Governor Ralph Northam on Sept. 2 declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Dorian makes its way up the eastern seaboard, marking the second day of National Preparedness Month.
While Loudoun is not directly in the storm’s expected path, Loudoun County public safety officials encouraged residents to prepare for all types of emergencies.
“We want people to take action to prepare themselves and their families for the many types of hazards that could affect Loudoun County.” stated Loudoun County Coordinator of Emergency Management Kevin Johnson. “Being ‘prepared, not scared’ will help residents have peace of mind in the knowledge that they and their family members know what to do in case of a disaster.”
The Office of Emergency Management offered several tips to be prepared in the event of a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, or other event.
First, families should have a plan in advance on how to get to safe place, contact loved ones, and reunite once the emergency is over. There are online resources at loudoun.gov/readynova to help put together a plan including contact information, evacuation routes and meeting locations.
That plan should also include finances, meaning keeping some cash on hand since ATMs may not be available, as well as considering pets and livestock.
The department also encouraged Loudouners to build an emergency kit with food, water other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. The kit should also include first aid supplies, pet food, batteries, and cell phone chargers.
Loudouners can also stay informed about hazards that may occur by signing up for Alert Loudoun at loudoun.gov/alert, following the county government on Facebook and Twitter, and monitoring local weather forecasts from the National Weather Service. More information about emergency preparedness is at loudoun.gov/ready.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to stick to the coast as it heads north. However, Northam declared a state of emergency to free up resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts. The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with the state of North Carolina. The storm’s effects are expected to be felt most acutely in southeastern Virginia.