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Emergency Management
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Questions & Answers  

What is emergency management?  

No matter what disaster or incident occurs, emergency management involves a constantly revolving cycle of four key elements

  • prepare
  • respond
  • recover
  • mitigate

What hazards is Chesterfield County susceptible to?  

Chesterfield County is susceptible to a variety of threats, both man-made and natural. Examples of these include but are not limited to:

  • hurricanes
  • tornadoes
  • chemical
  • hazardous material spills
  • ice or snow storms
  • acts of terrorism

What are the differences between natural and man-made disasters?  

  • Natural events
    • may be more predictable depending on seasonal weather patterns.
    • often give us time to prepare as most, but not all, escalate from smaller events.
    • Examples of natural disasters include wind events such as hurricanes and tropical storms, tornadoes, ice/snow storms, severe thunderstorms and earthquakes.
  • Man-made emergencies
    • are less predictable and often occur without warning with a faster speed of onset.
    • Examples of man-made events include chemical or hazardous material spills, hostage situations, or acts of terrorism.

How can I prepare my family for a disaster?  

Chesterfield County residents need to prepare now for emergencies and disasters.

There are simple, low-cost steps families can take to be ready

Visit sites such as ready.gov, fema.gov, readyvirginia.gov, and weather.gov for additional information.

What items should my family keep in our emergency kit?  

  • There should be enough supplies in your disaster kit to make each member of your family self-sufficient for at least three days.
  • This should include water, food, a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, medicines, and a battery-powered radio or television.
  • Visit Get a Kit for more information.

What does it mean to “Shelter-In-Place?” 

You are to remain in your home or office (wherever you are at the time of the emergency) and protect yourself there.

  • If there is a threat of contaminated outside air, seal doors, windows and vents and turn off all fans and heating and air-conditioning units.
  • Go to an interior room.
  • Listen or watch local radio and television stations to stay updated on the latest information.

In the event of a disaster and my family has to evacuate our home, where do we go?  

  • Any public school can be used as a shelter.
  • High schools are chosen first because of their available resources.
  • Other criteria for opening a school for a shelter would include proximity to the event.
  • Be sure to take items such as medications, blankets, clothes, and identification to the shelter.

What is an EOC?  

The Emergency Operations Center is where the Emergency Management Coordinator and other key individuals meet during a disaster.

  • With a central location, all individuals involved in making decisions reference the response and recovery from a particular incident coordinate their efforts.

Why do we need out-of-town contacts in emergencies?  

  • During and after a disaster local infrastructure could become disrupted.
  • Local phone lines may be inundated with calls, while long distance phone lines remain open.
  • It may be easier to reach out-of-town contacts that have not been affected by the incident.
  • Make sure you keep a card with contact numbers and names with your kit, as well as in your cars.
  • A pre-paid, long distance phone card may also be a good idea.

How can I prepare my pets for emergencies?  

  • Like humans, pets will need food and other supplies in the event of an emergency.
  • Make sure you have a supply of food, water, bowls, toys, prescriptions, litter and a box, as well as a leash and crate.
  • Make copies of all vaccinations and medical records as well.

When is hurricane season?  

Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th in the Atlantic and May 15th through November 30th in the Eastern Pacific.

  • However, it is possible for tropical storms to occur outside of those date ranges.

After a disaster, how can I help my community?  

In the event that an emergency happens in Chesterfield County, volunteer organizations will likely be deployed to assist citizens and help with the recovery process.

To get involved and volunteer

  • Chesterfield County’s Community Emergency Response Team , or CERT, program is based on the American tradition of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Prepare for Emergencies.”
    • CERT training prepares citizens and communities to take more active roles in the county’s emergency-preparedness efforts.
  • Contact your local American Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, or other volunteer organization.

If I spot a potential disaster, whom should I contact?  

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1

  • Report non-emergencies to 748-1251.

Where can I find updated County Specific information during a disaster?  

  • Libraries will be utilized as information stations during a disaster.
  • Additional county-specific disaster information will be posted to the county website www.chesterfield.gov.
  • Chesterfield County is also on Facebook. “Like” our page and you will receive county-specific information there as well.

Does Chesterfield County have an Emergency Operations Plan?  

Yes, the county has an Emergency Operations Plan.

  • State Law requires that it be updated annually and readopted every 4 years. 

Who should I contact for more information about emergency preparedness?  

  • Emily A. Ashley, Emergency Management Coordinator, (804) 796-7068
  • Sherri Laffoon, Administrative Assistant & CERT Coordinator, (804) 796-7159