Office of Emergency Services

The Lancaster County Office of Emergency Services maintains a separate web site. Please refer to for more comprehensive information on Emergency Services information and programs.

In accordance with state law, the Lancaster County Board of Supervisors has adopted an Emergency Operations Plan which establishes the legal and organizational basis for operations in response to any type of disaster or large scale emergency situation. The Plan assigns broad responsibilities to local government agencies and support organizations for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. These responsibilities are generally extensions of normal day-to-day functions involving the same personnel and material resources.

The types of disasters which are most likely to affect Lancaster County are weather-related occurrences such as hurricanes, coastal flooding, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms which produce high winds and large rainfall amounts. The Emergency Operations Plan also provides guidance to local officials for responding to situations involving hazardous materials.

Community Notification System (CodeRED)

Lancaster County has contracted with Emergency Communications Network to provide emergency alerts to its citizens in the form of recorded telephone messages through a product known as CodeRED. The system was put in place prior to Hurricane Irene and was used to provide evacuation and shelter information during the event.

The CodeRED database used during Irene consisted of published telephone numbers only. Efforts to improve the CodeRED database to include unlisted numbers and cell phone numbers are ongoing. Lancaster County citizens can assist this endeavor by navigating to the CodeRED web site and reviewing/updating their contact information.

A CodeRED mobile alert app is also available. Details here.

This press release provides more information on the service.

Hurricane Preparedness Resources

Lancaster County will utilize the following media outlets to release public information pertaining to hurricanes and other severe weather threats:

Radio Stations

  • WKWI - 101.7 FM Kilmarnock
  • WIGO - 104.9 FM Kilmarnock
  • WRAR - 105.5 FM Tappahannock
  • WNNT - 107.5 FM Warsaw
  • WCNV - 98.1 FM Richmond/Heathsville

Television Stations

  • WTVR - Channel 6 Richmond
  • WRIC - Channel 8 Richmond
  • WWBT - Channel 12 Richmond
  • Metrocast Cable - Channel 7 Saluda

Storm Surge Inundation Maps

The map linked below indicates the areas of Lancaster County that would most likely flood in the event of a hurricane. The map is color coded according to storm severity with category 1 being the least severe storm and category 5 being the most severe storm.

Lancaster County Storm Surge Map (PNG format)

Fire and EMS Apparatus Access to Structures

This is a recommendation based on the 2009 Virginia Statewide fire Prevention Code 503.2.1:

Commercial: fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 feet exclusive of shoulders and unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet, 6 inches.

Residential: Fire apparatus access roads exclusively serving single family dwelling or townhouse developments should have unobstructed width of not less than 18 feet and vertically not less than 13 feet, 6 inches.

Senior Preparedness Program

Lancaster County Department of Emergency Services operates a program geared towards preparing the county's senior population for safety and preparedness.

The program is designed as a follow-up with citizens who are 65 years and older and have received transport by the county rescue squads.

The department's staff will cover such topics as home safety, driving safety, and disaster preparedness. In addition, county emergency services staff members will check smoke detectors and give information on the programs available throughout the county.

Any other citizen wanting information on any of these topics should email Chief Matt Smith or call Chief Smith at (804) 436-3553.

Contact Information

Chief of Emergency Services

Matt Smith
Phone: (804) 436-3553
Fax: (804) 462-0031

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