Emergency Management - FAQ
- What do I do when there's a weather alert / watch / warning for Chesterfield County?
First, understand the terms. The National Weather Service issues alerts when dangerous weather conditions can potentially affect an area, or are in immediate danger of affecting an area. Watch - A watch is used when there is a risk of hazardous weather (thunderstorm, tornado or flooding). When a watch is issued, keep an eye on the weather. Be ready to enact your plan if it becomes necessary to do so. Warning - A warning is issued when hazardous weather (thunderstorm, tornado or flooding) is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. When a thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued, take cover on the lowest level of your home, in an interior room. If your home is in danger of flooding, move to higher ground immediately. h - A watch is used when there is a risk of hazardous weather (thunderstorm, tornado or flooding). When a watch is issued, keep an eye on the weather. Be ready to enact your plan if it becomes necessary to do so.
Warning - A warning is issued when hazardous weather (thunderstorm, tornado or flooding) is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. When a thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued, take cover on the lowest level of your home, in an interior room. If your home is in danger of flooding, move to higher ground immediately.
- 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
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Stay Informed
- What items should I keep in my 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.
- In the event of a disaster and I have to evacuate my home, where do I 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. Tune in to 1630 AM for information about shelters before, during and after an emergency event. Be sure to take items such as medications, blankets, clothes, and identification to the shelter.
- Are pets allowed in the shelters?
Domestic pets (cats and dogs) can be accommodated at our shelters. Pet owners must bring a cage, leash and supplies for the animal.
- What does it mean to “Shelter-In-Place?”
If the authorities advise you 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.
- Where can I find updated County specific information during a disaster?
Tune in to the county’s AM Radio Station – 1630 AM – for information before, during and after an emergency event. Libraries will also be utilized as information stations during a disaster. Additional county-specific disaster information will be posted to the county website www.chesterfield.gov as well as the mobile website m.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’s Emergency Operations Plan was adopted by the board of Supervisors in 2012. State Law requires that it be updated annually and readopted every 4 years.
How can I help my community during a disaster?
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.
- Who do I contact if my elderly mother who is on oxygen loses power for an extended period of time?
The first choice would be to have a family member or caregiver take your relative someplace that will support his or her needs. After a disaster, libraries or other county facilities may be opened to allow for recharging the batteries in medical equipment. If someone is experiencing a medical problem due to the loss of power, he or she should call 911.
- Where do local facilities send copies of their annual Tier II reports?
Facilities covered by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requirements must submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form (Tier II) to the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the State Emergency Response Commission, and the local fire department annually. Facilities located in Chesterfield County submit Tier II reports to 6731 Mimms Loop, Chesterfield, VA 23832.
- Who should I contact for more information about emergency preparedness?
Emily A. Dillon, emergency management coordinator, 804-796-7068
Michelle T. Oblinsky, deputy emergency management coordinator, 804-748-1236
Sherri A. Laffoon, emergency management assistant and CERT Coordinator 804-796-7159