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News | Sept. 16, 2020

Disaster preparedness, one step at a time

By Russell Pitts Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond

Virginia has seen its share of disaster events this year. From heavy snow to damaging winds, to flooding and tornadoes, residents continue to prove their resilience in the face of adverse events.

That resilience can be made even stronger with a healthy dose of disaster preparedness. Getting ready for potential disasters, particularly adverse weather events and their side effects, is easier than one might think.

Disaster preparedness experts recommend starting with a rich resource of information. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website,, has a wealth of information and guidance on becoming equipped to manage your affairs and minimize property damage in the event of a natural disaster. advises breaking up preparedness plans into small, manageable steps, including:

  1. Staying informed. Many platforms provide up-to-date hazard information. Tune in to television and radio broadcasts, download smart phone applications and, if at work, listen for messages from the Giant Voice Mass Notification System, AtHoc (DLA’s Emergency Mass Notification System) and verbal instructions from local emergency officials.
  2. Making a plan. Your plan does not have to be complex. Your plan should cover communications, evacuations routes, rally points, job assignments, pets and shelter locations. Consider using one of the planning templates available on
  3. Creating an emergency kit. Obtain items that will sustain you and your family for the first 72 hours of an event. Kits should include food and water, medication for family members and family pets, a first aid kit, clothing, blankets, flashlights, a radio and/or a weather radio, masks and hand sanitizer.
  4. Practicing your plans and updating them as needed. Rehearse what you’ll do in case of an emergency, whether at home or at the office. Identify any shortcomings or missed opportunities and update your plan accordingly.

For questions about emergency preparedness on the installation, contact Russell Pitts at