Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: December 14, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
December 14, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. Coming up, learn about flu and the importance of getting a flu
vaccine, being prepared in your vehicle this winter and how to protect
yourself from auto theft this holiday season. Links to topics mentioned
in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Getting a flu vaccine is a safe way to prevent serious illness. The flu
can bring fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, chills and
miserable days spent in bed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimates that more than 200,000 people end up in the hospital
from flu complications each year. The flu also can be deadly. The best
way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine.
CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine
to help protect you during flu season. Flu vaccines are available from
your doctor or pharmacist or at local health clinics and flu clinics in
local retail outlets.
The most common side effects from flu shots have been soreness, redness
or tenderness where the shot was given; fever and aches. Some people who
have gotten the nasal-spray flu vaccine have had a runny nose, cough or
nasal congestion. Neither the flu shot nor the nasal-spray vaccine can
give you the flu. For more information about the benefits and safety of
the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor or nurse, visit CDC online at www.cdc.gov/flu, or the Fairfax County
Health Department at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/flu.
The winter storm last Jan. 26, left many residents in the region stuck
in traffic and stranded in their vehicles for up to 12 hours. This
winter, don’t be caught unprepared!
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, recommends your vehicle’s emergency preparedness kit contain:
- Battery (or hand-crank) radio
- Snack food
- Extra clothing
- First-aid kit
- Emergency Flares
- Booster cables
It’s also important to make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter. The Virginia Department of Transportation recommends checking brakes, tires, battery, ignition system, antifreeze, thermostat, de-icing washer fluid, lights and oil. In addition, keep a lookout for icy areas, especially on bridges and shady areas. For information on road conditions contact the Virginia Department of Transportation at 5-1-1 or www.511virginia.org. Visit the Fairfax County emergency preparedness Web page for additional winter road safety tips at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter/road-safety.htm. That address again: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter/road-safety.htm.
Finally, most thefts from motor vehicles are preventable. During the holiday shopping season, and year-round, remember: do not leave valuables in your vehicle; close windows; and lock doors. And, if you see suspicious activity, call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131.
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.