Natural disasters such as flood, fire, hazardous chemical incidents, tornadoes and windstorms affect thousands of people every year. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community.

Recognizing an impending hazard and knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family will help you take effective steps to prepare beforehand and aid recovery after the event.

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for all types of hazards. However each emergency is unique and knowing the actions to take for each threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make. By learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency.

Read more information about Being Informed.

Notification Apps

Both Kanawha and Putnam Counties have apps for your Apple or Android device that alerts you of any dangerous situations. 

For Kanawha County, download the KC Ready app from your App Store or this link.

For Putnam County, download Heads Up Community from your App Store or this link and select Putnam County.  


Emergency Siren System

Kanawha and Putnam Counties has a series of 55 disaster alert sirens designed to alert the public of dangerous sitations, including severe weather, shelter in place, or evacuations. 

Learn More 


Possible Emergency Situations

While there are a variety of emergency situations possible for the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas, there are some more likely to occur. Spend some extra time becoming familiar with these situations and how to deal with them.

Active Shooter

An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

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In West Virginia, flood warnings and watches are a regular occurance. Be sure to take these notices seriously and don't become complacent. Rising and rushing water presents serious, sometimes fatal, consequences. Failing to evacualte flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. 

If you are under a flood warning, move to higher ground right away

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters, even if they appear to be shallow. Turn Around, Don't Drown!  Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
  • When flooding does occur, determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding. Evacuate if told to do so. You may also be advised to move to a higher part of the building you are in or you could be told to stay where you are. 
If you live or work in an area prone to flooding, be alert. Sign up for your area's warning system and pay close attention to weather forecasts.


Natural Disasters

In addition to flooding, Kanawha and Putnam counties are likely to experience the following natural disasters. Understanding the consequences of each disaster and being prepared can make all the difference when disaster strikes. Read more information about natural disasters:

  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Thunderstorms and Lighting
  • Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
  • Extreme Heat
  • Earthquakes
  • Landslides and Debris Flow
  • Fires
  • Wildfires
  • Pandemic


Find Information on other disaster scenarios