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).

Mar 06

Norfolk To Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill

Posted on March 6, 2023 at 2:39 PM by Daniel Hudson

To prepare our residents for tornado threats and test emergency alert systems, the City of Norfolk’s Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response (DEPR) will be participating in an annual statewide tornado drill taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 7 along with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent in the form of a required monthly test by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios and local broadcasters.

In addition, we will conduct our required monthly Wireless Emergency Alert test for the entire city. Wireless Emergency Alerts are sent through the FEMA Integrated Public Alert & Warning System to wireless mobile devices. Examples of Wireless Emergency Alerts are Amber Alerts and Weather Warnings. For more information, visit: https://www.norfolk.gov/5522/IPAWS-Wireless-Emergency-Alerts

In addition to the tornado drill, we encourage you to take the following steps to keep you and your family safe in the event of a tornado:

  • Before a tornado hits, develop a plan by identifying safe rooms at home or work you and your family can take shelter in when a tornado warning is issued. Pay attention to danger signs in the weather, such as a dark, greenish sky, large hail, dark, low-lying cloud formations or rotations, or a loud roar, similar to the sound of a freight train. Lastly, create an emergency communication plan for your family and pay attention to local and social media for the latest information on weather conditions.
  • During a tornado, follow the same steps listed above. If you live in a mobile home, evacuate immediately and go to the closest building or storm shelter. If you are unable to find shelter, get into a vehicle and buckle your seatbelt. Put your head down below the window and cover your head with your hands. If there is no car or shelter, try to find a ditch or area lower than the ground to lie down in. You will be safer in a low, flat location than you would be under a bridge or underpass.        
  • Review Team Norfolk Tornado Hazard-Specific Annex at https://www.norfolk.gov/4064/Team-Norfolk-Plans

For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.norfolk.gov/3987/Be-Prepared.

Nov 08

Tropical Storm Nicole Briefing November 8, 2022, at 5 pm

Posted on November 8, 2022 at 5:30 PM by Daniel Hudson

Team –

Please see the latest from the NWS regarding Tropical Storm Nicole

Per the Tides graph, tomorrow (Wednesday) morning’s high tide is expected to peak at 4.7’ around 9 am.  This will result in some minor nuisance ponding, but nothing problematic.

The Hourly graph shows increasing chances of rain Friday morning into the evening along with elevated winds.  The sustained winds and gusts will not be a concern unless you’re relying on an umbrella; however, the NWS report suggests a slight possibility of tornados.

We’ll continue monitoring and keep you posted.


Jim Redick 

Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response

Oct 03

Coastal Storm Update - 10-3-2022 at 6 pm

Posted on October 3, 2022 at 6:08 PM by Daniel Hudson

Team - 

Please see the latest from the NWS as well as our 5:30 pm EOC Briefing slides.  Thanks to the NWS for providing a report during the Briefing! 

Tomorrow’s high tides are forecasted for 4 am and 5 pm; both will be at the Minor flood level.  This may result in some ponding on the roadways but is not expected to cause any problems.  We continue to encourage motorists to use the WAZE app and avoid driving through any flood waters. 

Winds begin a slow and steady decline tonight and through tomorrow and should not be an issue. 

Based on the changes to the forecast, here are the latest update.

  • Departments are asked to submit any damage reports to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov by 8 am tomorrow (Tuesday).
  • EOC will continue to monitor events throughout the night.
  • Local Emergency Declaration to end tomorrow at 8 am.
  • National Guard assets are to be released at 8 am.
  • Normal Operations resume tomorrow.

Unless something significant occurs, this is the final update regarding this coastal storm.

Thanks to everyone for your partnership, communication, and support throughout!!  If you were able to capture any lessons learned – things that went well or areas of improvement – please send them to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov

Thank you!

Jim Redick

Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response