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 http://do1thing.com/.



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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 http://do1thing.com.

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Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is May 25-31

It is smart to start preparing early for hurricane and flash flooding season which arrives June 1st.  It is even smarter to save money while getting prepared.

You can do both by shopping for such products as batteries, food storage containers, generators, first aid kits, bottled water, radios, and more between May 25th and 31st during Virginia’s annual Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.  When you do, you will not pay sales tax on many useful products that cost up to $60 or on generators costing $1,000 or less.  See the chart below for more information. 

Hurricane Preparedness

New for 2015! Gas-powered chainsaws that cost $350 or less and chainsaw accessories that cost $60 or less are tax free.  A complete list of exempt items is available at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/content/hurricane-preparedness-equipment-holiday.


Purchasing supplies is important, but it is critical to make a family emergency plan. Protect your family now by visiting http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/makeaplan.

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Q and A with Dr. Stewart Edwards – NOVA’s Newest C-CERT Train-the-Trainer

The Office of Emergency Management and Safety would like to congratulate Dr. Stewart Edwards (Assistant Dean of Business Management at the Annandale Campus) for recently earning his Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) Train-the-Trainer Certification from FEMA. This certification enables Dr. Edwards to help train future NOVA C-CERT members and help them become better prepared for various emergencies at home, on campus, or in their neighborhoods.

Dr. EdwardsQ: How long have you been a C-CERT member at NOVA?

A: 3 years

 Q: Why did you enroll in C-CERT?

A: To be honest, I did this for myself. I wanted to learn more about emergency preparedness, and actions I could take to prepare myself, my family at home, and on campus. Being resilient during emergencies is important and I wanted to learn what to do prior to an emergency happening—before it’s too late.

Q: Why did you decide to register for C-CERT Train-the-Trainer?

A: After going through NOVA’s C-CERT training program, participating in C-CERT exercises, and attending CERT conferences, I see great potential for strengthening this program at NOVA. I am very grateful to NOVA’s OEMS for approving my attendance at the 3-day Emergency Management Institute training. I can provide value to the program if I can help train future C-CERT members and teach people why emergency preparedness is so important. I want to help grow NOVA’s C-CERT program because I strongly believe in its mission not only for our personal preparedness, but also on campus and in our neighborhoods.

Q: Why would you recommend faculty and staff members take C-CERT?C-CERT2

A: If nothing else, take C-CERT training for yourself and personal knowledge. The College believes in this program and is willing to let you take this on “company time” free of charge. Given the nature of where we work, each campus is like a small town with all the potential for various emergencies. The more of us trained, the better prepared we are as a team to serve NOVA and our communities in time of need.

Future C-CERT classes are being planned this year, so stay tuned for a future email announcement. If you have questions about the program or how you can get involved, please email OEM@nvcc.edu.C-CERT1

About C-CERT: The Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their campus and community, and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, C-CERT members can assist others in their campus, family, and/or neighborhood following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

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Help Prepare Senior Citizens With the Vial of Life Project

May is Older American’s Month and it’s important to remember that emergency preparedness for senior citizens requires additional measures many of us wouldn’t think of.

vial of lifeOne way you can prepare senior citizens (or anyone else with a complex medical history) at home is through the Vial of Life Project.

Imagine your older mother, father, or grandparent is home alone and suffers an emergency. Or perhaps a family member is home with them but can’t keep track of all their medications and doctor visits.

The Vial of Life Project is a smart way to have your medical information on hand just in case of an emergency. People find themselves in emergencies that make it difficult to think straight. Emergency personnel need to know many things about you – especially if you have a complex medical history. The Vial of Life is designed to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself. The vial contains important medical information that can assist emergency personnel in administering the proper medical treatment.

 There are 4 simple steps to getting your Vial of Life kit ready. The form and decal can be printed using the following link: http://www.vialoflife.com/print-free-vial-kits/.

  1. Fill out the Vial of Life form
  • Make blank copies of this form to keep information current.
  • Fill out the backside of the Vial of Life form. Answer all or any pertinent questions.
  1. Place the decal on front of a plastic baggie
  • Place the form you filled out in the plastic baggie.
  • You may also consider placing the following items in the baggie: Copy of EKG, Living Will or Equivalent, DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), and/or Recent Picture. 
  1. Place the baggie on refrigerator door
  • Securely tape plastic baggie on the front of the refrigerator door.
  • Place the decal on the refrigerator – this could be on the front or side of the refrigerator, whichever is easiest for emergency personnel to see and access. 
  1. Place the second decal on front door
  • Place the decal on the front door so it can easily be seen by anyone responding to an emergency.

 For more information about the Vial of Life Project, please visit http://www.vialoflife.com.

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