Fairfax County Wants Feedback on Improving Communications During Emergencies


August 28, 2012

News Highlights

  • Residents and businesses are encouraged to take a short, online survey to help the county improve its communications during emergencies.
  • The survey is part of the county's official evaluation of its response to the July derecho storm.

After filing a report last week with the Federal Communications Commission on Verizon’s 9-1-1 outages, Fairfax County officials are looking at how to improve their own communications during emergencies.

The county wants to know how it can better communicate with residents and businesses in a disaster like a derecho, hurricane or terrorist attack. Officials are seeking feedback in a short, online survey.

“We’re asking for every resident to provide input, as well as business owners,” said David McKernan, coordinator for the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management. “It’s important for us as emergency planners to learn how this storm affected our residents, businesses and infrastructure so that we can implement corrective measures and plans for a better response for future storms.”

To take the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/fairfaxemergencyinfo. This survey is part of the county’s official review of its response to the July 2012 derecho.

However, this storm isn’t last time that the county could experience widespread, long-lasting power outages.

Hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30 in the D.C. area, and forecasts calls for five to eight hurricanes in the Atlantic this year. It’s not just the Gulf Coast that’s at risk, officials say, for anyone who remembers Hurricane Isabel in 2003. This storm left thousands in the area without power and water for days.

This is why it’s important for residents to learn how to get information before, during and after a storm, as well as why county officials want to learn how to communicate more effectively in emergencies.

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