Loudoun County officials encourage residents and businesses to take time during September to prepare for emergencies. September is National Preparedness Month, which promotes family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect,” highlighting how preparing for disasters helps to protect your loved ones.
“The disasters that have occurred in the U.S. and around the world so far this year serve as a vivid reminder of the importance of preparing for emergencies,” said Loudoun County Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Johnson, referring to the earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and wildfires that have impacted millions of people in 2021. “The effects of these disasters along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic illustrate the critical importance of being proactive when it comes to emergency preparedness.”
There are many online resources available to help individuals and families with the process of being prepared for emergencies, including loudoun.gov/ready, Ready.gov, ReadyNOVA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
In addition to online resources, the Loudoun County Office of Emergency Management will have preparedness information available through displays at the county’s community centers, senior centers and Loudoun County Public Library branches throughout September.
Johnson also encourages residents and business owners to help build community resilience to disasters by participating in the Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Survey by September 15, 2021. Loudoun County is part of a regionwide effort to update the Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan identifies strategies for reducing or eliminating loss of life, injury, and property damage caused by disasters as well as the long-term risks that result from hazards such as floods, severe storms, tornadoes, wildfires and winter weather.
Emergency Preparedness: Step by Step
By taking a few simple steps today, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies that could occur anytime and anywhere.
- Step 1: Make a Plan: Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan ahead for how to get to a safe place, contact loved ones and reunite once the emergency is over. Online planning tools for families, businesses and places of worship can be found at ReadyNOVA.
- Step 2: Build a Kit. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency, including items that can protect against COVID-19, including hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes and face coverings. Find out more at loudoun.gov/makeakit.
- Step 3: Be Informed: Know the types of hazards that may occur and how you will receive information before, during and after an emergency. Sign up for Alert Loudoun to get emergency information and other Loudoun County news and information. Monitor local weather forecasts from the National Weather Service.
Throughout National Preparedness Month, follow Loudoun County Government on Facebook and Twitter for tips on preparing yourself and your family for all types of hazards. For more information and resources on preparing for emergencies, visit loudoun.gov/ready.
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