Medical Reserve Corps Newsletter
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month—a time to get prepared for emergencies, to review your family's preparedness, and to review your readiness to respond as a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer. As a MRC volunteer, the Fairfax County Health Department is counting on you and your commitment to preparedness and readiness for a potential response. September is a great time to update your plans, your emergency kit supplies, and your MRC profile as needed. In addition, assess how well prepared you are in four key areas:
Be informed about the different types of emergencies that can happen in our area and their appropriate responses.
Learn about the hazards that may strike in Fairfax County, the risks you face from these hazards, and how to best prepare for them. In the past year, our community experienced Hurricane Irene, flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, an earthquake, and the powerful “derecho” storm this summer. One thing we can count on is that we will continue to face emergencies from time to time. Learn about the types of emergencies we might face by viewing information from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency. And if you haven’t already, register with Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network at fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.
Create or update your family emergency plan.
Your family may not be together when an emergency strikes, so it is important to plan in advance. Think about how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in different situations.Where will you go if you have to evacuate the area? Do you have the resources to shelter-in-place at work and at home? Are you familiar with the emergency plans for your office or for your children’s schools? You can download a family emergency plan template by visiting ready.gov/make-a-plan or go to ReadyNOVA.org, which has a user-friendly online tool to create your plan.
Create or update your emergency supply kit.
You should have a well-stocked emergency supply kit so that you and your family can survive on your own for at least three days after an emergency. This means having non-perishable food, water, a battery or hand-crank radio, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to meet your family or household needs. Take the time to prepare an emergency kit for your home, your office, and your vehicle so that you are ready for the unexpected. Find a complete checklist of the supplies your household may need during an emergency at ready.gov/build-a-kit.
Get involved in emergency preparedness.
As an MRC volunteer, you should anticipate playing an important role in Fairfax County during emergencies. Your commitment and diligence in preparation is essential. This month, log into your MRC profile and review your personal and emergency contact information and your training record. Check the training calendar and sign up to take advantage of appropriate opportunities.
As a reminder, all volunteers should complete Orientation, the FEMA Introduction to the Incident Command System (IS 100), and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Introduction (IS 700). FEMA courses are available online at training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp. Once your FEMA trainings are complete, please be sure to forward the confirmation email that you receive from FEMA after completing your exam to HDMRC@fairfaxcounty.gov. Finally, follow up with the MRC Program Office to schedule an appointment to get your MRC badge if you don't already have one by sending an email to HDMRC@fairfaxcounty.gov or by calling 703-246-8641.
Emergencies will happen, but taking action now to prepare can help all of us to minimize their impact on our lives and on our community. Preparedness is a shared responsibility and each of us has a role to play. Consider helping those around you—friends, colleagues and family—by reminding them of the importance of preparedness and sharing your preparedness tips.