Make a Kit, Have a Plan, Stay Informed
Know what to do before a disaster strikes. Ensure that you make a kit, have a plan and stay informed.
Make a Kit
Emergency Kits should contain supplies that will last every individual at least three days. Considerations need to be made for those who are elderly or have special needs as well as for infants and toddlers.
Pets also need to have at least three days of supplies. Be mindful that during a disaster, your animal may not be able to go outside to use the bathroom. Training pads are helpful to have in your kit for those situations.
Additional planning tools and detailed information on assembling a kit can be found on the Virginia Department Of Emergency Management website.
Have a Plan
You should know what to do before a disaster strikes. View the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance Make a Plan website.
Once a plan is made, make sure to share it with your family. Go over your plan and practice regularly. Additional planning tools and detailed information on assembling a kit can be found on the Virginia Department Of Emergency Management website.
Faith Based Organizations
Medical Needs, Older Adults and Individuals with Physical and Sensory Disabilities
Those who have medical needs or who receive in home care should create a plan with their providers and caregivers included.
Older adults and individuals with physical and sensory disabilities may have additional needs during and after a disaster.
Available resources within Chesterfield are identified by Aging and Disability Resources in their Resource Directory for Older Adults (English) (PDF) which is also available in printed format.
Pets in Disasters
Pets may be lost, injured or killed during a disaster. I.D. tags, microchips, leg bands or tattoos help reunite separated pets and owners. Take several pictures of your animals and keep them with your important papers. If you use a pet sitter while on vacation, discuss disaster plans and evacuation sites.
Family disaster plans need to include the family pets. Discuss your disaster plan with your veterinarian. Keep a pet disaster kit on hand for each pet in the household including:
- A week's emergency supply of pet food, water, and other essential support items
- Comfort toys
- Medical records, especially proof of rabies vaccination
- Medications and vitamins
- Pet first aid kit and first aid book
When transporting pets during disasters, make sure that you have leashes as well as carriers so that pets are contained to prevent injury or escape.
Items to Bring with You
If you evacuate to a shelter, please plan accordingly by bringing the items below.
- A list of allergies, medical conditions and medications currently taking
- At least a three- to five-day supply of medications
- Change of clothing and footwear
- Comfort items such as a special blanket, pillow, etc.
- Contact lenses or an extra pair of glasses
- Personal entertainment, such as books, cards, and hand-held video games with extra batteries
- Sanitation supplies including personal hygiene supplies, plastic garbage bags, soap and toilet paper
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members such as baby food, disposable diapers, familiar comfort items, and canes and walkers
Pets in Emergency Shelters
In Chesterfield County, pets brought to emergency shelters are taken to the county's animal shelter and will be cared for, in an area separate from the daily animal population, until it is safe for residents to take their pets home.
Hazardous Materials Accidents
Communities located near chemical manufacturing plants are particularly at risk for hazardous materials spills. However, hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways and waterways daily, so any area is considered vulnerable to an accident.
Learn to detect the presence of a hazardous material. Many hazardous materials:
- Can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea
- Do not have a taste or an odor
- Exist beneath the surface of the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance
Contact your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or local emergency management office for information about hazardous materials and community response plans. Find out evacuation plans for your workplace and your children's schools. Plan several evacuation routes out of the area. Ask about industry and community warning systems. Additionally:
- Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Cash and credit cards
- Emergency food and water
- Essential medicines
- First aid kit and manual
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Nonelectric can opener
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- Sturdy shoes
- Develop an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated from one another during a hazardous materials accident (this is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school).
- Develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
During a Hazardous Materials Accident
If you hear a siren or other warning signal, turn on a radio or television for further emergency information.
At Accident Scene
If you see an accident or are at an accident, do the following:
- Call 911 or the local fire department to report the nature and location of the accident as soon as possible
- Move away from the accident scene and help keep others away
- Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance
- Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke; if possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area
- Try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind of the accident
Don't try to care for victims of a hazardous materials accident until the following occurs:
- The substance has been identified
- Authorities indicate it is safe to go near victims
- Move victims to fresh air and call for emergency medical care
- Remove contaminated clothing and shoes and place them in a plastic bag
- Cleanse victims that have come in contact with chemicals by immediately pouring cold water over the skin or eyes for at least 15 minutes, unless authorities instruct you not to use water on the chemical involved
Immediately after the "in-place sheltering" announcement is issued, fill up bathtubs or large containers for an additional water supply (and turn off the intake valve if in a house). If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel. Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may be contaminated. Monitor the Emergency Broadcast System station for further updates and remain in shelter until authorities indicate it is safe to come out. Additionally:
- Seal house/building so contaminants cannot enter by:
- Closing and locking windows and doors, sealing gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape
- With duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap, sealing gaps around air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, stove and dryer vents, and windows
- Closing the fireplace dampers
- Closing off nonessential rooms such as storage areas, laundry rooms and extra bedrooms
- Turning off the ventilation systems
- Bring pets inside
Authorities will decide if evacuation is necessary based primarily on the type and amount of chemical released and how long it is expected to affect an area. Other considerations are the length of time it should take to evacuate the area, weather conditions and the time of day.
Stay tuned to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters and procedures. If asked to evacuate, make sure to leave at once by following the routes recommended by the authorities (shortcuts may not be safe). If you have time, minimize contamination in the house by closing all windows, shutting all vents and turning off attic fans. Take pre-assembled disaster supplies. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance including infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.
Following a Hazardous Materials Accident
Return home only when authorities say it is safe and follow local instructions concerning the safety of food and water. Follow instructions from emergency officials concerning clean-up methods and disposal of residue.
Before, during and after any event, it is important to ensure that you receive your information from official sources. County-specific disaster information will be posted to the storm information page.
Weather Radio Set Up
While there are many weather radio brands and options, Chesterfield issues Midland Model WR120B radios as part of our preparedness kits. The following instructions can be loosely applied to all weather radios, but specifically mention Midland Model WR120B programming instructions. View the setting up a weather radio (PDF).
Chesterfield Weather Channel Frequency and SAME Code
Set your weather radio to the weather channel frequency (162.475 MHz) and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) code (051041) for Chesterfield County.
Setting Up Your Weather Radio
Set Radio Channel for Weather Station
To set the radio channel, view Midland Model WR120B manual page 6 and visit the national weather radio (NWR) station listing to confirm the weather broadcast channel for your area. Information accurate as of Monday, Aug. 8, 2022:
Program Your Receiver
To program your receiver, view Midland Model WR120B page 5 for more information.
You can program your radio for a Single, Multiple or All SAME code. Some weather radios default to the All SAME codes within range of the transmitter for the selected weather channel, which means that you will receive alerts for many areas. You will need to manually adjust this to Single or Multiple to only receive alerts from your area(s).
To program NWR SAME receivers with the proper county(s) and marine area(s) of your choice, you need to know the 6-digit SAME code number. Then follow the directions in your radio's user's manual. You can get your SAME number by calling 1-888-NWR-SAME (1-888-697-7263) for a voice menu or by viewing the NWR County Coverage Listings by State page. Information accurate as of Monday, Aug. 8, 2022:
SAME Number: 051041
Related Terms and Definitions
SAME Location Code: This 6-digit sequence uniquely describes each county. For coding of a whole county, the first digit is zero. For coding of a part of a county, the first digit is a non-zero number. The 2nd and 3rd digits are the 2-digit state/equivalent territory identifier; the last three digits are the county or equivalent area identifier.
Transmitter Call Sign: Station call sign of the transmitter.
Transmitter Frequency: Frequency the transmitter broadcasts on. There are seven frequencies (in MHz) used throughout the NWR network: 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525 and 162.550.
Transmitter Location: City and state of the NWR transmitter covering the county. Some counties are covered by a transmitter in an adjacent state.
Transmitter Status: Current operational status of the transmitter. Possible status conditions are Normal, Degraded and Out of Service.