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Be New Kent READY!
New Kent County residents have a reputation for being independent and self-reliant. We also have a reputation as a community that works together to help our neighbors. We want to help each and every member of this community stay informed and ready when the next emergency happens or disaster strikes.
Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. The key to survival and resiliency is to know what can happen here, how it might affect you, your family, and your workplace, and then to develop a plan to deal with it. After working through the what's and how's, you'll need an emergency kit of basic supplies and items for your unique family…all of your family members including adults, kids, seniors, those with special considerations like medical conditions, disabilities, languages other than English, transportation needs, and your pets. Pre-made kits can be expensive and won't have all the special items your family needs, so it is better to make your own.
New Kent County may open a shelter if the situation requires but recognizes in most events that most of you will want to stay at home. Whether you stay at home, go to the home of family or friends, or to a shelter, there are basic steps to take and supplies to have. By storing them in the type of see-through plastic containers available in most hardware, home, and big box stores, you'll be able to ensure that they are ready to go.
Lucky for us, being prepared is not hard, it doesn't cost much, and is a good family activity that helps each member of your family know why you are preparing, what they can do, and how you all will work together to be safe. This is especially empowering for children who not only will feel less frightened in an emergency but will develop a sense of preparedness that will stay with them through their lives. Let's also remember…nothing is more determined than a young person on a mission. You'll have able helpers! Let them pack their own "go" kit with their favorite toys, books, flashlight, extra clothes, etc.
Where do I begin?
The first step to take is to make sure you and your family are registered on New Kent ALERT. This warning and notification system allows you to tell New Kent County the best way to reach you in an emergency. You can list an email, phone number, and/or text number (depending on your carrier, charges may apply). Go the New Kent County homepage and click on the New Kent ALERT box in the lower left-hand corner to be taken to the New Kent ALERT registration site. It only takes a few minutes to make sure you will be notified if danger threatens.
What kinds of hazards do I plan for?
New Kent County is vulnerable to a number of hazards. The most common include:
- Severe Summer Weather – summer thunderstorms, tornadoes, winds, and flooding.
- Severe Winter Weather – severe cold, strong winds, heavy snow, and ice storms.
- Tropical Storms – depressions (heavy rains), tropical storms (winds less than 74 mph), and hurricanes (winds greater than 74 mph). Most tropical systems form June 1 - November 30 but can form in any month of the year.
- Nor'easters – large storms that form when warm air over the Atlantic clashes with artic cold out of the north and west. Winds blow out of the north and east causing both wind damage and flooding. These storms typically occur between September through April.
- Transportation accidents – although rare, the railroads, I-64 with heavy truck traffic, and the regional airport add transportation accidents to our vulnerabilities.
- There are other less likely hazards but if you are registered on New Kent ALERT and have a plan and supplies ready for the events listed above, you and your family are New Kent READY!
Let's get Started
To help you begin to develop your plan and know what to put in your emergency supply kit, some very helpful links are listed below. You can also contact Kate Hale, Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management, at 804-966-8780 or via email.
Red Cross: How to Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Remember – if you have questions or need help, we're just a call or email away!
(The Emergency Management page will be expanded so please check back soon.)