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Community Hazards Analysis

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Community Hazards Analysis

As in most other urban areas, the primary hazards in the City of Roanoke are major fires, flooding, hazardous materials incidents, severe winter weather, power failures, essential resources shortage, and transportation accidents. These potential situations may exceed day-to-day response capabilities requiring a coordinated emergency response.
  • The Roanoke River and several tributaries flow through the city and are subject to periodic flooding. There have been several severe floods in recent years (2004, 2003, 1995, 1992, 1989, 1987, 1985, 1979) resulting in flooding and requiring evacuation of homes and businesses in low-lying areas.
  • Air, rail and interstate traffic through the City of Roanoke creates the potential for major transportation accidents with mass casualties/fatalities. The potential for a hazardous material transportation incident is relatively high.
  • Seventy-five facilities that are physically located within the city manufacture, store or transport extremely hazardous substances which fall under the reporting requirements Title III of the federal Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA).
  • Severe winter weather can limit travel and disrupt essential services for several days. Emergency assistance may be required, such as emergency transportation and evacuation and care for displaced persons.

Ironically, it is life's modern conveniences and advancements that often create the potential for disaster. Many of the potential emergencies described above are consequences of business and transportation facilities that help maintain Roanoke's high quality of life. Although these facilities pose no threat to public safety under normal circumstances, the possibility of an emergency always exists.

The information on this web site will provide you with a better understanding of emergencies and disasters, what type of response you can expect from the City of Roanoke, and what you can do to protect yourself, your family and/or your business before, during, and after emergencies.