Welcome to the official website for joint emergency communications from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia. The City, County, and University, individually and collaboratively work to help prepare the local community for any possible emergency or critical incident and to communicate information in the event of an actual emergency or critical incident. This site offers links to timely information to help keep you, your family and/or business prepared for and informed during an emergency.
The Community Emergency Alert system is used by the Emergency Communications Center to notify residents and businesses of critical situations and provide information regarding necessary actions. With this system, a specific geographic area can be selected to send messages to those within that area. You can register to receive phone messages, text messages and e-mail messages in case of emergency. The system is TTY/TDD compatible.
Click ‘CodeRed’ below to sign up. Contact the Office of Emergency Management at 971-1263 or 970-1798 if you need help with registration for any reason (e.g., no computer, no e-mail, problems with the registration form, etc.)
Prepare for Extreme Heat
- Familiarize yourself with the terms used to identify hot weather conditions
- Excessive Heat: a combination of high temperatures (significantly above normal) and high humidity.
- Heat Index (HI): a measure of how hot it really feels when the humidity is added to the actual air temperature.
- Excessive Heat Outlook: Excessive heat event in 3-7 days.
- Excessive Heat Watch: Excessive heat event in 12-48 hours.
- Excessive Heat Warning: Excessive heat event within 35 hours.
- Heat Wave: A period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather. Typically, a heat wave lasts two or more days.
- Prepare for hot weather
- Keep updated on local weather reports to prepare for extremely hot days.
- Check on older neighbors and relatives during hot weather.
- Stay hydrated, drink more water than you usually would. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
- Stay cool, avoid working outside, find an air-conditioned shelter, and wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Prevent sunburn by avoiding direct sunlight and applying sunscreen.
- If a pet is outside, make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water. Avoid walking pets during the middle of the day.
- Never leave a child or animal unattended in a hot car. Temperatures can easily reach above 120 degrees.
- Learn the symptoms of heat illness
- Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, and clammy skin, fast and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, fainting.
- Heat Stroke: High body temperature (above 103°F), hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness.
Prepare for Hurricanes
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
- Hurricane Watch: a hurricane is possible in your area (within the next 48 hours). Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor weather-alerting radios and local radio and television news outlets for information.
- Hurricane Warning: a hurricane is expected in your area (within the next 36 hours). If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
- Evacuation order: This is the most important instruction people affected by hurricanes will receive. If issued, leave immediately.
- Make a Plan
- Build or restock your basic disaster supplies kit, including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Consider buying flood insurance.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground or to evacuate.
- Stay tuned to local wireless emergency alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
- Prepare to secure your property (see the graphic below for tips)
Prepare For Wildfires
A wildfire in the Shenandoah National Park has burned about 700 acres and is expected to grow. Many local residents are seeing/smelling smoke and are assuming the fire is nearby, which is leading many to call 911 to report what they think is a nearby wildfire. If you see flames from a wildfire, call 911 immediately; however, if you are uncertain if a wildfire is nearby, use the tips below to properly prepare, react, and respond to a wildfire emergency.
General Safety Tips
- If you see flames from a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 911. Don’t assume that someone else has already called.
- If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do it immediately- make sure and tell someone where you are going and when you have arrived.
- If you or someone you are with has been burned, call 9-1-1 or seek help immediately; cool and cover burns to reduce chance of further injury or infection.
Prepare your home.
- Clean the roof and gutters.
- Maintain an area approximately 30’ away from you home that is free of anything that will burn, such as wood piles, dried leaves, newspapers and other brush.
- Connect garden hoses long enough to reach any area of the home and fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home’s contents.
Make a plan.
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the route to take and have plan of where you will go. Check-in with your friends and family.
- Keep your car fueled, in good condition, and stocked with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
Prepare For Tornadoes
When it comes to tornadoes, there’s no such thing as a “tornado season.” Tornadoes can strike anywhere, anytime, and you need to know the drill.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They can appear suddenly without warning and can be invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a funnel cloud appears. Be prepared to act quickly.