Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: March 7, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Mar. 7, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about flood safety awareness, properly discarding smoking materials and tornado safety. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

March 6-12 is flood safety awareness week in Virginia. Flooding causes more damage in the U.S. than any other severe weather-related event, an average of $5 billion a year. Flash floods can catch people unprepared. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So, if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan now to protect your family and property. If you come upon a road covered in water, there’s no way to know how deep the water is, so remember to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Find more information at and

According to fire investigators, the cause of a February house fire in Centreville was improperly discarded smoking materials. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department recommends the following safety tips:

  • Completely douse cigarette 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.

  • 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.

Finally, we have recently witnessed the destruction and horror of one of Mother Nature’s most unpredictable and dangerous events – tornadoes. More than a month’s worth of tornadoes struck towns all across the country in one day leading to destroyed schools, shattered lives and most sadly of all, loss of life. These scenes of destruction can happen right here in Fairfax County. That’s why from March 19-21, Fairfax County government will be conducting a three-day emergency exercise called “Operation Enduring Collaboration.” The exercise scenario will be a major tornado outbreak. County personnel will exercise for three, 12-hour work shifts to sharpen the county’s ability to respond, coordinate and plan for all emergencies and specifically better understand the potential impact of tornadoes. Each day during the exercise Fairfax County will post an entry to the county’s emergency information blog, at about some of the exercise details so residents can see how the scenario unfolds. In the meantime, take these five steps to become better informed about potential emergencies:

  1. Subscribe to this blog for all future updates by email by visiting the Email Subscription section of the blog’s right-hand column.

  2. Sign up for the Community Emergency Alert Network for weather, traffic and major incident updates by text or email.

  3. Follow us on Twitter.

  4. “Like” our Fairfax County Government page on Facebook.

  5. Bookmark our mobile-friendly emergency information homepage on your smartphone.

Residents and businesses are also encouraged to participate in the upcoming statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20. Register and get more information online at

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 And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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