Emergency Management

Emergency Management

Mission of Emergency Management

The City of Colonial Heights Office of Emergency Management's mission is to mitigate against, plan and prepare for, and coordinate responses to emergencies; educate the public on preparedness; collect and disseminate critical informaiton; and seek funding and other aid in support of overall preparedness, by coordinating all activities necessary associated with natural disasters, acts of terrorism or other disasters.

Protect yourself and your home during winter

Cold winter weather in Virginia is challenging and dangerous. Protect yourself and your home with these tips:

  • If there is a severe storm, then power outages could occur. If you can, stay in a place that has power and heat, such as a friend’s home, hotel or local warming shelter.
  • If you must stay home during power outages, plan now how you will stay warm. Choose a room that can be closed off and heated safely by something other than electricity.
  • If you will heat with a fireplace or wood stove, have a professional check it, especially if it has been a long time since the last cleaning. Residue can build up and cause fires.
  • Portable generators and kerosene and propane heaters should be inspected and cleaned by professionals so that they work safely. Proper ventilation is essential. Follow manufacturer’s directions exactly when hooking them up.
  • During power outages, don’t use candles for light. Flashlights are much safer. Be sure to have extra batteries on hand.
  • Plug space heaters into wall outlets, not extension cords. Keep space heaters at least three feet from other objects. Never leave a space heater unattended, and turn it off before going to bed.
  • Keep your gas tank full during the winter, but it’s always best to stay off roads during winter storms. Most accidents happen within the first two hours after a storm starts. If you must drive, know the road conditions before you go. Call 511 or go to www.511Virginia.org for around-the-clock travel information. Also, if you are going to drive in a winter storm, be sure to tell someone your destination and the routes you are going to take to get there.
It’s essential that you and your family have a winter emergency plan. Here’s why: if your family cannot return home because of severe weather or closed roads, you need to decide ahead of time on meeting places away from your neighborhood. You also need an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family’s point of contact for emergency communications. Learn more about making a plan for winter weather and all emergencies at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.

Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

The City of Colonial Heights Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is authorized to function under the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act of 1986. Its purpose is for the community to work with first responders, to create a working plan that outlines emergency response to natural disasters and hazardous materials situations and to coordinate the community's Right-to-Know Act. The LEPC membership includes (at a minimum):
  • Elected state and local officials
  • Law Enforcement
  • Storm Ready CommunityEmergency Management
  • Firefighting
  • First Aid
  • Health
  • Local Environmental
  • Hospital
  • Transportation
  • Broadcast and Print Media
  • Community Group
  • Owners and Operations of facilities

Are you interested in being part of the Colonial Heights LEPC?

Any citizen, local business manager or owner, hospital official, or medical personnel can apply to be part of the LEPC. The LEPC is a volunteer committee that meets quarterly to discuss activities in the City, review emergency plans, and prepare for disasters. If you are interested in being part of this committee contact Beverley Brandt, Emergency Manager at (804) 524-8773 or by email: brandtb@colonialheightsva.gov. Background checks may be required.

Tier II Chemical Inventory Reports

Facilities with any Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) on site greater than the relevant Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ) covered by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requirements must submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory form (Tier II) to the Fire Department and to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ).

Under the federal requirements, facilities must submit Tier II information by March 1 for the activities occurring in the preceding year. All reports to should be sent to Colonial Heights Fire, EMS & Emergency Management Office, P.O. Box 3401, Colonial Heights, VA 23834. Or you can submit by email to brandtb@colonialheightsva.gov.

Reporting forms and instructions for use of those forms can be found on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Separate reporting requirements for the Commonwealth of Virginia can be found on the VDEQ website.

Early Warning Siren

The City of Colonial Heights will sound the three sirens that are located throughout the city if citizens need to be alerted to “Immediate Danger.” These situations are usually weather related (i.e. severe thunderstorm warning, tornado warning, etc.) If you hear the siren alert, seek shelter and tune to your local radio, television, or cable station for information. The sirens are tested on the first Saturday of each month at 12:00 noon.

CERT Program

The Office of Emergency Management also coordinates the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, training citizens to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their community. The program is a component of the National Citizen Corp Program which aims to make communities better prepared through education, training and volunteer service.


Preparing your Family for Emergencies/Disasters

- Preparing you and your family for natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies is extremely important. Proper planning can be the difference between life and death. The Office of Emergency Management is committed to assisting you in preparing for all types of emergencies. For more information on how to prepare you and your family and essential items for your kit, visit www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia or email brandtb@colonialheightsva.gov.

Keep Your Pets Safe

– Your pet is an important member of your family - and pets are affected by disasters, too! As you put together your family’s emergency kit, don’t forget your pet: www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit/pets

Seniors and Special Needs

– Because senior citizens and citizens with special needs may have additional needs during and after a disaster, these websites can assist you in preparing your loved one:

Social Media

– Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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