Regional Emergency Guide
This guide is designed to help University employees and students prepare for regional emergencies by providing information on how to create an individual or family emergency plan, create an emergency supply kit, and stay informed during an emergency.
Regional emergencies are unforeseen or unavoidable events that significantly disrupt infrastructure and services or cause substantial damage. Severe weather, large accidents, or terrorist activities can be the cause of a regional emergency.
Evaluate where you live, work, or attend classes to determine what emergencies could possibly occur in the area, and learn about community and University emergency plans. Consider the following potential scenarios:
- Loss of cellular phone and phone services
- Hazardous materials emergencies
- Severe weather (tornados, lightning, and thunderstorms)
- Terrorist attacks (chemical, biological, radiological, or explosive)
- Extended utility failures
During times of emergency, regional, state, and federal resources may be overwhelmed. Grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, emergency response personnel, and emergency relief organizations will see an overwhelming increase in the demand for supplies and services as the region prepares for or responds to an emergency. Take precautions to limit the impact of a regional emergency on yourself and your family.
Creating an emergency plan, assembling an emergency supply kit, and knowing how to respond in the event of a regional emergency can mitigate the impact of a regional emergency.
Ready.gov recommends all citizens: Get a kit, plan, and stay informed. For guidance, please visit the Ready.gov website at: www.ready.gov
When creating an emergency plan, it is important to:
- Consider all potential emergency scenarios
- Have an out-of-town contact
- Include pets in your disaster plan
- Plan for family members who are elderly or have special needs
- Establish a meeting location should the family become separated
- Inventory home possessions for insurance purposes
- Consider locations frequented
Home and Work
The following supplies are recommended by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist individuals and families maintain health and safety during an emergency.
Home: Your emergency supply kit should have at least three days’ worth of supplies for each member of the family, and should, at minimum, include:
- One gallon of water per person and pet per day
- Nonperishable food
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
- First aid kit, including a list of any family members’ allergies and prescription medications
- A week’s supply of prescription medications
- Sanitation (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
- Supplies for pets
https://www.Ready.gov provides additional information on items to include in your emergency supply kit, as well as how to store it and how to maintain it.
Work: During an emergency, employees may be required to shelter in place at work for an extended period of time. It is important that workplaces be prepared for such situations – employees should put together an emergency supply kit containing the items they would need
during an emergency. An employee’s emergency supply kit for the workplace should, at a minimum, include:
- Battery-powered radio, preferably National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio
- Extra batteries, which should be replaced every six months
- Snack foods (energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit) to last one day
- Bottled water, one gallon
- A one-day supply of required medication
- Basic first aid kit
- Personal hygiene items
- Extra pair of comfortable shoes
The following communication outlets provide information about an emergency in the area. They will provide instructions about what to do, and additional information as appropriate:
- University outlets:
- UMW Alert will be used to notify the University community of an emergency. For more information about the UMW Alert system or to opt out of receiving emergency text messages from UMW Alert, please visit https://www.getrave.com/login.umw.
- Information about campus operations, guidance for employees and students, and additional resources as appropriate will be provided on the
- Media outlets:
- Television – tune to local news networks rather than national news networks
- Radio – tune to news radio stations such as WTOP 103.5FM
- County emergency alert systems
- City of Fredericksburg Citizen Emergency Alert Network, https://member.everbridge.net/453003085611679/login
- Spotsylvania County Citizen Alert Network, https://www.spotsylvania.va.us/AlertCenter.aspx
- Stafford County Citizen Alert Network, https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736722299#/signup
- King George County Citizen Alert Network, https://member.everbridge.net/453003085611288/login
During a regional emergency:
- Remain calm and be prepared to receive instruction from regional emergency management authorities.
- Monitor local media for up-to-date information from emergency officials such as orders to evacuate, details about evacuation routes, locations of evacuation shelters, how to safely stay where you are, where to find assistance, etc.
- Reuniting with family and friends may not be possible until after the emergency situation is stabilized or has ended. Return home if safety permits and if instructed to do so by regional emergency management authorities.
- If ordered to evacuate:
- Take your emergency supply kit with you.
- 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:
- Remain where you are and protect yourself there until told to evacuate or all is safe.
- Lock windows and doors, and turn off heating and air-conditioning systems if instructed to do so.
- 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 to return home.
- Use caution when returning home.
- 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 damage.
- Assist others as necessary.
- If your area has been declared a federal or state disaster area, you may be eligible for assistance (temporary housing, help with uninsured home repairs). Listen 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://community.fema.gov/PreparednessCommunity/s/welcome-to-cert?language=en_US
For additional resources to help plan for and respond to regional emergencies, please visit the following websites:
- UMW Ready – https://students.umw.edu/safety/
- This website provides information and resources on preparedness, text alerts, and University operations or events that may affect health and safety on campus.
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management – https://www.vaemergency.gov/
- 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) – https://www.fema.gov
- FEMA provides resources to help individuals prepare, protect, respond, and recover from large-scale regional and national emergencies.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Preparedness and Response – https://emergency.cdc.gov.
- The CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response webpage educates individuals about preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
- Ready.gov – https://ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs
- Provides information for individuals with disabilities to prepare for an emergency