Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: November 14, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for November 14, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy and how you can help, how to arrange a presentation on emergency preparedness, resources for making emergency plans and preparing for winter. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is partnering with numerous organizations to support the Hurricane Sandy response and recovery effort. If you are interested in helping, FEMA recommends donating cash and donating through trusted organizations. More information and volunteering suggestions are available online at


Anyone affected by Sandy (homeowners, renters and businesses) should apply for federal disaster assistance. Register at or by calling FEMA at 800-621-FEMA; that’s 800-621-3362. Before you call, be sure to have the address of the affected property, your insurance information and your Social Security number. Learn more online at


The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is available to deliver emergency preparedness presentations to community organizations and homeowners associations. If interested, call 571-350-1000, TTY 711; or email


Governor Bob McDonnell has proclaimed Dec. 2-8 as Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia.  Here are some important tips for protecting yourself and your home:

  • Remember “Get where you need to be before the weather gets bad.” It’s always best to stay off roads during winter storms. Most traffic crashes happen within the first two hours after a storm starts. Get road conditions by calling 511 or visiting

  • If you heat with a fireplace or wood stove, have a professional check it, especially if it has been a long time since the last cleaning. Residue can build up and cause fires.

  • Never plug space heaters into extension cords; plug them into wall outlets. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from other objects and turn off before going to bed.

  • Stay informed during power outages. Be sure you have a hand-crank and/or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries). Get one with the NOAA Weather Radio band so you can hear winter weather reports directly from the National Weather Service as well as local radio stations. These are available at electronics, discount and sporting goods stores and online from many retail outlets. Models are available for those with special needs.

  • Don’t use candles during power outages. Many home fires in winter are caused by candles. Flashlights are much safer. Be sure to have plenty of extra batteries.

  • Most importantly, you need a family emergency plan. If your family cannot return home because of severe weather or closed roads you need to decide now on where you will meet to reunite. You also need an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family emergency contact. Learn more about making a plan for winter weather and all emergencies – and get a free family emergency plan worksheet – at You also can make a family or business plan at


Finally, Fairfax County residents are encouraged to use the family and business emergency planners at Having an emergency plan is a key part of being ready. Take the time now to visit and customize your plan.

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
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