April is Financial Preparedness Month

You may be wondering why you are reading about financial preparedness on an emergency management blog, but being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be financially ready. Starting early and having adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access your important records and accounts will help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.

Pre-disaster financial planning is essential for individuals and families to complete because disasters leave many Americans with expensive damages without access to finances. Safeguarding your finances and important records is easy if you start now—prior to a disaster or emergency.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has resources to help you strengthen your financial preparedness for disasters and emergencies at http://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness.

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Emergency Preparedness at Home – Do 1 Thing – Food (April)

What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word – spring? Is it birds chirping, trees and flowers blooming, or the transition from snow boots to flip-flops? All those things make spring an exciting season, but there is one thing associated with spring that we all dread: spring cleaning. While you are busy cleaning and reorganizing your home, do not forget to make room for the three-day supply of water (February’s Do 1 Thing challenge) and this month’s challenge: Food.

THE GOAL: Have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your household for three days without outside help.

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

  • Buy a three-day emergency food supply for your household.
  • Take steps to make sure food in your refrigerator and freezer will stay safe.
  • Make sure you can meet any special dietary needs in your household.

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 Statewide Tornado Drill March 17th at 9:45 am

The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for 9:45am on Tuesday, March 17th.  NOVA’s faculty, satff, and students who are on campuses or in one of the College’s off-campus locations will once again be participating in this mandatory Statewide Drill. 

Tornados can happen anytime, anywhere, with little or no warning. Knowing what to do when seconds count can save lives.  Below is some information from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website on the difference between a tornado watch and warning as well as signs of an impending tornado. 

Watches and Warnings
Learn the terms that are used to identify a tornado. 

  • Tornado Watch:   a tornado is possible in your area.  You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information. 
  • Tornado Warning:  a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately

Know the Signs

  • Strong, persistent rotation in the base of a cloud
  • Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base – tornadoes sometimes have no visible funnel
  • Hail or heavy rain followed by dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes, especially in Virginia, are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.
  • Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade in a few seconds like thunder does
  • If it’s night, look for small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds).  These lights are power lines being snapped by very strong wind, perhaps a tornado.
  • Persistent lowering of the cloud base  
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Emergency Preparedness at Home – Do 1 Thing – Sheltering (March)

If you’ve been following our blog in 2015, you know all about Do 1 Thing.  If not, Do 1 Thing is a web-based, 12-month preparedness program that makes preparing easier by helping people take small steps each month toward becoming better prepared for emergencies or disasters. In January, we challenged you to Make a Plan and in February to include Water in your preparedness plans.

March’s topic is important because emergencies sometime occur with little or no warning, and you may only have seconds to find somewhere safe. The Topic: Sheltering.

 THE GOAL: Know how to respond safely when instructions are given to evacuate or take shelter.

 Choose one of these things to do to be ready for an emergency:

  • Identify the best storm shelter in your home and practice getting to the shelter with your family.
  • Learn how to safely shelter in place.
  • Make a Go Bag for emergency sheltering.

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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NOVA closing early on 2/18

NOVA is closing at 5 pm today, Feb. 18. Classes and activities are canceled this evening. See the College’s website for more information.

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