Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response consists of two divisions which are also the central point of contact for Emergency Management and Emergency Communications (911).

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Apr 02

Team Norfolk Emergency Operations - COVID-19 April 2, 2020 Update

Posted on April 2, 2020 at 2:39 PM by Jim Redick

Team –

We’re at the mid-point of the operational period so I wanted to provide a brief update.  Starting with the most recent Virginia Department of Health numbers posted this morning, Virginia has 1,706 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 41 fatalities.  Norfolk is credited with 37 cases and sadly, learned of our first fatality yesterday.  The expectation and our planning assumptions should be that these numbers will continue to rise.  During recent press briefings, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 55 – a Temporary Stay At Home Order effective until June 10 - and suggested peak demand on PPE and our healthcare systems may not arrive until late April to late May.  To assist with this demand and otherwise decompress the surge on our hospital systems, the Hampton Convention Center was identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and approved by Governor Northam as the location for a Federal Alternate Care Site (ACS) in Hampton Roads.  Putting an ACS is not an overnight operation; more to come on this.

Please find attached the status on our IncidentAction Plan (IAP) – updates in red text.  There has been much done throughout all of Team Norfolk!  I want to thank our higher education partners, Norfolk State and Old Dominion, for their contributions of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the fascinating idea of ODU VMASC creating equipment with 3D printing!!  A big thanks also to Ms. Tina Harvey and Capital Concrete for their generous donation of much-needed hand sanitzer! 

Our VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) partners also continue to meet and work tirelessly to find ways to help the community get through this pandemic.  Because their, and other volunteer and non-profit organizations will deplete their resources, we are committed to continue promoting ways which folks in our community and volunteer or contribute.  Along with VOAD, this includes the great work being done by the Food Bank and our CERT volunteers assisting with traffic control and meal distribution, Volunteer Hampton Roads, Senior Services of SouthHampton Roads (Meals on Wheels), and our newest partner, Corona Aid #757!  With hopes of keeping donation support here locally, please let us know other ways in which Norfolkians and others can contribute to the cause!

All who are performing volunteer work for COVID-19, please DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!  Your contributions have a dollar value when it comes to potential reimbursement from FEMA.  It doesn’t mean YOU and your ORGANIZATION will get reimbursed; rather, the City is responsible for match funding which your documented contributions could count toward.  In other words, your efforts benefit our community more than you knew!!  But in the world of FEMA, if its not documented, it never happened. More details here.

The YMCA deserves a round of applause for their offer to provide childcare for essential workers!  Details available here

Big thanks to some of our faith leaders and other partners for their work as well helping get critical information throughout our neighbors.
  These include Pastor Kirk Houston of Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church, Pastor Keith Jones of Shiloh Baptist Church, Pastor Jones - President of the Tidewater Baptist Minister’s Organization, Pastor Geoffrey Gunns of Second Calvary Baptist Church, Pastor William Tyree of First Baptist Church Berkley as well as Mr. Joe Dillard, President Norfolk NAACP and Mr. Gil Bland, President Urban League.   One Team!  One Message!

Infrastructure Systems / Community Lifelines
  • Safety and Security: Norfolk 911, Norfolk Fire-Rescue, Norfolk Police and Norfolk Sheriff’s Office are all operational;
  • Food, Water, Shelter: Food continues to be provided by Norfolk Public Schools, Food Bank, Mercy Chefs, CoronaAid757, and several food pantries.  Food locator website to be made available;
  • Health and Medical: Sentara has discontinued drive-thru testing at Military Circle. In-House testing strategy will be forthcoming;
  • Energy: No outages.  Dominion Energy also among the utilities suspending disconnects due to late or non-payment;
  • Communications: Joint Information Center (JIC) is activated for all incident-related messaging.  All responder communications are operational.

Resource Needs:

  • Autoclave material, which is on what sterilized tools are laid in hospitals, tattoo studios and other sanitized spaces, to make homemade masks.
  • Folks to make masks with the autoclave material! Instructions here.
  • Food Bank is in need of monetary donations (not foodstuff donations).
  • CoronaAid757 needs more volunteers to help grocery shop, deliver meals, etc. for our seniors.  Also, in need of masks.
  • Volunteer Hampton Roads is also looking for more volunteers for the many missions they are supporting.

Rumor Control:

Since the Governor’s Stay At Home order, many have asked whether credentials were needed to travel to and from work, etc.  As stated by Norfolk Police and further posted by the Virginia State Police:

 “Governor Northam’s Executive Orders:

  • Do not require an individual to carry documentation related to one’s purpose of travel in Virginia;
  • Do not close Virginia’s roads / interstates to Virginia residents;
  • Do not restrict non-Virginia residents from travelling into, through and/or out of Virginia;
  • Do not prevent Virginians from traveling out of the state.”

It is also worth reminding folks interested in serving in a volunteer capacity, Governor Northam’s Executive Order 55 specifically states “Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services…” is an exception.


Special Shout Out to Mr. Skip Stiles of Wetlands Watch who helps keep our community informed of impending flood events.  While we just experienced some coastal flooding, we have more in store.  The Tide Graph for Sewell’s Point suggests nuisance flooding during the weekend’s high tides.  Please encourage folks living in areas vulnerable to coastal flooding to move their vehicles to higher ground at any of the city garages, all of which are open and free of charge.

While a bit windy at times, there is no rain in the forecast for the remainder of this operational period which ends Monday at 9am.

Situation Report Reminder

Please remember to send your situation reports to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov by noon tomorrow, Friday the 3rd.  Looking for what you were able to accomplish, objectives for next week, resource needs and messaging needs.

One Community.  One Team.  One Unified Effort.

Norfolk Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks, everyone!



Jim Redick, Director
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response

Follow City of Norfolk for official information at Norfolk.gov, @NorfolkVa on Twitter, and City of Norfolk Government on FaceBook.