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FEMA Says Spring Ahead to Prepare for Disasters

The NOVA Office of Emergency Management and Planning would like to share a message from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Daylight Savings Time in the United States starts on the second Sunday in March of each year and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages all Americans to use the change to daylight savings time to update emergency preparedness plans. For years, firefighters and safety professionals have asked the public to change smoke alarm batteries throughout their homes, as they move their clocks ahead. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, the March ritual of making homes safer from fire is also a great opportunity to review disaster preparedness plans and restock disaster kits.

“You know, FEMA is not the nation’s emergency management team. True, we are an important part, but still—just a part of the team – a team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, faith-based and non-profit organizations, and especially the public,” said Murphy. “Let’s all take full advantage of this year’s switch to Daylight Savings Time and resolve to be better prepared in 2011: build or restock your disaster kit, make or update your disaster plan, and stay informed of the hazards in your area.”

FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready in 2011 campaign promotes Whole Community involvement in disaster preparedness. “The key to successful disaster response, regardless of the nature of the event, is personal preparedness,” continued Murphy. “And no matter how busy or hectic our daily routine, we all need to take the time to take positive action to prepare ourselves, our loved ones and our communities in the event of severe weather, earthquake—or any other major disaster.”

Resolve to be Ready in 2011 is led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council. For more information on the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, visit FEMA , or Citizen Corps.

NOVA to Participate in Tornado Drill-March 15, 2011

All campuses and educational centers of Northern Virginia Community College will participate in the annual Statewide Torndao Drill.

Tornadoes in Virginia have struck in every month of the year and in every part of the state. It’s critical that college employeesm students and their families know what to do and where to go in case of a tornado warning.

This year, Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia is Tuesday, March 15. At 9:45 a.m., the Statewide Tornado Drill will be held so that college can practice it’s tornado emergency plans. Learn about your campus tornado plan and encourage your fellow employees to participate in the drill.

Also, please be sure that your family knows what to do and where to go at home during a tornado. Every family needs an emergency plan (for more, see Ready Virginia or on the college’s emergency webpage NOVA Emergency
The statewide tornado drill is an annual effort of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

Are you prepared?

Being prepared at home is just as important as being prepared at NOVA. In a major disaster, it might be several days before vital services are restored. Tornados, fires, severe storms, power outages, and acts of terrorism are just some of the potential emergencies we may encounter. Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service. Imagine that all the businesses are closed and you are without any kind of emergency services. Because in this area of the country we are exposed to a wide variety of hazards, both natural and man made, there are some excellent guides available on what you can do to prepare yourself and your family (including pets) for an emergency. Remember, in many cases you may not have much warning so you need to prepare now to be ready.

To assist in developing your own plans the NOVA Office of Emergency Management & Planning recommends the following web sites:

For additional information about being prepared at NOVA please visit: .