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Emergency Preparedness & Response

Emergency Preparedness & Response (EP&R) program coordinates Crater's response any public health emergency through preparation, collaboration, education and rapid intervention. It works closely with local, regional and state emergency response partners to enhance readiness and response to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health emergencies.

Hurricane Safety

Understanding hurricane terms will help to know how severe a storm is expected to be:

Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on the predicted wind speed and the potential to cause damage:

Category One Winds 74-95 mph
Category Two Winds 96-110 mph
Category Three Winds 111-129 mph
Category Four Winds 130-156 mph
Category Five Winds more than 157 mph

Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is issued when a hurricane with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher is expected. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch is issued when storm conditions appear possible in the warning area within the next 48 hours. The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.

Find out how you can prepare before a hurricane, and what to do during and after the storm, by visiting the VDH Hurricane Safety page.

Become a Volunteer!

Crater Health District

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Medical and non-medical backgrounds needed.

  • Low time commitment
  • All training is FREE
  • Become engaged in Public Health

Register Online

Download MRC Brochure

Preparedness Resources

Ready Gov provides a wide variety of preparedness tips and plans.

Ready.Gov Family Emergency Plan
Plan for you and your family to fill in together so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency

Ready.Gov Emergency Supplies Checklist
Checklist of supplies to have in your go-kit in case of an emergency.

National Weather Service
Enter your zip code and stay informed on current weather events.

CDC Emergency Preparedness
Preparedness guidance for public health emergencies.

Crater Community Healthcare Partners

Crater Community Healthcare Partners is a community-based group of like minded Long Term Care professionals serving vulnerable populations within the Crater Health District. The main focus of the group is emergency response and guidance. Members of CCHP benefit from networking with fellow professionals; accessing Crater Health District & community emergency preparedness experts, up-to-date information regarding emergency preparedness programs, alerts and sharing emergency plans & procedures. Membership is free and open to representatives of long term care, nursing home and assisted living facilities. 

Past CCHP meeting/workshop topics have included “Emergency Operations Plan: What Should Be in Yours?,” sheltering in-place, “Outbreaks in Long Term Care Facilities: Recognizing & Responding,” and communicating during an emergency.

POD ExercisePetersburg Home for Ladies practices POD response
During an public health emergency in which medication needs to be distributed to many people in a short time, the Health District may activate Points of Dispensing (POD) sites where people come to receive necessary medication for themselves and their family members. In such situations, long term care facilities might serve as closed PODs, where residents and staff can obtain medication (and thereby not overcrowd PODs open to the rest of the public). In collaboration with the Health District, Petersburg Home for Ladies practiced a closed POD response and distributed fake medication to its residents and staff in record time. This exercise may serve as a model for other facilities interested in being a closed POD during a public health emergency.

Crater Community Healthcare Partners Membership Form


The Rockingham/Harrisonburg dental department is located at 110 N. Mason St., Harrisonburg, VA 22803, in the BASEMENT of the Health Department. 

Qualifications for dental services:

  1. Patient must live in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County
  2. Have either Medicaid and/or Free Lunch, qualify as “A” income on our sliding scale
  3. Patient must be between the ages of birth and nineteen, and still attending high-school if age 21.  We do NOT treat adults.
  4. We accept Virginia Premier, Optima, Sentara and FAMIS.  With FAMIS the patient must have the $2.00 co-pay plan, NOT the $5.00 co-pay plan.  (Patients having the $5.00 co-pay FAMIS must go to a private dentist, as it is considered private insurance.)  The health department does NOT collect the $2.00 co-pay

If you meet these qualifications, please call 540-574-5210 to make an appointment.  Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Please call before coming to make sure we are open, as occasionally we are closed for a holiday or inclement weather.


The Waynesboro-Augusta dental team sees children from birth to 21 years of age who have Medicaid or are eligible for free school lunches. The Waynesboro dental clinic, located at the Waynesboro Health Department, sees children from Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To make an appointment at the Waynesboro-Augusta office call 540-949-0137, ext. 122.


The Lexington-Rockbridge dental team sees children from birth to 21 years of age who have Medicaid or are eligible for free school lunches. The Lexington-Rockbridge dental clinic, located at the Lexington Rockbridge Health Department, sees children from Lexington, Rockbridge and Buena Vista. Our office hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To make an appointment at the Lexington-Rockbridge office call 540-463-3185, ext. 125.

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Last Updated: 08-25-2016

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