These days, emergency alerts can reach you in so many ways–WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) come to your cell phone, EAS (Emergency Alert System) on TV and Radio, NOAA weather radio alerts, mobile apps and more. It’s important to have several different ways you can receive emergency alerts, and to be armed with the knowledge you need before an emergency happens.
- Know the current forecast and get alerted for any watches, warnings, or advisories on the National Weather Service’s website
- Download FEMA app and local news apps for severe weather alerts
- Know Your Hurricane Evacuation Zone: Virginia Know Your Zone
- Know about the types of disasters that we are prone to in Virginia and learn more about how to prepare for each
If you’re interested in learning about how to become an official storm spotter, read more and sign up for Storm Spotter Training
Ask your utility company whether your medical equipment qualifies you to be listed as a life-sustaining equipment customer. For those who rely on electric-powered medical equipment at home (e.g., respirators, dialysis machines, apnea monitors), please register with your utility provider so you can be contacted in the event of an emergency. They will also contact you if there are any planned outages in your area.
While registering with your utility provider is an important preparedness step, people who use electric-powered medical equipment should have an emergency plan. Does your machine have a backup battery, or does it require a generator? Depending on the disaster, it could take first responders several hours or even a few days to reach you.
If you or someone you live with requires power for assistive medical devices, make sure you have filled out the appropriate paperwork so that they can prioritize your service restoration.
Here is a list of the utility companies that serve Virginia:
- A&N Electric Cooperative Serious Medical Condition Certification | A&N Electric Cooperative (anec.com)
- Appalachian Power Company Payment Assistance (appalachianpower.com)
- BARC Electric Cooperative Outage Preparation – BARC Electric
- BVU Authority BVU Authority |
- Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Serious Medical Condition, oxygen, medical equipment | CVEC (mycvec.com)
- Community Electric Cooperative Home | Community Electric Cooperative (comelec.coop)
- Craig – Botetourt Electric Cooperative Forms – CBEC
- Danville Utilities: 2021 Danville Utilities Storm Preparation Guide
- Dominion: Medical Conditions | Virginia | Dominion Energy
- Kentucky Utilities: Medical Alert Program | LG&E and KU (lge-ku.com)
- Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative: Serious Medical Condition Certificate | Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (meckelec.org)
- Northern Neck Electric Cooperative Serious Medical Condition | Northern Neck Electric Cooperative
- Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative https://www.novec.com/Customer_Services/SMCC.cfm
- Powell Valley Electric Cooperative Powell Valley Electric Cooperative – Local People Local Power (pve.coop)
- Prince George Electric Cooperative Member forms | Prince George Electric Cooperative (pgec.coop)
- Rappahannock Electric Cooperative: Serious Medical Condition Certification | Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (myrec.coop)
- Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Programs and Forms – Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (svec.coop)
- Southside Electric Cooperative: Programs & Services | Southside Electric Cooperative (sec.coop)
Federal, State, and Local Government
Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority (atlfa.org)
Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (vadars.org) 800-622-2155
Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired VA Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired Home (vdbvi.org) 804-662-7000 email@example.com
Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (vddhh.org) 804-662-9502 firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services 804-786-3921
Virginia Employment Commission Virginia Employment Commission | Virginia Employment Commission 1-866-832-2363
Non-Governmental and Non-Profit
- If you call 911, specify the type of emergency (fire, medical, police) and be prepared to answer questions. During a medical emergency, turn a light on so that emergency responders can find your home.
- During emergencies, please use the telephone only when absolutely necessary to keep the lines free for emergency calls.
- If the 911 system becomes unavailable for any reason, call the fire department dispatcher or your local precinct.
- If you need police assistance but it’s not an emergency, call your town or county’s non-emergency police number.