Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Sept. 22, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Sept. 22, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about emergency preparedness for people with disabilities, seniors or families with young children, and learn how to properly discard smoking materials to prevent fire dangers. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Do you or a family member have a disability? Are you responsible for the care of a senior citizen? Do you have small children who require special attention and supplies? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you should consider now what extra steps are needed in your family’s disaster plan. Everyone, including people with disabilities, should take time before a disaster to plan for survival at home, in a shelter or elsewhere in the event of an actual emergency. Here are some tips:
- For those on respirators or other electric-powered medical equipment, make prior arrangements with your physician or check with your oxygen supplier about emergency plans, and be sure to have electrical backup for any medical equipment.
- Maintain a two-week supply of both prescription and non-prescription medications. Keep copies of your medical records, prescriptions for medical equipment, supplies and medications.
- For your children, assemble extra items in your disaster supply kit such as diapers, baby formula, medications, favorite books, crayons and paper, puzzles, favorite toys, a favorite blanket or pillow, pictures of family and pets, and any other items that might comfort them. Also, keep a copy of your children’s immunization records, including the date of their last tetanus-diphtheria shot.
- Remember to help seniors who live alone. They may need help evacuating from their home, preparing for a storm and dealing with the aftermath of a disaster.
- People with special needs should create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid them in an emergency. Discuss needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
For more information on emergency planning, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency, or contact the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000. For more on Fairfax County’s Special Needs Registry, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/specialneeds.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents that Oct. 3-9 is National Fire Prevention Week, and offers these cautions about smoking materials:
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
For more fire safety tips, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
And finally, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office recently received re-accreditation from the American Correctional Association. This award recognizes excellence in the operation of the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. This recognition makes the Sheriff’s Office a “Quadruple Crown Accredited Agency.”The ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional facilities across the country.
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.