City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open November 22 – 27

From City press release:

Richmond, VA – The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Wednesday, November 22 – Monday, November 27, 2017 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Are You Ready? VCU Alarm Test Today At Noon

From Times Dispatch article:

Outdoor sirens will sound, digital signs will light up and alerts will be sent to phones and computers when Virginia Commonwealth University conducts a test of its emergency communications and alerting systems.

The full test will be conducted Wednesday at noon. In addition to sirens, it will include text messages, mass emails, desktop alerts, and notifications through social media and VCU’s website.

In addition to the semester test, monthly checks of the siren system are conducted at noon on the first Wednesday of each month.

Utility Message On Gas Safety

From Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities (one of our great advertisers!):

The Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program of the city of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities is here to educate our customers and non-customers – all those who live, work, shop, worship or play near natural gas pipelines – about natural gas safety.

Please watch this brief 17 minute video that will offer a brief history of the natural gas distribution system, and a detailed overview of the public awareness component of our overall safety program.

Stormy Night Problems

Neighbors reported various problems last night in the midst of stormy weather-

At 11pm Monday nite, at two Intersections, Traffic Lights completely dark. Corner of Belvedere & Idlewood Ave. and corner of S. Laurel St. & Idlewood Ave. Reported to SeeClickFix.

2:15am Power outage here 500 block S. Pine St.
Report all outages (888) 667-3000

Chimney fire on 600 block of S. Pine. Thank you RFD for a quick response.

Power out on part of 400 block Laurel.

Also, sometime between 8-10pm, there was an apparent hit and run on 1000 block of Idlewood. Looks like someone coming off expressway too fast hit two parked cars, knocking them into each other and up onto the sidewalk.

Precautionary Closing Of Lee Bridge

Heard the sirens this morning, but did not see anything mentioned in the news until later…

From Times Dispatch:

The Lee Bridge is closed to traffic this morning as fire and rail officials investigate if a train in close proximity to the bridge is leaking fuel.

Lt. Chris Armstrong with the Richmond Fire Department said train officials are on the scene. Authorities are investigating whether a car carrying petroleum is leaking or simply venting, which is a normal procedure when there is excess product inside, Armstrong said.

Related, older post:

Update: I am hearing the bridge is open again.

Update 2: “Loose valve on rail car carrying propane caused Lee Bridge shutdown

City Encourages Hazard Mitigation Planning; Meeting Friday

From City press release:

Richmond, VA – The City of Richmond’s Office of Emergency Management invites public comment on a regional Hazard Mitigation Plan that is presently being updated.
A meeting will be held on Friday, December 16, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 the Richmond Regional PDC, Board Room, 9211 Forest Hill Ave, Suite 200, Richmond VA 23235.

Disasters can devastate a community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the potential impact of future disasters.
Mitigation planning is a key process to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. It positions local leaders to take action prior to a disaster, to reduce impacts when a disaster occurs. Using local knowledge and expertise to plan today, allows localities to plan, design, and build their community and builds partnerships for risk reduction throughout the community.

Having a hazard mitigation plan will:
· increase awareness of hazards, risk, and vulnerabilities;
· identify actions for risk reduction;
· focus resources on the greatest risks;
· communicate priorities to state and federal officials; and
· increase overall awareness of hazards and risks.

The 26 localities of the Richmond and Crater regions work together to update the Richmond-Crater Multi-Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan to identify vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate long-term risks.
While nothing can be done to prevent natural hazard events from occurring, the region is poised to minimize the disruption and devastation that so often accompanies disasters, increasing the region’s resiliency.

Attend the meeting below to help break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Please come to provide comment on the plan.

Friday, December 16
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Richmond Regional PDC, Board Room
9211 Forest Hill Ave, Suite 200
Richmond VA 23235
For additional information please contact Bill Lawson, Emergency Planner, Office of Emergency Management, at 804-646-5281 or


It’s National Preparedness Month

It’s now September, and with Tropical Storm Hermine coming in this direction, its a good time to remind everyone that September is National Preparedness Month.

“…we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies.”

City Offers CERT Training In April

From City press release:

The City’s Office of Emergency Management is hosting an April Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Recruit Training session. The free 20-hour CERT session is scheduled for April 9, April 16, and April 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All training sessions will be held at the Richmond Fire and Emergency Service Headquarters, 201 East Franklin Street. Participants must attend all three days of training to receive certification.

In the aftermath of a disaster when people feel compelled to help their community and neighbors, the skills that the CERT program teaches become invaluable. The City’s Office of Emergency Management maintains a robust CERT program, which has many active members that assist during non-emergency events. The 20 hour CERT training program educates participants about disaster preparedness and hazards that may impact their area. The program trains individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Participants train alongside members of their community who will be part of their CERT Team, as well as with participants from other communities. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT sessions are taught by the Office of Emergency Management, Richmond Fire Department and the Richmond Police Department.

To register for the April CERT training session, call (804) 646-2504 or visit The registration form may be downloaded at

A fall 2016 CERT training session is scheduled for Aug. 13, Aug. 20, and Aug. 27.

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