Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Nov. 2, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
November 2, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. Coming up, learn about an upcoming national test of the
emergency alert system, the importance of a weather radio and how to stay
safe using alternative heating sources. Links to topics mentioned in this
podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
On Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. (EST), area radio and television stations will participate in the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, or EAS. At that time, regularly-scheduled programming will be interrupted with an announcement that a test of the EAS is being conducted. Don’t worry – this will only be a test. The National EAS is a public alert and warning system that enables the President of the United States to address the American public during extreme emergencies. As federal, state and local governments prepare for and test their capabilities, this national event serves as a reminder that everyone should establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities and businesses. For more information on the test, visit the Federal Communications Commission’s website at www.fcc.gov or the Federal Emergency Management Association at www.fema.gov.
Recent storms and flooding serve as a stark reminder of how important it is to be prepared when it comes to bad weather. One of the essential preparedness items you should have is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA Weather Radio. A NOAA Weather Radio can help you monitor dangerous storms: it transmits alerts of severe weather and dangerous conditions before they arrive. Every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio receiver. Weather radios are available from $20 to $200. Here are some features you should look for when purchasing one:
Alarm tone that allows the radio to be set on silent but produces a
special tone to alert you to severe weather.
Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) - This feature provides area
specific information by filtering out alerts that do not affect your
Hand crank or battery operated - A radio should be able to operate on
batteries or be hand-cranked to produce operating power.
Tunable to all NWS frequencies.
- For those with a hearing impairment – A feature that allows radios to connect the alarms to other attention-getting devices such as personal computers and text printers.
More information is available online at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
Fall and winter are upon us and the cooler temperatures cause many of us to seek out alternative sources to heat our home and keep warm. Alternate heating sources are a major contributing factor in residential fires. Remember to:
Keep at least three feet of clearance between your heat source and
Do not keep or store combustible materials in closed areas or near a
Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to
sleep, and never leave children or pets unattended near heating
If you use an electric heater, be careful not to overload the
Avoid using electrical heaters in bathrooms as they may come in contact
Only use heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards
and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Do not use a range or oven as an alternate heating source. This is a
safety hazard and may be a source of toxic fumes.
Do not use fuel burning appliances without the proper room
- Never fill a kerosene heater while it is in operation or hot. Avoid overfilling.
For more information, visit the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
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.