Category Archives: Inclement Weather

Winter Weather Warning Update 2/19

The National Weather Service’s latest update early this morning (247 AM Tue Feb 19) places the surrounding NOVA Community under a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 1 AM to 7 PM tomorrow (Wednesday).

What does this forecast say?

  • WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow
    accumulations of 4 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of up to
    one tenth of an inch expected.
  • WHEN…From 1 AM to 7 PM EST Wednesday.
  • ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult. The
    hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening

What precautionary/preparedness actions should be taken?

  • Make sure you are signed up for NOVA Alert and monitor the College’s website for details on our operational status.
  • When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on
    steps, sidewalks, and driveways. Expect icy and slippery conditions that may increase your risk of a fall and injury.
  • A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Exercise caution if you travel.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Winter isn’t just around the corner—it’s hear today! Make sure your vehicle and emergency vehicle kit are ready to keep you safe and prepared.

Prepare Your Vehicle

  • Install good winter tires. Make sure each tire has enough tread.
  • Keep your gas tank full. A full tank keeps the fuel line from freezing, and it’s also a good idea in case you lose power.
  • Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, so be sure to have yours tested.
  • Have your vehicle’s antifreeze level and radiator system checked.
  • Proactively replace your car’s worn wiper blades.
  • To help with visibility, clean off your car entirely—including your trunk, roof, windows, and headlights.

Prepare Yourself

Making sure your emergency vehicle kit is fully stocked:

  • Water, non-perishable food, and an extra set of warm clothes in case you get stranded
  • Jumper cables
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Ice scraper
  • Flares or reflective triangle

For more information about winter vehicle safety, visit:

Be Prepared – Hurricanes and High Winds

In the final daily September Preparedness Month blog post, we conclude with a video message from Virginia Ralph Northam.

Every year, the Northern Virginia region experiences a varying degree of heavy rains and strong winds from storms, tropical storms, and even hurricanes. The storm’s high winds may even spawn tornadoes—like we saw when the remanence of Hurricane Florence traveled through Richmond, Virginia a few weeks ago.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. We still have a long way to go until this year’s hurricane season is over!

Please review the Virginia Hurricane Preparedness Guide as well as additional resources on the website including: how to build an emergency kit, and tornado and flood preparedness. It is important to prepare your family, home, and office before a storm arrives.

Be Prepared – Tornado

When you think of tornadoes, do you think they mainly only occur in the mid-west? Virginia has a long history of tornado activity–most recently last week when multiple tornadoes touched down in Richmond and several other Virginia areas. Several homes and business received significant damage and one fatality occurred. Tornadoes are not to be taken lightly!

Seconds count during tornadoes, so make sure you plan ahead. Have supplies in your home. Practice your plan with your family.  You should never question what to do when a tornado warning occurs–you should KNOW what to do because you prepared ahead. The video in this blog post highlights important tips to be prepared.

If a tornado warning  occurs while at NOVA, please follow the procedures outlined in the College Emergency Action Plan.


Make a Plan for your Office on Campus

While Virginia might have been lucky to not receive a direct impact, that does not mean we can let our guard down. Current forecasts predict Florence will turn back north-east once inland and may deliver additional rainfall in our region.

The Office of Emergency Management and Safety, along with College Instructional & Information Technology, sent important and helpful emails with preparedness information earlier this week. Please take the time to read them again in preparedness for whatever storm arrives next time.

Prepare yourself at the College now. Ask yourself and others in your department/office:

  • Do you have an updated call tree with everyone’s phone numbers?
  • What is your supervisor’s expectations of you and your team if the College is closed or you are unable to be at work?
  • Do you have the ability to work from an alternate location? Including access to a laptop, VPN, vital records needed for your job, etc.?
  • What is your leadership’s succession? If they are not available, who can make decisions for your office?
  • Do you have an emergency kit in the office? We will talk about making kits next week.
  • How would you continue your job or classroom instruction if there was a loss of:
    • Access to your normal building or classroom?
    • Equipment or systems failure (ex: power or IT system failure)?
    • Services due to a reduced workforce (ex: only half your team is available to work)?

These are all questions you and your team needs to discuss before an emergency occurs. Document this now and make sure your department’s Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan is updated.

For more information on how you can be ready at the College, please visit