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Tornado Watch Issued for Region

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region. The watch is in effect through 9:00 p.m.

The Arlington Office of Emergency Management issued the following statement about the impending severe weather earlier today:

The National Weather Service has advised that the metropolitan area can expect pop up spotty scattered showers/thunderstorms from mid to late afternoon today.  This evening as the cold front approaches, the storm system will be more organized as it moves East.  Between 7 and 10 pm, there is a better potential for large hail, 60 mph winds and possible tornado activity especially in those areas that see multiple thunderstorms. Rain totals will be 1-1/2 inches in those areas where multiple storms occur.  Flooding may  occur in those areas.

During a power outage Dominion Virginia Power has a toll free service number for reporting power outages.  1-866-366-4357. Call if you lose power and use the automated reporting system for fastest access.

Today is also the beginning of hurricane season. It is critical that everyone understand something about a hurricane.  There are some simple, low-cost steps each of us and our families can take to get ready for hurricanes or any disaster: Be Informed, Make a Plan, Prepare an emergency kit, and Get Involved.

If you have a smart phone, download the free Arlington Prepares app. There is information about how to prepare, how to respond to specific emergencies and you may download your own personal and contact information.  To get started, go to www.arlingtonva.us/oem.

Be Informed:

You already receive Arlington Alerts, but the other ways to get emergency information are through the County’s web site, www.arlingtonva.us, 1700 AM radio, AVN Comcast 25 or Verizon 40 and local media.

Make a Plan:

Making a family disaster plan involves discussing the hazards and threats for your area and what your family would do during an actual emergency. As you create your plan, decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home, designate an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and plan for the specific needs of your household, such as an evacuation shelter for pets or transportation for medical equipment.  For more information, visit www.arlingtonva.us/oem.

Prepare an Emergency Kit:

An emergency supply “Go Bag” kit includes, among other things, essential items to last at least three days such as a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, food and water, flashlights, a first aid kit and medications.  For more specific information on what to include in your “go bag”, visit www.arlingtonva.us/oem.  The Virginia Department of Emergency Management also has information on preparation for emergencies at www.vaemergency.com

Get Involved:

There are several opportunities to become involved in emergency preparedness activities, including assisting should a hurricane hit Arlington.  Become a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member.  The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and Volunteer Emergency Support Team (VEST) uses volunteers in emergencies. For information on these volunteer programs, visit www.arlingtonva.us

Tips for Homeowners:

Now is a good time to stroll around your property and prune any dead branches from trees.  Treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous! dlp/oem

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