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).

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Mar 25

Team Norfolk Emergency Operations - COVID-19 Update - 3-25-2020

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 7:49 PM by Jim Redick

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today the Virginia Department of Health confirmed 391 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.  This is an increase of 101 from yesterday.  It was also stated clearly and consistently that person to person, or ‘Community Spread’, is here.  To be clear, planning assumptions from a healthcare perspective included significant strains on healthcare staff, shortages of equipment like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and available bed space.  In fact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is leading an effort to build capacity for alternate bed space locations throughout the region.  To help address medical staff shortages, a call went out to healthcare professionals who are 18 or older, both current and previously licensed, as well as medical students who would be willing to serve in the Medical Reserve Corps.  If you or someone you know may be interested, please visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/mrc for more information.

Today is also the first day Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 is in effect.  Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions regarding the order. 

People First Information:

Shout out to Mr. John Guglielmino, Program Administrator for Housing & Homeless Services in the Norfolk Community Services Board who is maintaining a list of meal and restroom locations for persons experiencing homelessness.  He is also maintaining a list of food pantry distribution sites, all of which are shared here and posted in HSIN.  To be clear, the information changes rapidly so please look in HSIN for the most current list.  And kudos to Norfolk Public Schools, the Foodbank, Mercy Chefs and the Granby YMCA for the meals they continue to provide on a daily basis – rain or shine – throughout our community!

During the Governor’s briefing he also mentioned his administration is working to secure more federal support for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. He referenced the Families First Coronavirus Response Act recently passed by Congress which he said will increase the SNAP benefits families will receive from the program for the next two months. These benefits are to kick in tonight.  Information about this and more are available at https://www.dss.virginia.gov/geninfo/corona.cgi or by calling 2-1-1 Virginia.

Shout out also to Sheriff Joe Baron and his team who is constantly focused on maintaining a coronavirus-free facility for their inmate population.  They spend a great deal of time reviewing and ensuring CDC compliance and find the many actions they’ve been taking either meet or exceed all recommendations!

As discussed previously in this forum and with partner agencies earlier today, the second disaster is the impact on the economy. You should be aware last night our City Council approved a program giving taxpayers and business owners the option to delay payment on business taxes and personal property taxes.  Click here for a quick review of what the program provides.  Of course, if you’ve been watching the news, a $2T stimulus package should also be forthcoming and expected to aid individuals and businesses large and small as well as state and local governments.  Details will be reviewed and shared.

As a coastal community, COVID-19 is not our only concern… we must always keep our eye on the weather and the tides.  Tomorrow (Thursday) looks to be relatively nice and free of rain; however, the 11:21am high tide is forecasted to peak at 4.7’ which will cause nuisance flooding on the roadways.  Please help provide real-time situational awareness by reporting roadway flooding in the WAZE app.

In closing, if you become aware of any unmet needs in the community, please forward them to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov.  Also,  please remember to DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT all incident-related actions, activities, labor, donations, purchases, etc.!  The ICS Form-214 Activity Log will help with this and will be crucial in our eventual path toward recovery.

Thank you!

Jim

Jim Redick, Director
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response
EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov

Follow City of Norfolk for official information at Norfolk.gov, @NorfolkVa on Twitter, and City of Norfolk Government on FaceBook.