Category Archives: Uncategorized

Emergency Preparedness at Home – Do 1 Thing – Work, School, and Community (May)

Do 1 Thing

Disasters can happen at any time. If you are away from home do you know where to find safe shelter locations? Do you know what the emergency procedures are for your child’s school or for your workplace? Will people who count on you know what to do if you can’t reach them? Know how to make sure you and your loved ones are safe in a disaster, no matter where you are.

THE GOAL: Make sure the people who count on you are prepared for a disaster.

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

  • Make sure emergency procedures are in place for your workplace or school.
  • Give emergency kits to people who count on you (college students, elderly parents, etc.).
  • Know how others in your community will respond in a disaster.

 Each month on this blog, OEM will post Do 1 Thing’s monthly topic and we encourage you to follow the program at

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

Commonwealth Taking Additional Steps to Safeguard Against Ebola

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Commonwealth is taking additional steps to strengthen the level of preparedness for the Ebola virus by mobilizing a statewide unified command group. This group is responsible for coordinating resources and personnel.  

“The Virginia Department of Health works every day to prevent the spread of infectious diseases of all kinds,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The department’s focus will be to keep the community informed, and ensure that, if there is any risk, the appropriate public health actions will be taken.”

The statewide unified command group will be composed of officials from the Governor’s Office, Department of Health, Department of Emergency Management, State Police, Department of Social Services, Department of Transportation, Virginia National Guard, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and others. 

“Ebola prevention is based on principles and approaches that we use every day,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP. “However, there are unique aspects of Ebola that require us to make sure our plans and processes are up to date for this new concern.” 

Dr. Levine has activated the regional hospital coordinating system, which was developed after 9-11 and the anthrax attack of 2001, to assess our capability in each region of the state and ensure appropriate coordination. The Virginia Department of Health will lead the state’s ongoing health preparedness efforts supported by these other agencies.

VDH, including its 35 health districts and local health departments, is working closely with the state laboratory (Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services), individual hospitals and first responders/EMS to make sure they have adequate training and protocols, established with the best guidance available, to care for Ebola patients safely. Following these guidelines thoroughly will help health care workers who are caring directly for patients with Ebola stay safe from infection. 

Over the next several weeks, this group will be developing additional statewide protocols for first responders to enhance their safety and readiness.

For more information about Ebola, visit

Ebola in the US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States and we all need to be especially alert and carefulIn an effort to keep you informed and protected, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is working closely with state and local health officials to monitor the situation.  According to a CDC statement, the “CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. We know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms.”

 The CDC has provided a significant amount of detail regarding the symptoms, mode of transmission, and risk of exposure on their website.  Please take some time to visit CDC website at to learn more about the disease and the current outbreak.