Disaster Preparedness: Classes start next week in Hanover

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - It's only been a few weeks since a tornado ripped through Mechanicsville damaging dozens of homes and businesses. Now, county leaders are gearing up to host a series of classes dealing with disaster preps.

"It come through like a freight train; it was over and done in 5 or 10 seconds," said Earl Wilmore.

Wilmore says the tornado that blew through in late October is still the talk of the town. It's something Battalion Chief William Jones is glad to hear. He points out the lingering evidence, hoping it's serving as a wake-up call.

"The tornado has kind of brought some awareness so people say hey, my electricity is not always going to be working, my car might not always be moving around, there might not be food always available," said Jones.

Now, the county is gearing up to host a series of classes to get people prepared for the unexpected. Students will be asked a simple question: Are you ready? They'll learn everything from what to put in an emergency kit to what constitutes a disaster.

"It could be high winds, it could be flooding, it could be anything like that, and we've had it here. Since I've been here, we've had 3 tornados in 7 years, we've had ice storms, we've had snow storms, anything that can happen, it happens," Jones said.

Earl Wilmore's home wasn't damaged, but the moose lodge were he serves as governor was.He says they are planning to hold their own tornado preparedness classes, so he's been researching what to do.

"I've read a few things on the tornados, what to do for preparedness; you know where to go at in your house, go to a closet or bathroom, get in the tub; things like that," Wilmore said.

Two Hanover homes were damaged so badly by the tornado that the families had to move out.

The first class is Tuesday the 30th from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Mechanicsville library.

That's located at 7461 Sherwood Crossing Place.

Space is limited, so you need to call 365-4822 to get a spot.

If the class fills up, don't worry.

4 others are planned including one on February 17th at Cool Spring Baptist Church.

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