Town of Parksley, Virginia
Emergency Management Plan for Extended Power Outages


This guide was prepared to help the Town of Parksley’s Citizens to prepare for and cope with a Town of Parksley power and/or water outage.

The guide is in compliance with Virginia Department of Health, Waterworks Regulations § 12VAC 5-590-505 and is to assist the local citizens preparing for potable water service interruptions.

History has shown Extended Power Outages in the Town of Parksley has lasted 1 to 4 hours but, we must be prepared for the worst case scenario. The Town of Parksley and outlying areas should be prepared for an extended power outage of 6, 12, 24, hours or longer. It is the responsibility of the Town of Parksley to do everything in their power to provide an adequate supply of safe potable water to their water costumers during any power outage.

Should a power outage occur at the Parksley Water Treatment Plant the Town has taken aggressive measures to provide adequate supply of safe potable water to its customers by installing a back-up generator that provides adequate power to the well pumps and chemical feed system during any power outage.

Should the Town of Parksley for any reason experience a Town wide power outage, the Town cannot provide power or back-up power to its residents and business. Nerveless, the Town has the responsibility to educate its customers how to react to a power outage more especially an extended Power Outage.

Power outages are caused of a multiply conditions:

1. Storms (Wind, Snow, Ice, Rain, lighting, etc.)

2. Equipment Failures

3. Birds, Squirrels

4. Accidents ( Power Pole Failure)

5. Etc.

There are times you will have advance warning of a potential power outage, with the approaching storm (Hurricane, Lighting, Ice, etc.). Then there times the only notice you will get is when the lights cut off (Accidents, Power line fuses blowing, Trees falling across the power lines).

It is imperative that every resident and business be prepared for any kind of emergency that should occur. Do not wait until a power outage occurs.

Every citizen must keep in mind the following:

1. The local stores may close due to (No lights, Cash register will not work, etc.)

2. The local stores have a small inventory of emergency kit supplies (Bottle water, Bread, Can goods, Essential supplies, nonperishable foods, etc.)

3. Local service stations, gas and fuel oil pumps will be off due to the power outage.

The Town of Parksley, request that everyone take a proactive approach to this program. You can save valuable time when a power/water outage occurs and be better able to cope with the outrage when it occurs.

Potential Emergencies that can occur in the Town of Parksley.

1. Fire

2. Police Emergency

3. Town Evacuation

4. Etc.

Please stay tuned to the local radio stations to get the proper information on how to address the specific emergency.

The Town of Parksley cannot be held responsible for the sequence of actions you actually take. It is your personal responsibility and is not the responsibility of the Town of Parksley the actions individual/individuals take. It is the responsibility of the Town of Parksley to provide guidance to its citizens to suggest what action they should take during an Town emergency.

We have provided a list contacts for your convenience to learn more about “performance during an outage”:

Federal Emergency Management Agency


American Red Cross


U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service


Accomack County Emergency Management Office


Parksley Town Office


Accomack and Northampton County Electric Cooperative


First Thing First

When There Is A Storm Warning

1. Have emergency supplies ready.

2. Fill the gas tank of your vehicle(s).

3. Have sufficient cash on hand. (ATM’ and Credit cards machines will not work)

4. Have sufficient prescription medicines.

5. Fill clean containers with water. (Have sufficient bottle water on hand)

6. Fill the bathtub with water.

7. Have sufficient supply of ice to safeguard perishable food.

When The Power Goes Out

Make sure all electric appliances that produce intense heat are turned off or disconnected • Cooking range • Oven • Toaster, toaster oven, electric frying pan, waffle iron • Clothes-pressing iron • Hair dryers and curlers, etc.

Portable Generators

The use of portable generators during power outages is growing. These generators can supply an adequate supply of power to a home for lights, TV, Heat and refrigerator. Read the manufactory instruction manual before using the generator.

Things to be aware of:

1. Never place a generator in a garage, home or enclosed building.

2. Never refill the fuel tank while the engine is running

3. Before plugging into the house outlet, turn off the main breaker on the home breaker panel. If the power grid should become energized before the generator is discounted, this could damage to the electrical system, electronic devices, and/or cause a fire.

How to determine if the power has been restored

1. Street lights will be illuminated

2. Neighbors lights illuminated

4. Having a neighbor to call when their lights come on.

5. Etc.

With all the electronics (T.V., Computers, Printers, etc.) in use today, if a power interruption should occur the main breaker on the main switch box should be turned off and only after the power has been restored turn it back on. This will prevent electronic equipment failures (Due to power single phasing or power surges).

When Power Is Restored

Check to make sure that all electric appliances that produce intense heat are turned off or disconnected.

Inspect food in the refrigerator and freezer for Healthfulness. Throw out food that shows signs of spoilage (Smells bad and/or changes in color) should not be retained and any food that you are not sure about should be thrown out.


Non-Perishable Foods

You should always have a supply of non-perishable foods on hand in case of a power outage should occur. Some power outages are difficult to determine the duration of the outage, where some are for minutes to a few hour.

Non-perishable foods are foods that can be kept safely without refrigeration:

• Canned meats, vegetables and fruits (unopened) • Powdered or granulated foods like powdered milk, fruit juices, and sugar

• Crackers

• Granola bars and trail mix

Perishable Foods

Perishable food in an unopened refrigerator may be kept safely for about four (4) hours after the power goes out. Some foods may be safely consumed at least six (6) hours after the power goes out: hard cheese (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, Romano) and processed cheese; butter and margarine; opened fruit juices and canned fruits; fresh fruit and vegetables; jam and jelly; catsup, mustard, and vinegar-based dressings; bread; waffles, pancakes and bagels; and fruit pies.

Perishable foods include:

• Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products

• Fresh vegetables and fruits

• Opened containers of nonperishable foods such as canned meats, vegetables, fruits, juices, soups, and jam and jelly

• Salad dressings (but not vinegar-based dressings)

• Bread

Food in the freezer may be kept safely for about 48 hours after the power goes out if the freezer is full and about 24 hours if it is half-full. If you can get it, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), placed in the freezer, will keep a freezer compartment sufficiently cold during a 1 to 2 day power outage. It must always be handled carefully (using gloves) and extreme care must be taken to prevent dry ice from becoming in direct contact with the skin (dry ice can cause burns to the skin). Unattended children must be kept away from dry ice.

Consuming Food During An Extended Power Outage

1. Ration food if necessary but have at least one balanced meal a day.

2. Open the refrigerator door as little as possible.

3. Consume first: ready-to-eat foods that may spoil if they are not consumed.

4. Don't eat food if you are not sure of its freshness.

5. Include vitamin and mineral supplements in your diet.

6. Eat high-energy foods like peanut butter and jelly, hard candy, granola bars and trail mix.


Re-Freezing Food When Power Is Restored:

You can safely re- freeze frozen food that has thawed if it still has ice crystals on it or it is at normal refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F. or below). Partially thawed ice cream and yogurt should not be re-frozen.

You can safely re-freeze some frozen food that has thawed even if has been above normal refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F.) for more than two hours:

• Hard cheese (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, and Romano)

• Fruit juices

• Vegetables and vegetable juices (but only if they were above normal refrigerator temperature for less than six (6) hours)

• Breads

• Waffles, pancakes and bagels

If food is moldy, yeasty smelling or slimy, discard it. Do not re-freeze any food if you are unsure it is Healthfulness.


Water Supply

There should not interruptions in the flow of fresh potable water to the Town of Parksley water customers. During an extended power outage there is a greater risk of loss of water supply due to unavailability of fuel for the generator. You must take precaution for the possibility of total water loss, filling water bottles, tub and etc.

Emergency Lighting

Plan to have battery-powered lights to provide light in your residence unit. Each adult in the household and each school-age child should have a flashlight. You should also have a battery-powered lamp or lantern that will illuminate a broader area larger than a flashlight so that you can carry on activities hands-free with sufficient illumination.

Keep a supply of extra batteries on hand. Use alkaline batteries.

Don't use flashlights or lamps powered by rechargeable batteries. They depend on electric power for recharging and will not work once they have run down.

It is not advisable to use candles or kerosene or oil lamps or lanterns. They are a fire hazard and may make the air unhealthy for people with breathing difficulty.

Weather Channels and Alerts, Portable Radios

When there is a possibility of an impending storm that could cause a power outage. The local radios stations will make public announcements that will inform the public of the potential area to be affected and what actions need to be taken to prepare for the impending storm. If an power outage occurs they will be able to broadcast the extent of the outage and emergency measures that should be taken.

Local radio stations are listed below:



Pocomoke City, Maryland



Exmore, Virginia



Nassawadox, Virginia



Chincoteague, Virginia



Crisfield, Maryland



Cheriton, Virginia



Parksley, Virginia


FM 103.3

AM 1330

Accomac, Virginia

Accomack County Amateur Radio Frequency

147.25500 / 444.3000

Weather Radio Frequency



Salisbury, Maryland


Heathsville, Virginia


Norfolk, Virginia


Accomac, Virginia


You should have an AM/FM portable radio and/or High/Low frequency radio. These radios must be battery powered. You should also have an adequate supply of batteries for back-up. It is recommended to have a battery charger that can recharge batteries by hand-cranking. It is recommended to have a radio with a hand-crank battery charger.

Additional information on weather related storms can be monitored on NOAA Weather Radio and the Amateur Radio; these frequencies need a special radio. If you want to receive these weather reports during a power outage, you need to have a portable radio that has a weather frequency band. Some multi­band portable radios have AM, FM, and Weather frequency bands.

Portable TV'S

You can also get news from television. You will need a portable television set that runs on batteries. However, in our area there are five (5) ways to receive a television signal:

1. Direct TV

2. Dish TV

3. Charter Cable TV

4. County owned translator TV

5. Fios TV

They provide television service to the local Town’s and Counties but do not give in-depth coverage for the local Town’s and Counties. You can get a more in-depth coverage of local emergency information from the Radio.

The local television and radio stations depend on electric power and without a back-up generator will not be able to broadcast during a power outage. Also, most portable TV's will not receive cable or dish TV signals.


You should have a corded "land line" telephone, one that plugs into a wall jack. A cordless telephone set will not work during a power outage because it depends on electric power to operate.

Don't rely on a cellular telephone during a power outage. Cellular antenna sites that relay cellular telephone calls depend on electric power. Some of these sites may not have an alternate power source although some calls may go through and others may not.

Be aware also that an answering machine will not work during a power outage because it depends on electric power to operate.

Temperature Extremes During A Power Outage

Cold Weather: If the power goes out for an extended period in cold weather, you may be able to tolerate the lowered temperature by taking measures to preserve body heat. Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.

1. Wear a hat.

2. To keep your hands warmer, wear mittens instead of gloves.

3. Eat regularly and drink ample fluids.

4. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol: (They cause dehydration)

5. Wood stoves and gas fire place inserts can be used to heat the residents.

6. Make sure there is enough clearance between the combustible materials, including floors, walls and ceilings

7. Place on a noncombustible, fire resistant base

8. Have a mason or other qualified person inspect the chimney

9. Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood

10. Consider opening or cracking a window for ventilation

11. Dispose of ashes in a closed metal container outside and away from the house

12. HOT WEATHER: If the weather outside is very hot, you should take the following precautions:

13. Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals

14. Drink plenty of water

15. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages (they cause dehydration)

16. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes

17. Draw curtains, drapes, and blinds to keep sunlight out

18. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, weak pulse, fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches) and heat stroke (high body temperature; hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; shallow breathing; and possibly unconsciousness).

Water Outages

How Much Water Will You Need?

You need at least three gallon of water a day for each member of the household:

6 quarts for drinking and 6 quarts for food preparation and hygiene

You may need more than that if the weather is hot or if there are children, a nursing mother, or a person who is ill in the household.

If you have a pet, be sure to make allowance of water for your pet.

Carbonated beverages, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages are not a substitute for water.

Have a supply of drinking water on hand for emergencies, enough for three days. Keep the water in tightly sealed plastic bottles and store it in a cool, dark place. Mark the date on the bottles and change them every 6 months. (Hint: Stored water will taste better if you pour it back and forth between two containers a few times before drinking.)

Don't rely on purchasing drinking water from a store when the outage arises even if you have some advance warning that there may be or will be a water outage. The demand for water may quickly exhaust stocks in stores especially if the outage is widespread.

If you anticipate that there may be a water outage, if there is a warning of severe weather approaching. Fills clean jugs and other clean containers with water from the tap to provide an additional supply of pure water.

If you are reusing containers for water storage, use only plastic containers that have previously held food or beverages and make sure they are clean:

wash them with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and then rinse them again with a household bleach solution (1/2 teaspoon bleach to 1 pint water). Be especially careful to completely sanitize the inside of containers that was previously used to store milk.

Purifying Water at Home

If you are not sure that water you need for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene is pure, you can purify it at home. See "How to Purify Water" Appendix A-I.

Fill Your Bathtub

When you anticipate that there may be a water outage, you should fill your bathtub to provide a source of water for toilet flushing.

Make sure that water will not leak from the tub. Even if the bottom drain opening is stopped up, the weight of the water can cause it to leak out around the edges of the bottom drain. To be sure that water doesn't leak from the tub, use a flat, disc-shaped rubber stopper that covers the entire bottom drain and the depression around it. (The stopper will be held fast in place by the pressure of the water on it.)

Flushing The Toilet

You can flush the toilet by pouring water directly into the toilet bowl. See Appendix II "How to Flush the Toilet During a Water Outage".

Conserving Water

Here are some ways to conserve water during a water outage:

Use disposable paper plates, bowls, and cups and plastic ware to reduce the need for clean-up after a meal.

Wash utensils using two containers: one, with soapy water for washing; the other, with clear water for rinsing. Add a small amount of bleach to the rinse water. (Or use a single container: first fill it with soapy water, wash the utensils and set them aside, empty the container, and then refill it with clear water (with a small amount of bleach added), and rinse the utensils.)

Use waterless hand sanitizing for cleansing hands. Keep a bottle next to the toilet.

For cleansing your person, use a bowl or basin and a pitcher of purified water and a face cloth. Pour some water into the bowl for washing with soap, empty the bowl, and pour in water for rinsing.

Always use purified water for brushing your teeth.

Flush solid waste down immediately but, to conserve water, flush liquid waste down only after more than one use. A conventional bathtub filled to capacity will provide enough water for about 12 flushes of a conventional toilet (more for a newer water-saving toilet.)

Save water you have used for cleansing ("gray water") as a source for toilet flushing. Never pour gray water into the toilet tank itself; it may damage or clog the flushing mechanism.

Persons With Special Needs

If you or a member of your household has a special need, that is, a disability or condition that would impair independent movement or communication. Below are some other precautions that you should take:

If you are disabled and there is no other person in your household to look after you, try to arrange for a relative or neighbor to check on you in the event of an emergency.

Have extra medical supplies on hand (for example, wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, and catheters).

Have a list of physicians who should be notified if needed.

Have an emergency supply of special food and drink that you need.

Consider getting a medical alert system so that you can call for help.

Checklist of Supplies

You should have enough food and water for three days:


For each member of the household: minimum of 3 gallons of drinking water per day for each member of the family, stored in plastic bottles; additional water for any pets in the household. Change the water every 6 months.

Regular household bleach or water purification tablets (for purifying water that may be contaminated)

Clean and sterilize containers for collecting and holding pure tap water.


Choose from the following list to provide balanced, nutritional meals. Try to include foods that members of the household, especially children, are familiar with.

Ready-to-Eat Canned Meat, Fish, Vegetables and Fruit, and Canned Dinners

Canned or boxed juices, milk, and


Hard candy (like lollipops)

Dry breakfast cereal

Powdered milk and juices


Nonperishable food for infants in the household

Nonperishable foods for members of the household on special diets

Nonperishable foods for pets

Hygiene and Water Conservation

Waterless hand sanitizing liquid (pump bottle)

Pump spray Disinfectant (like Lysol)

Flat disc rubber bathtub stopper

2-gallon pail (for flushing the toilet)

Pitcher and basin for personal cleansing

Tub for washing food preparation utensils

Large container for collecting used soapy water and rinse water ("Gray Water") for re­ use for toilet flushing

50 foot Length of garden hose or tubing with a hose coupling (for use in filling containers)

Paper plates, bowls, and cups

Disposable plastic knives, forks, and spoons

Other Supplies

Manual (Non-electric) can opener

Eyedropper (for measuring bleach to purify water)

Corded ("Land line") telephone (telephone that plugs into a wall jack)

Non-Rechargeable battery powered flashlight (one for each adult and school-age child)


You can purify water three (3) ways, by

Boiling it,

Adding household bleach, or

Adding water purification tablets

Boiling is the best method because it removes more potentially harmful substances than the other two methods. If the power is out, you will have to use one of the other two methods.


Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil it for 3 to 5 minutes. Hint: You can make the boiled water taste better by pouring the water back and forth between two containers a few times.

Adding Bleach

Add 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops) of bleach to each gallon of water, stir the water, and let it stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor and taste. If it doesn't, repeat the process and let the water stand for another 15 minutes.

IMPORTANT: You must use regular bleach that contains 6 percent sodium hypochlorite and does not contain any additives whatsoever, like chemicals to scent the bleach or make it "color safe," or other cleaning agents.

[If you don't have an eyedropper, measure the drops you need as follows: Cut a short length of paper that will readily soak up water (not glossy paper) about 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long. Fold back and crease one of the short ends of the strip about 1/2 inch from the end. Pour bleach into a spoon and place the paper strip in the bleach so that the creased end dangles over the lip of the spoon. As the paper strip becomes saturated, drops will fall from the end of the strip. Tip the spoon slightly if necessary so that the drops you need will continue to fall.]

Adding Purification Tablets

You can buy tablets for purifying water. Follow the directions that come with the tablets. Unless you are sure that persons using the treated water are not sensitive to iodine, buy tablets that do not use an iodine salt as the disinfecting agent.


You can flush the toilet by pouring water directly into the toilet bowl. To flush an old-style conventional toilet, you will need about two (2) gallons of water for each flush. To flush a newer water-saving toilet, you will need less water.

Use water from the bathtub if you have filled your bathtub in anticipation of a possible water outage. You can also use "gray" water (soapy water and rinse water saved from personal and utensil cleansing).

You will need a 2-gallon pail and a container (a pot or another pail, for example) to scoop the water from the tub into the 2-gallon pail.

To Flush an Old-Style Conventional Toilet

Follow these steps:

Make sure the level of the water in the bowl is at the normal level. If it is not pour about 3 quarts of water into the bowl to bring the level up to normal level.

Fill the 2-gallon pail with water.

Pour the water directly into the bowl, steadily and briskly, but do not dump it in the bowl. The water will first rise in the bowl and then be drawn out the opening at the bottom of the bowl, taking the waste with it. When the bowl empties there will be a sputtering sound and a little water will flow back into the bowl, enough to cover the opening at the bottom of the bowl but not enough to bring the level of the water up to normal level.

Pour about three 3 quarts of water into the bowl to bring the water level up to normal.

To Flush A Water-Saving Toilet

Follow the same procedure, except that you will need less water because the normal level of the water in the bowl is lower than in old-style conventional toilets and because the toilet takes less water to flush.

Using the above emergency procedure will usually flush liquid and solid waste down the toilet, although the flush will not be as clean as it normally is and some residue may remain