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.
You will know the call is from CodeRED Weather Warning when you see the telephone number 800-566-9780. Emergency Alert phone calls may also include numbers from an 866 area code.
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 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.
The Statewide Tornado Drill is a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.
The Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, at 9:45 a.m. The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Office of Emergency Management encourages every family, business, organization, and school to participate in the annual statewide tornado drill.
Tornadoes are common in Virginia, so it is critical that everyone knows what to do when a tornado warning is issued.
To alert the community, the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Office of Emergency Management will send out a test alert through the CodeRED community emergency alert system. Additionally, the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning through all NOAA Weather Radios. This will prompt local radio and TV stations to broadcast a test message.
When a tornado warning is issued:
- Go immediately to a safe place – usually the lowest level of the building and away from windows – and stay there until the warning expires.
- If there is no basement, go to a windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hallway.
- Crouch as low as possible to the floor, face down and cover your head with your hands.
- Get instructions on how to hold a drill and register now for the Statewide Tornado Drill at http://www.vaemergency.gov/event/statewide-tornado-drill/
How to conduct a tornado drill:
Designate one or more people in your organization or home to coordinate your drill and have them follow the steps below.
Before the drill:
- Inform people about the tornado drill.
- Make sure they understand what will take place and where the safest place is.
- The safest place typically is a building’s basement away from windows. If there is no basement, go to a windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom, or interior hall on the lowest level of the building.
During the drill:
- Announce the start of the drill through a public address system or by going room to room and floor by floor.
- Have people move as quickly as possible to the nearest safe place. Use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building; avoid using elevators.
- When people reach the safe area(s) inform them to crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and cover their heads with their hands.
- After everyone has sheltered, announce the tornado has passed and the drill is over.
After the drill:
- Make note of any necessary changes in the shelter procedures.
- Do more safe areas need to be identified?
- Are some safe areas cluttered and need to be cleaned out to be more accessible?
- Do people know the fastest routes to take to safe areas?
- Is a better method for letting people know of an approaching tornado needed?
1. Have a Plan
2. Provide Proper Housing & Shelter
3. Have an Evacuation Plan
4. Know Basic First Aid for Your Animals
5. Provide & Store Water for at Least 3 Days
6. Have Enough Food for at Least 3 Days
7. Have Proper Documentation & Identification
Additional Resources Pet Preparedness: Livestock Preparedness:
Take a look at these links for more information on making sure you and your animals are prepared in an emergency: