Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
CONTACT: Janet L. Clements (804) 897-6500, ext. 6512
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 27, 2002
ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE IN FLOOD CLEANUP OF
RICHMOND, VA — Southwest Virginia residents who find hazardous materials (hazmat) containers, drums or spills on their property caused by the March 18 flooding are encouraged to call the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Hazmat Command Post in Wise County. That number is (276) 679-9257, and it will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Collect calls will be accepted.
Disaster officials said the assistance would be at no cost to the property owner unless there has been purposeful action causing the situation. Regional hazmat responders will be called in to assess the situation and take corrective measures.
- Propane tanks damaged or displaced by floodwaters should not be removed without assistance. They present a very real danger of fire and explosion. If the tank has been moved or damaged, contact your gas provider immediately. Have a propane distributor examine any tank lines or appliances exposed to floodwaters before reconnecting or using.
- If home heating oil tanks have overturned and spilled in basements or crawl spaces, contact the VDEM Hazmat Command Post number listed above.
Other safety tips:
- Don’t attempt to remove unidentifiable drums or tanks located on your property.
- Be wary of common household chemicals exposed to floodwaters as they may pose a risk. Contact the VDEM Hazmat Command Post number listed above for more information and guidance.
- Use caution with electrical lines and outlets. Don’t assume power is off.
- Be alert for gas leaks. Call 911 immediately if a leak is found. Don’t smoke, use candles or any open flame, unless you are certain the gas is turned off and the area aired out.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971