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.
Creating your Family Emergency Communication Plan starts with one simple question: “What if?”
“What if something happens and I’m not with my family?” “Will I be able to reach them?” “How will I know they are safe?” “How can I let them know I’m OK?” During a disaster, you will need to send and receive information from your family.
Communication networks, such as mobile phones and computers, could be unreliable during disasters, and electricity could be disrupted. Planning in advance will help ensure that all the members of your household know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. Planning starts with three easy steps:
Step 1: Collect – Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers.
Step 2: Share – Download and fill out the Family Emergency Communication Plan Fillable Card Template. When printed, it folds in a wallet-sized card for everyone in your family to carry in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator. First responders are actually trained to look on your refrigerator for this information!
Step 3: Practice – Have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.
For more detailed information and tips for completing these steps, download the Family Emergency Communication Guide and learn how to keep your family prepared.
Today is the start of the third week of classes! By now, everyone should be settled in and feeling prepared for the great semester ahead–but do not forget to prepare yourself for emergencies as well!
At the beginning of every semester, the Office of Emergency Management and Safety challenges the entire NOVA community to watch the NOVA Safety Video and refresh yourself on emergency procedures and resources. If you have not watched the video yet, or shared it with your class, please take 10 minutes to do so now.
There has been some heavy rain storms this past weekend and the Northern Virginia region remains under flash flood watch. This is an important time to remember: “Turn Around Don’t Drown®!”
Each year, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard. Most of these drownings could be prevented—if people better understood the force and power of rushing floodwater. Whether driving or walking, save your life, and the lives of your children and other family members or traveling companions. When you see flood waters ahead: Turn Around Don’t Drown®.
More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when vehicles are swept away because their drivers attempted to travel through flood water. Many drive around flood barriers because they mistakenly believe their 3,000 pound or more vehicle is so heavy it will stay in contact with the road surface.
Keep these facts in mind:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths occurs when people try to walk through or walk too close to flood waters. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true that as little as six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult.
If you come to an area that is covered with flood water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded area, Turn Around Don’t Drown®.
For more information go to ready.gov/floods and tadd.weather.gov.
October 15th at 10:15 AM, NOVA will participate in The Great SouthEast ShakeOut Regional Earthquake Drill.
What do I do?
An announcement will be made at 10:15 AM using the intercom telephone system to start the Earthquake Drill. Once the announcement is made, you should DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!
The Timeline will be as follows:
10:15 An announcement will be made that the Drill is starting. “This is the start of the Regional Earthquake Drill, please drop, cover, and hold on!” At this time, you should drop to the ground, take cover under a table or sturdy desk, and hold on to it until the shaking stops.
10:20 An announcement will be made that the Earthquake Drill is over. “The Earthquake Drill is over, please evacuate your building.” At this time, evacuate the building and report to your assembly point. *Persons with disabilities should seek assistance in evacuations.
10:35 No announcement will be made, but the Drill has officially concluded. You should re-enter your building and go back to your office or continue class as scheduled.
Note* Mobility challenged individuals are encouraged to do the following:
- If you are in a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops and always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, book, or whatever may be available.
- Practice your individual emergency evacuation plan during the evacuation phase of this Drill.
- Relocate to an Area of Assistance (if you are on a floor that does not exit directly outdoors) and wait there until the Drill is complete.
- Please refer to the Emergency Action Plan for more information.