Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response consists of two divisions which are also the central point of contact for Emergency Management and Emergency Communications (911).

Sep 21

Team Norfolk COVID-19 Update – September 21, 2020

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 10:53 AM by Daniel Hudson

Team-

This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 141,138 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 3,021 total deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.

The seven-day positivity rate, PCR only, for the Commonwealth is 5.7%.

Norfolk is credited with 4,745 total cases and 68 deaths with a 3.8% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.

According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 995 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 16,900 confirmed COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized and discharged.

Last week Virginia Governor Ralph Northam lifted the extra COVID-19 restrictions on the Hampton Roads area, allowing the region to join the rest of the state that’s already in Phase 3 of the “Forward Virginia” plan.

For more information on this, view this week's Incident Action Plan.

It’s Flu Season - The CDC and VDH both recommend receiving a flu vaccination. It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed, treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever.

While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as:

  1. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
  2. Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the city will not have on-site flu shot clinics this year for city employees. We encourage all employees to get a flu shot this season from their primary care physician or any participating pharmacy.

As a reminder, back in July, the City of Norfolk was selected by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Health Equity Working Group to participate in the Health Equity Pilot program.

As part of this program, we were allocated 20,000 cloth masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and public health materials to provide to any organization that hosts a community event in Norfolk that focuses on the underserved and historically disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. For any organization holding a community event in Norfolk that is targeting our underserved, low-income, high-risk, or vulnerable populations, please feel free to email me at daniel.hudson@norfolk.gov, and we will provide you with masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and public health materials to pass out at your event while supplies last.

Lastly, it looks like we are going to see mild temperatures this week as Fall officially starts tomorrow. Today and tomorrow will feel more Fall-like, with high temps only reaching the upper 60s to low 70s. However, temps will warm up closer to 80 degrees Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll have more nice weather on Friday, but there may be some more clouds and isolated showers on Saturday.

Be safe and have a great week, everyone.

Daniel

Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response
EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov


Sep 09

Building a Preparedness Supply Kit

Posted on September 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Daniel Hudson

Week 2 of the National Preparedness Month focuses on building a preparedness supply kit.

Emergencies can happen any time, so it’s important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready should disasters strike.  

Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you and your family may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. It can be hard to imagine several days or weeks without power, Internet, or running water. But in the event of an emergency, anything can happen. That's why it's crucial for you and your family to have an emergency plan and supplies ready to go for any type of disaster.

In Norfolk, we see many different disasters, including flooding, heavy rains, snow, hurricanes, and even tornadoes. So, make your plan personal; no matter what disaster strikes, you will be ready. 

Getting Ready

When gathering items for your supply to-go kit, the rule of thumb is to have enough food, water, personal hygiene items, and other essential supplies on hand for at least 72 hours. If you plan to shelter in place, it's recommended that you have at least a two week supply of essential items.

A preparedness supply kit is simply a collection of essential items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Preparedness Supply Kit Essentials

  • Water - Remember, you will need one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
  • Medications
  • Food – You will need at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods per person. Don’t forget about the manual can opener!
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle and flares to signal for help
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Tent
  • Compass
  • Tools, such as wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers
  • Personal hygiene items – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine supplies, etc.
  • Medical items, such as EpiPen, insulin, syringes, or other medical items needed for your family
  • Sturdy shoes, such as boots or closed-toed shoes
  • Cash – Small bills only, and place in a waterproof container
  • Local maps
  • Warm blankets, winter coats, and rain gear
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Paper and pencil
  • Games for your children
  • Disinfectant
  • Medicine dropper
  • Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Pet supplies - food, water, leash, water/food bowl, treats, chew toys, and kennel.

Remember – it's important to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment's notice and take essentials with you. If you wait, you will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

COVID-19 Considerations

COVID-19 is putting a different spin on how we should supply our preparedness kits. Here are some additional considerations to add to your supply kit concerning COVID-19:

  • Thermometer
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and face shields
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Over the counter medicines such as fever reducers, cough suppressants, and saline nose spray. If you have children, make sure you have appropriate medicine for them, as it may differ from what adults need. Always consult with your family physician. 
  • Electrolyte drinks
  • Hand soap
  • Tissues
  • Have a notebook handy to write down the sick person’s temperature and symptoms, updating daily
  • Contact information for your family physician

 For more information on how to keep you and your family safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, or steps to take if you have been exposed to COVID-19, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at vdh.virginia.gov

 

Assembling Your Supply Kit

After you’ve gathered all your disaster supplies, it’s time to assemble your kit. Place each item into a sturdy, waterproof container. Then, store your container in a place that can be easily accessed in an emergency, like a closet near the front door or near your garage.

Be Ready

While the chances of needing an emergency kit are relatively low, you don’t want to be caught unprepared when a disaster occurs. Don’t let another extreme weather season pass you by without getting your emergency supplies organized and ready to go.

Finally, remember by building an emergency preparedness supply kit today, you and your family can be better prepared for tomorrow's risks.

For more information, visit our website at https://www.norfolk.gov/648/Threats-Hazards

Be safe and have a great week,

Daniel

Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response

Sep 08

Team Norfolk COVID-19 Update – September 8, 2020

Posted on September 8, 2020 at 11:42 AM by Daniel Hudson

Team-

This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 128,407 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 2,686 total deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.

The seven-day positivity rate, PCR only, for the Commonwealth is 7.5%.

Norfolk is credited with 4,537 total cases and 60 deaths with a 7.6% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.

According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 1,051 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 15,700 confirmed COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized and discharged.

Last week Virginia Governor Ralph Northam stated in a press conference that the coronavirus is moderately contained in the state; however, he said that does not mean we should let our guard down. Therefore, he decided that current restrictions in the Hampton Roads area will remain in effect until further notice.

Deputy Emergency Manager Scott Mahone continues to do an outstanding job as the Logistics Chief, working to fill all resource requests.  Please remember, for PPE and any other resource needs, use the COVID Recovery Data Collection Tool. This is the same tool department directors use to submit their weekly Situation Reports.

In addition to submitting your weekly Situation Reports, please remember to submit your weekly PPE usage report using the same COVID Recovery Data Collection Tool.

For more information on this, view this week's Incident Action Plan.

In July, the City of Norfolk was selected by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Health Equity Working Group to participate in the Health Equity Pilot program.

As part of this program, we were allocated 20,000 cloth masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and public health materials to provide to any organization that hosts a community event in Norfolk that focuses on the underserved and historically disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To date, we have provided over 12,000 masks and bottles of hand sanitizer to numerous organizations that are creating opportunities to serve our community. For that, we say, "thank you.”

For any organization holding a community event in Norfolk that is targeting our underserved, low-income, high-risk, or vulnerable populations, please feel free to email me at daniel.hudson@norfolk.gov, and we will provide you with masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and public health materials to pass out at your event while supplies last.

Lastly, it looks like we are expected to have some unsettled weather this week and into the weekend with daily chances for showers or storms. These showers or storms could bring locally heavy rainfall, especially Wednesday through Friday. Daily high temperatures will be in the lower 80s.

Be safe and have a great week, everyone.

Daniel

Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response
EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov