With the eastern seaboard firmly in the midst of hurricane season, but also considering the expectation for more snow coming this winter, now is the time for residents to familiarize themselves with all of the different ways that Chesterfield County puts out emergency information.
Chesterfield Alert: This is an opt-in system which sends messages directly to you in the event of an emergency. This system can send out alerts via text, email, and phone call depending on how the subscriber chooses to receive the messages. Sign up today!
Integrated Public Warning System (IPAWS): These messages are geo-targeted and go to cellular phones with no opt-in required. The type of messages include weather alerts and other emergency notifications.
Weather Radios: Given the complexity of the two previous alert systems and their reliance on other types of infrastructure, weather radios are a great additional resource in case cellular towers prove ineffective. Weather radios should be kept on at all times, even when there is no expected emergency as not all emergencies can be predicted. The county can even work with our partners at the National Weather Service to send out non-weather related emergency messaging through NOAA weather radios.
Social Media: The county has a presence on all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and NextDoor. In the event of an emergency, Chesterfield will always duplicate communication efforts across multiple channels, including social media posts. It’s also good to know that the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) will post information on preparedness, response, and recovery.
Traditional Media: In addition to speaking directly to residents via the aforementioned channels, Chesterfield County will also be in communication with traditional media outlets -- including TV, radio, and newspapers -- to get information out via their specific medium and their various social media platforms. The county considers this a good supplemental communication tool, but not the primary way we would notify residents of emergencies.