Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Feb. 12, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Feb. 12, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about how to protect against price gouging in the wake of the recent snow storm, as well as details on road plowing and possible flooding from melting snow. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
In the wake of the recent snow, residents are reminded to be cautious when solicited by people offering to provide services such as repairs to roof and decks; snow clearing; car towing.The Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act makes it illegal to charge excessive prices for 30 days after a declared state of emergency. This state law prohibits price gouging for “necessary goods and services” that are in demand after a disaster. These goods and services include but are not limited to water, food, ice, gasoline, generators, batteries and building materials. The law only applies during a time of disaster when either the governor or the president declares a state of emergency in Virginia. Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a State of Emergency on Feb. 3.
For more information about filing a price-gouging complaint, please contact the Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is responsible for plowing the public roads including interstate, primary, secondary and residential roads in Fairfax County. Clearing is done on a priority basis, with interstates and high volume roads cleared first. Please contact VDOT at 703-383-8368, for more information.
There are several steps Fairfax County residents and businesses can take as precautions against potential flooding related to the recent snowstorms. In the event that flooding does occur, be prepared with flood safety tips. Recommendations from the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services include:
- Remove snow and debris, such as trash, from the outside openings of storm drains. Do not attempt to enter a storm drain to remove debris.
- Clear areas around downspouts and roof drains so melting water has a path to flow away from buildings when the snow begins to melt. Do not attempt to access roofs to clear the snow due to the safety concerns of slipping off the roof and exposure to electrical wires. Snow and roof safety information.
- Move snow on the ground away from the house. Water from snow may cause a wet basement if allowed to run down along the basement wall. If the ground is sloped one inch per foot near the house, moving the snow just three to five feet from the house will reduce problems.
- Examine and clean sump pumps. Test by pouring water into the pit. Make sure the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from the house to a well-drained area. Also make sure that the pipe is on sloped ground so it drains to prevent it from freezing.
Emergency information and status updates will be available on:
- Fairfax County’s Web site (fairfaxcounty.gov)
- Facebook (facebook.com/fairfaxcounty)
- Twitter (twitter.com/fairfaxcounty)
- Emergency information phone line (703-817-7771)
- Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN)
- 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.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.