Emergency Preparedness and Response

The LENOWSICO Health District Emergency Preparedness and Response team’s mission is to effectively respond to any emergency impacting public health through preparation, collaboration, education and rapid intervention in Lee, Wise, and Scott Counties as well as the City of Norton. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs involve state, regional and local emergency response partners working together to enhance readiness to respond to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, weather related events, and other public health emergencies. Funding to support these efforts is provided through grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Health Resources Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

LENOWISCO Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency preparedness involves the personal responsibility to prepare yourself and your family to be self-sufficient in the event of a disaster.

The type of disaster, whether man-made or natural, will impact the decisions you will need to make and the actions that you may need to take.  Being prepared and knowing what to do can make all the difference when it comes to your family’s safety and the protection of your property.

Take the simple 3-step all-hazards approach:

1) Have a Kit- What to Include In Your Kit

2) Have a Plan- How to Make a Plan

3) Stay informed- Before, During, and After

If a disaster occurs, emergency team will do everything possible to get services back to normal as quickly as possible, but you need to remember that it may take time and you and your family could be on your own for an unknown period of time.


Download the ReadyVirginia Safety app for your phone!

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Public Health Emergency. www.phe.gov

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Severe Weather

Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding, and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.  A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year. If you know what to do before, during, and after a tornado you can increase your chances of survival.  Download a free Thunderstorms, Lightning and Tornado booklet for more information.

  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! Don’t wait for rain. Lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky. Learn more about lightning safety.
  • Keep away from windows.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corp (MRC)

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer to help during a Public Health Emergency?

The Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps is a cadre of volunteer health care professionals and community members trained to respond and assist with public health crises and public health activities in the 13 counties and 3 cities that comprise southwestern Virginia.  Over the past 10 years the Unit has been active in the community assisting with Influenza and H1N1 vaccine dispensing, Hurricane Katrina support, responding to intense snow storms and, its largest response, the tornadoes of 2011. The Unit received the National “2012 Medical Reserve Corps Mentor Award” and the Virginia Emergency Management Association’s “Volunteer Group Award” for the 2011 tornado response.  In addition to emergency events, the Unit participates in many community events such as DEA Drug Take Backs, Damascus Trail Days, United Way Virginia Highlands Healthy Child Evaluations, community health fairs, First Aid booths, and wellness events.

The Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps recruits for practicing, retired or otherwise employed medical professionals, as well as community members with non-medical skills.  Physicians, pharmacists, nurses, epidemiologists and paramedics are just a sampling of the medical community which is accepted for service.  Clergy, translators, sign language interpreters, clerks, volunteer coordinators and all other members of our communities are also encouraged to consider becoming a part of the local unit.

For more information and to sign up, visit the Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps’ Website or contact SWVAMRC Coordinator: Kristina Morris.

For more information and to sign up or contact the Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps coordinator, Kristina Morris: Kristina.morris@vdh.virginia.gov