Emergency Communications Center  |  Emergency Management

At the Federal level, disaster planning, operations management and recovery operations are the the responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (DEM) is the state organization responsible for disaster planning, training and management. The state is divided into 3 regions, each region having an Emergency Coordinator acting as liaison between the state and the jurisdictions in the region. The Charlottesville, Albemarle, UVA Office of Emergency Management is managed by Allison Farole, the local Emergency Management Coordinator.


The Emergency Management Coordinator is responsible for:

  • Writing a joint Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)
  • Implementing the EOP in times of disaster
  • Coordinating City, County and University response to a disaster
  • Acting as liaison between local, state and federal disaster officials
  • Educating the public on disaster preparedness
  • Coordinating, planning and conducting the annual City, County and University disaster exercise




(NOTE: This information is presented by the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center and is supplied as a public service. The Emergency Communications Center assumes no liability and will not be responsible for any injury which is the consequence of any action, or inaction, that is in any way related to the information in the "Know What To Do In Case Of An Emergency" guide.)

There are several natural and man-made emergencies that can impact the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.  The police, fire and rescue emergency responders, the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center, and the Office of Emergency Management are all dedicated to providing the best possible emergency services for you. However, you need to know what to do so that your actions do not interfere with the work of public safety personnel.  For this reason, the following information is presented. Please read it so that you will "Know What To Do In Case Of An Emergency".




There are several things you can do to be prepared for an emergency.  Remember that it may be some time before emergency responders can reach you, depending on the type and scale of the natural or man-made emergency, or combination of emergencies occurring.  You can be better prepared by doing the following:

  • Learn What To Do

Prepare an emergency supply kit including a first aid kit, flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, blankets, extra appropriate clothing, prescription medication, other necessary items, bottled liquids, and ready-to-eat-food.

Learn CPR, first aid and life saving techniques.

Participate in family and community emergency preparedness activities.




For any type of emergency CALL 911.  Give your name, address including community, and the nature of the emergency.  Stay on the line until told that you may hang up.  Remain calm and answer as clearly as possible any questions asked.

If you have questions of a non-emergency nature, please call 977-9041.




If there is an emergency, you will be warned in one or more ways in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and you will be informed of the protective action(s) to take.  Your local radio or TV station will tell you what to do through the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

CLICK on the icon for CodeRed below.

EAS Radio Stations

WCHV / WWWV 1260 AM / 97.5 AM
WINA / WQMZ 1070 AM / 95.1 FM
WKAV 1400 AM
WUVA 92.7 FM
WCYK 99.7 FM
WVSY 101.9 FM
WVAO 102.3 FM


EAS Television Stations

WVIR Channel 29
WCAV Channel 19 
WVAW Channel 16
WAHU Channel 9

In other areas, emergency service vehicles with loud speakers will provide emergency warnings. You may be directed to tune in to a local radio or TV station to listen to the EAS for instructions.

Cable TV stations serving some areas of Charlottesville and Albemarle County will convey emergency warnings and/or general information to those households with cable TV service.  If the message is only a warning, you will be instructed to tune to a local EAS station.





Emergency weather information may be transmitted via EAS, including Watch or Warning information.  A Watch means weather conditions are favorable for the development of a severe storm.  A Warning means a severe storm is already occurring and headed in a predetermined direction.  Follow EAS or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report for directions.



  • Stay calm.

Turn on your radio or television to an Emergency Alert System station for information and instructions.


Telephone lines are needed for official business and your call could delay telephone warning information and/or emergency responder action.



EAS instructions will tell you the protective action(s) to be taken.  The protective action could be Shelter-in-Place, Prepare-to-Evacuate, or Evacuate.  Depending on the particular circumstances of the emergency, any of the three protective actions or a combination of them may be appropriate.

  • Shelter-in-Place

Shelter-in-Place is a proven effective action which is the proper response for many emergencies.  If you are told to Shelter-in-Place, take the following actions:

Go inside the nearest logical structure (home, school, public building, store, office building, etc.), to a room with few or no windows.

Stay calm.

Turn on a radio or television to a local EAS station for information and instructions.

Stay tuned to the station until the emergency is over, or until you are given instructions to evacuate.

Bring pets inside, as appropriate.

If the Emergency involves hazardous materials, the following actions are to be taken in addition:

Turn off heating and cooling systems.

Turn off window fans and other fans.

Shut windows and doors.

Cover cracks with tape or wet rags.

If told to protect breathing, cover nose and mouth with a cloth--wet, if possible.

After the All Clear signal is received, ventilate the structure.  Go outside.

  • Prepare-to-Evacuate

Prepare-to-Evacuate is a protective action that may be given at first or as a follow-up to Shelter-in-Place if it is appropriate for the emergency.  At the time the Prepare-to-Evacuate instruction is given, emergency management personnel will be preparing for an orderly evacuation.  You should take the following actions:

Stay calm.

Tune to a radio or television station for local EAS emergency instructions.

Gather appropriate clothing, necessary medication, portable radio, flashlight, checkbook, credit cards and other necessary items.

Unless you are instructed not to, check your personal transportation for readiness.

  • Evacuation

Evacuation is a sound protective action and the proper response for many emergencies when it is best to separate the people impacted by the emergency from the emergency.  If you are told to evacuate, take the following actions:

Stay calm.

Listen to a radio or television tuned to a local EAS station.

Turn off natural gas and fuel oil utilities prior to leaving the structure to prevent secondary emergencies.

Take the necessary clothing, medication, portable radio, flashlight, and other necessary items to the designated shelter.

Lock the structure that is being left.  The area(s) evacuated will be secured by law enforcement agency personnel.

Do not attempt to go to the location of another family member in the same impacted area.  Other members of the family will be evacuated in an orderly manner if they are in an impacted area where an Evacuation protective action is ordered.

Turn on the porch light as you leave your house or other structure to signify the structure is empty.

Use your own car for evacuation if possible.  If necessary, ask a neighbor for transportation assistance.  If neither option is available, go to a logical main street pickup point where public transportation will be provided.

If in a private vehicle, turn on the vehicle radio for further instructions.

Follow the directions of emergency response personnel if you are in a private vehicle.  All vehicles will be guided to a shelter.

Upon the receipt of the All Clear signal, you will be allowed to return to your home or other location from which you were evacuated.  If you came by public transportation, you will be returned by the same method.

If the emergency involved a hazardous material, upon returning to your home or other location ventilate the structure before remaining inside.



Don't wait for an emergency!  Disabled persons who may need special assistance during emergencies, especially in an evacuation, should make a personal evacuation plan using the assistance of a friend, relative, or neighbor.  In a large-scale evacuation, public assistance from emergency responders will not be available.




Evacuation routes will be determined by the appropriate emergency management official(s) at the time of the evacuation action decision.  The following major thoroughfares and streets will be utilized whenever possible:

Route 29 North or South

Route 20 North or South

Route 250 East or West


Contact the Department
Emergency Communications Center
2306 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Director: 434-971-1765
Fax: 434-971-1767
Center 24/7: 434-977-9041
Email the Department