Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: August 22, 2012


Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for August 22, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn how to give your feedback on the county’s response to the derecho storm, the H3N2 flu virus, the updated Atlantic hurricane season forecast and how to subscribe to the “Emergency Preparedness” newsletter. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is asking for feedback from county residents and businesses to help assess the county’s response to the June 29 derecho storm. To find out about the county’s strengths as well as opportunity areas for improvement, OEM is asking you to fill out an online emergency information survey. It should only take a few minutes. This survey is part of the official review of the storm response and input from residents and businesses will be invaluable. It will be used for OEM’s after-action report on the derecho event. To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/fairfaxemergencyinfo.

 

You may have been hearing about the H3N2 flu virus – sometimes called “swine flu” by the media because the virus normally occurs in pigs. As of Aug. 15, no human cases have been reported in Virginia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says we can reduce the risk of spreading flu from person to person, including H3N2, by covering our coughs and sneezes; washing our hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds; and staying home when sick. The CDC also recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, even though this year’s seasonal flu vaccine is unlikely to protect against H3N2. At this time, the CDC has not changed its recommendations for seeking treatment for flu. However, if you go to a doctor for flu symptoms – which include a fever plus cough and/or sore throat – following direct or close contact with swine, tell your doctor about this exposure. The CDC and state and local health departments are closely monitoring H3N2 in people. Learn more about flu prevention and H3N2 at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/flu.

 

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with six named storms to date, and there may be a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued this month by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The updated outlook still indicates a 50 percent chance of a near-normal season, but increases the chance of an above-normal season to 35 percent. There are several simple steps you can take now to be better prepared for a hurricane.

  • Make sure that your emergency supply kit is fully stocked with supplies for at least three days per family member.

  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.

  • Install a generator for emergencies.

You’ll also want to make a family emergency plan, choose an out-of-town contact for you and your family to call in the event of an emergency. And don’t forget to sign up for emergency alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.

 

Finally, to stay in the know about emergency preparedness, subscribe to the monthly “Emergency Preparedness” email newsletter from the Office of Emergency Management. To subscribe, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/email/lists/ and go to the “Emergency Management” section; select the circle next to ”Emergency Preparedness news and resources” under the start column. Once you have completed your selection, scroll to the bottom of the list and click “Continue.“ For more information, call 571-350-1000, TTY 711; email oem@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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.


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