Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: June 30, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for June 30, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about pulling over for emergency vehicles, breaking the grip of the rip, swimming safety, guarding against mosquito bites and pet friendly shelters. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Virginia law requires drivers to give active emergency vehicles space. When approaching a stationary police or fire vehicle displaying active emergency lights, slow down and be alert. If there are two or more lanes available in your direction, and it is safe to do so, move over a lane to give the emergency responders more space and yourself more reaction time.
NOAA, the United States Lifesaving Association and the National Park Service sponsored a rip current awareness campaign this month with the theme “Break the Grip of the Rip®.”Rip currents are narrow channels of fast-moving water that can pull swimmers away from the shore. Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents are surprisingly strong and swift. Here are some safety tips about rip currents:
- Check for surf zone forecasts at weather.gov.
- Swim at a beach with lifeguard protection.
- Look for signs and flags posted to warn about rip currents.
- Don’t swim against a rip current.
- Escape rip currents by swimming in a direction following the shoreline until you are free of the rip current.
- If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water…when out of the current, swim towards the shore.
- Never swim alone.
More information is at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.
CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that thousands of people drown every year and more than 25 percent of them are children. When swimming this summer, remember these simple rules:
- Learn to swim and teach kids to float and swim as soon as possible.
- Children should always be supervised in and around water.
- Never swim alone.
- Remember that foam noodles, inflatable water wings and inner tubes are toys and won’t keep a child safe in the water. If you want a flotation device that will keep you or a child safe in the water, get a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket and wear it properly.
More information is online at www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety.
The Fairfax County Health Department encourages residents to take a proactive approach to controlling mosquitoes and guarding against bites. Throughout these warm months, pay close attention to eliminating mosquito breeding sites around your home:
- Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects, such as potted plant trays, buckets or toys.
- Empty bird baths once a week.
- Clean roof gutters and make sure corrugated drain pipes do not hold water.
- Eliminate standing water. Standing water that cannot be drained and lasts longer than a week should be treated with a mosquito larvicide.
- When outdoors, limit your exposure to mosquito bites by wearing long, loose and light-colored clothing and using a repellent.
To learn more, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite.
Pet-friendly shelters or hotels may not be available during an emergency, so make alternate housing arrangements in advance. For tips, fact sheets and more, see CDC's Hurricane Preparedness website at emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/.
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.