This Regional Emergency Preparation Guide is designed to provide helpful information in the developing an emergency plan in instances of a regional emergency. Use this guide as a reference in making an emergency supplies kit, which consists of food, supplies, and equipment.
Regional emergencies are an unpredictable and unavoidable event that causes disruption and or damages to an infrastructure or public services. Events such as severe weather, large accidents, or terrorist activities, may also cause a regional emergency.
To start your preparation, first, evaluate where you live, where you work, campus and class locations and all possible roadway routes and be familiar with the college and community emergency operation plans. Consider the following potential scenarios:
- Loss of cellular phone and phone services
- Hazardous materials emergencies
- Severe Weather (i.e. tornadoes, lightning, and thunderstorms)
- Terrorist attacks (chemical, biological, radiological, or explosives)
- Extended utility failures
During times of an emergency, local, regional, state, and federal, resources may be overwhelmed. High demands upon goods, services, and food items will quickly create gridlock at the grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, first responders, and emergency relief organizations in the region. While it may be impossible to be fully prepared for all regional emergencies, taking precautions will limit the impact of a regional emergency. Prepare ahead of time rather than during times of an emergency will help you during the crisis until relief is restored to the region. Create a personalized disaster plan, establish a rally point, store emergency and medical supplies kit, become trained in basic first aid, and know how to respond in the event of a regional emergency can mitigate the impact of a regional emergency. When creating a personal disaster plan, it is important to:
- Consider all potential emergency scenarios
- Maintain emergency supplies for a three day period
- Have an out-of-town contact and meeting location
- Include your pets in your disaster plan
- Plan for family members who are elderly or have special needs
- Establish a predetermined meeting location should the family become separated
- Inventory all home possessions for insurance purposes (Photo inventory is best)
For guidance on preparing a disaster supply kit, family emergency plan please visit the Ready.gov website.
D. HOME AND WORK
The following supplies are recommended by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist individuals and families maintain health and safety during an emergency.
In order to be adequately prepared for a regional emergency, individuals should put together an emergency supplies kit. Emergency supplies kit should have three days' worth of supplies for each member of the family and should, at minimum, include the following supplies:
- Three gallons of water per person
- Non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
- First aid kit that includes a list of any family member's allergies and prescription medications
- A week's supply of prescription medications
- Sanitation (e.g., toilet paper, soap, plastic garbage bags) and personal hygiene supplies
- A change of clothing and footwear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Extra set of car keys
- Cash in small denominations or traveler's checks
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled members of the family
During an emergency, employees may be required to shelter-in-place at work for an extended period. It is important that workplaces be prepared for such situations; employees should put together an emergency supplies kit that contains the supplies they would need during an emergency:
- Battery-powered radio, preferably NOAA Weather Radio
- Extra batteries, which should be replaced every six months
- Snack foods (e.g. energy bars, tail mix, dried fruit) to last at least one day
- Bottled water, at least one gallon
- At least a one-day supply of required medication
- Basic first aid kit
- Tools and other supplies: blanket, personal hygiene items, extra pair of comfortable shoes, etc.
The following communications channels will notify the public of an emergency in the area, provide instructions about what to do, and provide additional information as appropriate:
- Media outlets; television, radio, internet, newspapers, and social networks will provide information about the event, status of the region, and the appropriate actions the public should take.
- Information Sources: Facebook
o The Reynolds Alert System will be used to notify the college community of an emergency. For more information about the Reynolds Alert System or to register for Reynolds Alert, please visit https://alert.reynolds.edu.
o Information about campus operations, guidance for employees and students, and additional resources as appropriate will be provided on the Reynolds website; https://www.reynolds.edu
o Reynolds website home page: https://www.reynolds.edu
During a regional emergency:
Remain calm and be prepared to receive instruction from emergency management authorities. Local media will provide up-to-date information from emergency officials such as orders to evacuate, details about evacuation routes, locations of evacuation shelters, how to safely remain where you are "Shelter in Place", patiently wait for or where to find assistance, etc.
- Reuniting with family and friends may not be possible until after the emergency is stabilized or over. Return home if safety permits and instructed to do so by regional emergency management authorities.
- If ordered to evacuate:
o Take your disaster supply kit with you
o Use travel/evacuation routes recommended by local authorities. Shortcuts and other roads may be dangerous or impassable.
- If ordered to stay where you are and "shelter-in-place":
o Remain where you are and protect yourself there until told to evacuate or all is safe o Lock windows and doors, and turn off heating and air-conditioning systems if necessary
o Go to an interior room without windows
When the emergency is over:
- Continue to monitor local media for up-to-date information and instructions for when returning home.
- Be careful when returning home if you evacuated the area.
- Follow directions and guidance provided by emergency response personnel, public health officials, and emergency management agencies.
- Do not interfere in ongoing response activities or travel to impacted areas to observe damages.
- Provide assistance to others as necessary.
- If your area has been declared a federal or state disaster area, you may be eligible for assistance (e.g. temporary housing, help with uninsured home repairs). Listed to local news for instructions about how to apply for assistance.
If you are interested in helping your community and emergency response personnel with disaster recovery efforts, consider joining a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). For additional information, visit the national CERT website at https://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps.
F. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
For additional resources to help plan for and respond to regional emergencies, please visit the following websites:
- Ready.gov - identifies the steps individuals can take to protect their family in an emergency.
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management - VDEM is dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of Virginians during emergencies by coordinating all emergency preparation and response activities.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - FEMA provides resources to help individuals prepare, protect, respond, and recover from large-scale regional and national emergencies.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emergency Preparedness and Response - The CDC's Emergency Preparedness and Response webpage educates individuals how they can properly prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.
- Ready- Individuals with disabilities - identifies the steps individuals, businesses, and persons with disabilities can take to protect themselves in an emergency.
- Reynolds Alert - This website is designed to alert the Reynolds to current or possible emergencies that affect the region or college operations.
Last Revised: 05/28/2019