Residents Encouraged to be Prepared for Winter Storm
Feb. 4, 2010
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for heavy snow with near-blizzard conditions in effect from 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. Fairfax County encourages residents to take the necessary emergency preparedness tips in anticipation of the storm.
To stay safe this weekend, the Office of Emergency Management reminds residents to:
- Re-supply emergency supply kits, especially batteries (for flashlights and radios), food and water supplies for up to three days and a manual can opener in case you lose electricity at your home.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home before the storm arrives to ensure they are working properly.
- Clear snow from driveways and sidewalks to help reduce the risk of injuries from slips and falls but be careful to avoid over-exertion. Intense exertion from shoveling snow, combined with low temperatures can potentially cause heart attacks and injuries. Stay hydrated while shoveling.
- Never leave alternative heating sources, such as space heaters, or candles unattended in your home.
Avoid driving in the snow. If you must travel in the bad weather:
- Do so during daylight, drive slowly and use main roads.
- Carry a cell phone for emergency use.
- Inform someone of your route and when you expect to arrive.
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof – before driving.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back a safe stopping distance and don’t pass on the right.
- Don’t use your cruise control in wintry conditions and don’t pump anti-lock brakes. It’s recommended to “stomp and steer.”
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for removing snow and ice from the thousands of miles of public roads in Fairfax County. Clearing is done on a priority basis, with interstates and high volume roads cleared first. Contact VDOT at 703-383-8368, TTY 711, for more information.
If you see an unsheltered person at night who may be at risk of hypothermia, call Fairfax County’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131; emergency personnel will determine which shelter option is best in the situation.
Emergency information will be available this weekend on Fairfax County’s Facebook, Twitter, emergency information phone line (703-817-7771), the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) and on Fairfax County Government Channel 16. In addition, 1670 AM, emergency radio for Fairfax County, is broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the National Weather Service.
Additional winter weather preparedness information can be found online. In addition, emergency contact numbers for public utilities is online should residents lose electricity, gas, telephone, cable, Internet or water service.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711