions and actions made in a simulated stressful environment. All of the participants’ decisions and actions generated real responses and consequences from other staff members.

Woodbridge Campus Provost Dr. Sam Hill complimented the realistic aspects of the exercise and the readiness of his Woodbridge team. Dr. Hill added, “All of the participants came away with an understanding of how critical it is to function as a team during emergencies” and also emphasized the exercise “will make us more appreciative of advance preparation for emergencies.” Dr. Hill commended NOVA and OEM for increasing awareness and appreciation of emergency drills because it drives home the fact that everyone needs to be knowledgeable about their roles during an emergency.

Functional ExerciseNOVA’s OEM will conduct this functional exercise at all NOVA campuses to ensure each campus has the opportunity to learn from this valuable training opportunity. If you have any questions about this exercise or general emergency response topics, please email OEM at

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Heat Stroke Awareness

Summer is a fun time of the year. It’s prime time to head to the beach, ride roller coasters, and enjoy the outdoors. However, with summer comes heat – which can be dangerous if not protected against.

 What is Heat Stroke?

Heat Stroke occurs when the body can no longer manage excess heat. The body actually begins to trap the excess heat instead of releasing it. When this happens, the body begins to show some tell-tale signs:

  • Hot, dry skin due to a lack of sweat
  • Body temperature greater than 105°
  • Heat StrokeConfusion, dizziness, or nausea

 How Can I Prevent Heat Stroke?

Heat exhaustion itself is usually characterized by heavy sweating and weakness. If preventive actions are not taken, the body can progress quickly into the final stage of heat exhaustion – heat stroke. It isn’t always easy to notice this progression until it already occurs.

The easiest way to prevent heat stroke and other heat-related emergencies is to keep yourself and others cool and hydrated. Wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable. If you know you’re going to be outside on a hot day, drink plenty of water before and during the activity. Take frequent breaks because even casual activities can become overwhelming. Don’t forget to lather on sunscreen and reapply it frequently as your fun day in the sun progresses.

 What Should I Do If I Witness Heat Stroke?

The first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 and then attempt to cool the person down. Remove them from the heat and use shade or air conditioning to your advantage. Remove excess clothing and put a wet towel on them. Be ready to give an account of what happened to first responders when they arrive.

 For more information on Heat Emergencies, visit

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Emergency Preparedness at Home – Do 1 Thing – Family Communication Plan (July)

Do 1 Thing

Today we have more ways to speak with one another than ever before. We are used to staying in touch with cell phones, internet, and email—but disasters can change that! These devices may not be available after a disaster strikes. Cell phone towers quickly become overloaded with people trying to reach friends and family. If the power is out at your home, cordless phones, internet, and email will not work either.

Do 1 Thing July Phone  THE GOAL: Have the ability to communicate with family members during a disaster.

Choose one (or all) of these things to do this month:

  • Have a phone with a cord and a car charger for your cell phone standing by in case of a power failure.
  • Develop a plan for how your family will stay in touch during a disaster.
  • Program In Case of Emergency (ICE) numbers into all family cell phones.

Each month on this blog, OEM will post Do 1 Thing’s monthly topic and we encourage you to follow the program at



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Emergency Preparedness at Home – Do 1 Thing – Unique Family Needs (June)

Every household is different. Is there an infant or young child in your home? Does someone in your family have a medical condition that requires medication? Do you have a pet? Before disaster strikes, talk to your family about your household’s unique needs. Make a list of special items you may need in a disaster.

THE GOAL: Be aware of and prepare for your family’s unique needs.

Choose one (or more) of these things to do this month:

  • Talk with family members to identify your household’s unique needs.
  • Make a plan to make sure pets are taken care of in a disaster.
  • If you or someone in your household has a disability, create an evacuation plan that works for them.

Each month on this blog, OEM will post Do 1 Thing’s monthly topic and we encourage you to follow the program at

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