Proudly providing resilience education and training in the Shenandoah Valley since 2000.
Resiliency Digest
March 2020
News & tips for being ready
before, during, and after emergencies.
Creating a Weather-Ready Nation
Severe weather in the United States causes numerous deaths and injuries and billions of dollars of damage. In a typical year, more than 1,200 tornadoes occur throughout the United States and nearly 12,000 reports of wind and hail are received from local law enforcement and the public. National Weather Service forecasters are the first line of defense in predicting severe weather and a prepared population is the next line of defense in withstanding and recovering from severe weather. 
March Weather-Ready Weeks in Virginia
Virginia highlights two weather-ready weeks in March to help citizens be more aware and prepared for common spring weather events. 
Virginia Flood Awareness Week is used to help educate the public about the dangers and costs of not protecting yourself from floods. Floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States and are caused by a variety of sources. Anywhere it rains, it can flood , and all homes, not just those in mapped flood risk areas, have a risk of flooding. With just one inch of floodwater causing upwards of $25,000 in damage, it’s shocking that only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance. Injury or death during flooding events usually occurs from not evacuating flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed.

What can you do to be flood-ready? Follow the weather-ready steps outlined below (Know Your Risk, Take Action, & Be an Example) and remember these additional tips:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown. As little as 12 inches of moving floodwater can be enough to float and carry away a small vehicle. 
  • Don’t wait to evacuate if authorities advise or order it. Once the flooding starts, you can’t safely enter floodwater to evacuate.
  • Plan for safety after a flood. Hazards like sharp objects, downed electrical lines, contamination, and health risks are often hidden among remaining water and debris.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 16-20, 2020 in Virginia , and it’s a great time to get weather emergency planning and supplies in place. This year's Severe Weather Preparedness Week will focus on tornadoes , large hail , lightning , flash flooding , and damaging straight-line winds . The National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management say just three steps can help reduce vulnerability to injury and property loss from these weather events.

Know Your Risk. Virginia is no stranger to severe spring weather, and the first step to becoming weather-ready is to familiarize with the most likely hazardous weather in your area. Visit vaemergency.gov to review the types of threats we face in Virginia. You can learn your flood risk by entering your address in the  Virginia Flood Risk Information System .
Take Action. Once you’ve identified your risks, take action by building an  emergency kit filling out a family safety and communication plan , and keeping important papers in a safe place. Know where to take shelter if severe weather approaches and activate several alert systems so you don’t miss important information.

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts are automatic texts sent to you in an emergency; no sign-up required. LEARN MORE 
  • Sign-up for Twitter Alerts from @FEMA for critical information in real-time. 
  • Install the FEMA app on your phone.
  • Purchase a weather radio. LEARN MORE
  • Stay tuned to local news on TV and radio (in your car if power is out).
Be an Example. Once you’ve taken action, get involved , and share your story with your family and friends. Participate in drills, join a Community Emergency Response Team, donate time or money to emergency relief organizations, and share your resiliency planning and experiences on social media. Here are some easy ways to get involved:

  • Virginia’s next annual statewide tornado drill is set for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 9:45 AM EST. Schools and government buildings statewide will practice their emergency plans. Test messages will be broadcast on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios and the Emergency Alert System.
  • Take Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro’s next CERT training class.
  • Like our FACEBOOK page and share the information provided to encourage others to prepare! 
Preventing Disease Outbreaks Like Flu
and Human Coronaviruses
An outbreak of a new respiratory disease named COVID-19 has created a powerful reminder of the importance of everyday practices to reduce the spread of any respiratory virus. While the CDC reports the immediate risk of COVID-19 to the American public is low at this time, they are calling on the public to assist in responding to the threat by careful attention to practices like avoiding contact with others when ill, disinfecting surfaces, and frequent handwashing to avoid passing viruses to others. More prevention recommendations can be found HERE .
Community Resiliency Achievements & Announcements
Celebrating 20 Years of Project Impact
In 2020, Shenandoah Valley Project Impact (SVPI) is celebrating twenty years of creating resiliency and disaster resistance in the Central Shenandoah Region, and each month the Resiliency Digest will feature images and accomplishments pulled from the SVPI archives.
Mayor Sam Blackburn from the Town of Glasgow adds his signature to the Memorandum of Agreement to show the Town’s participation in Shenandoah Valley Project Impact during SVPI’s “Signing Ceremony” that included representatives from the local jurisdictions in the region, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the American Red Cross on September 15, 2001 at Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park.
Spring CERT Training Scheduled
CERT training helps you prepare yourself, your family, and neighbors for severe weather, emergencies, and disasters. This training is being offered by the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and Augusta County, in partnership with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC). 

Classes meet once a week for seven weeks. You will learn about different topics each night. This course is free, but you must register to attend.

WHEN: Thursdays, April 2 - May 14, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:  CSPDC Office, 112 MacTanly Place,Staunton, VA 24401
 
COST: FREE! All materials provided.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
 
  • Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation
  • Fire Safety
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Terrorism Awareness
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Emergency Preparedness For Persons With Special Needs
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness
  • Animals And Disasters
  • Search and Rescue
 
To Register Contact: Rebecca Joyce, S-A-W CERT Coordinator no later than March 26. Phone: 540-885-5174 ext.112, E-mail: rebecca@cspdc.org
For additional resources to help protect yourself, loved ones, and property, visit the National Weather Service, Ready.gov , U.S. Fire Administration , and the National Safety Council .  
[540.885. 5174]  [rebecca@cspdc.org]  [www.cspdc.org]