The impact of Hurricane Laura on the Gulf Coast and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic serve as reminders to Loudoun County residents and businesses to take time to prepare for all types of emergencies in September, which is recognized as National Preparedness month.
“The 2020 theme, ‘Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today’ is very timely,” said Loudoun County Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Johnson. “There is no better time to prepare; we have the ongoing pandemic in the middle of hurricane season and even though Loudoun is inland, we are still vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes, which can produce extensive flooding hundreds of miles from the coast.”
Johnson adds that residents should take COVID-19 into account in their disaster preparedness efforts. For example, emergency supply kits should include items that can protect against the novel coronavirus, such as hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes and face coverings. More information about keeping yourself and others safe from COVID-19 during natural disasters is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Steps to Prepare for Emergencies
Emergency management officials urge everyone to follow a few simple steps for emergency preparedness. Everything families and businesses operators need to know is available online.
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.
- Use online resources to put together a plan for your family and talk about what you will do in different situations; your plan should include contact information, evacuation routes and meeting locations.
- Include finances in your plan. Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies, since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available.
- Discuss household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go.
- Include pets and livestock in your emergency plans.
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. Your kit should include:
- Cell phone chargers
- Face coverings
- First aid supplies
- Food and water, including pet food
- Prescription medications
- Soap, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
An expanded list of disaster supplies is online at loudoun.gov/makeakit.
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.
- Follow Loudoun County Government on Facebook and Twitter.
- Monitor local weather forecasts from the National Weather Service. Consider getting a NOAA weather radio.
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.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
- Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
- Opt in to receive text messages:
- English: Text LCCOVID19 to 888777
- Spanish: Text LCCOVIDESP to 88877
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.
# # #