Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Jan. 12, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Jan. 26, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about pre-disaster recovery planning efforts, hypothermia, radon and fireplace safety. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Fairfax County, led by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), began work on a countywide initiative to develop a Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP) in December 2009. This project identifies gaps, breaks down barriers and builds community partnerships that will allow for a smoother recovery should Fairfax County ever face a catastrophic disaster. OEM will hold a public working group session on Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center (MPSTOC), 4890 Alliance Drive, Fairfax. Participants from past workshops and focus groups as well as new stakeholders should attend this important session. Pre-register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/pdrp (register early, space is limited). For questions or comments, contact Amanda Phan, 571-350-1000, or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/pdrp.
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t do anything about it. Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water. Take steps to prevent frostbite. Dress warmly. Wear a hat, scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth; sleeves that are snug at the wrist; mittens (they are warmer than gloves); water-resistant coat and boots; and several layers of loose-fitting clothing. More information is online at http://emergency.cdc.gov.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, deadly gas. Is it seeping into your home? Unless you test your home for radon, you’ll never know. It’s estimated that one in 15 homes has elevated levels of radon. Radon in your home is a serious matter. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and overall it is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It’s responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. The good news is that radon can be reduced to safe levels, and there are professionals out there to handle the job for you. Test kits also are available at hardware and home improvement stores. January is national radon action month, so test your home today. More information is online at www.epa.gov.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents to keep fireplace safety in mind this winter, especially fireplace ashes.
- Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box or a plastic trash can.
- Do not place ash containers on decks, porches or in garages.
- Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
- Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
- Keep your can outside the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
- Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or stove.
More fire safety information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire.
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.