Be Prepared Before the Storm

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

DFR's 50th Anniversary Logo

With the possibility of Tropical Storm Hermine impacting our region, now is the time to review your emergency preparedness kit and plans prior to the storm. The notion that it can’t happen here, or it won’t happen to me and my family, is a misconception. “The more prepared you are prior to an emergency, the more likely you will survive an emergency,” states Prince William County Fire & Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. “Planning for an emergency only takes a few low-cost steps to ensure your safety when a disaster arises.”

Stay Informed and Get Alerts. Getting reliable information during an emergency situation is vital. The National Weather Service broadcasts warnings and post-event information 24 hours a day for all types of hazards – including natural (severe weather), environmental (chemical release or oil spill) and public safety (amber alert or 911 outage). Make sure you do the following:

  • Have a NOAA Weather Radio at home and at your worksite. Like a fire alarm, NOAA Weather Radios sound when there is an emergency in your area.
  • Register on the County’s emergency notification system – PWCAN – to receive emergency information. It’s easy and free. Go to pwcgov.org/pwcan.
  • Make a family emergency plan. When a disaster occurs, your family may not be at home or together. Make sure everyone knows how to get in touch and where to go.
  • Designate a safe room in the house where everyone can gather. The best choice is an inside room above ground with few windows and doors.
  • Choose an out-of-town emergency contact. Families may not be together when an emergency happens, and often it’s easier to make a long distance call than a local call during emergencies. The out-of-town contact can relay messages to other family members that you’re ok.
  • Select a safe gathering place outside of town where everyone can meet if evacuation is necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself with emergency plans for places where you and your family may be located such as schools, day care providers, and businesses.

Make an Emergency Supply Kit! Families and individuals should plan as though they will be without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or other local services.

Below is a list of essential items for your emergency supply kit:

  • At least three days of supplies for each family member:
    • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods
    • Water, at least one gallon per person per day
    • Essential medications
  • Other items useful in an emergency supply kit:
    • A NOAA Weather radio
    • A hand-crank or battery-powered AM/FM radio and extra batteries
    • A family emergency plan
    • Flashlights with extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • List of prescriptions and doctors
    • Special items for young children and disabled or older family members
    • Food and water for your pets

Check Your Policy. Take a few minutes to review your insurance policy this month. Contact your agent to make any necessary changes. Consider adding flood insurance because most policies don’t include it. Renters can get flood insurance too. For more information, visit floodsmart.gov.

For additional information on emergency preparedness, visit pwcgov.org/emergency, ReadyVirginia.gov and ready.gov.

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