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.
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.
NOVA’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 OEM@nvcc.edu.
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°
- Confusion, 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 http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEP/ExtremeHeat/.
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.
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/.
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.
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.
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.