Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Jan. 9, 2013

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for January 9, 2013. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about this year’s statewide tornado drill, National Radon Action Month, wintertime home fires and winter storm preparedness. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

Virginia’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m. The tornado drill is an important statewide safety exercise. In recent years Virginia has been hard hit by multiple tornadoes that have cost lives and left extensive property damage. Some communities continue to recover from devastating tornadoes. In each of the past two years, some 1.2 million Virginians have registered to participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill. Registration for this year’s drill is now open. To register and to learn more about planning a tornado drill, go to and click through the rotating graphics at the top of the page, or go to The Statewide Tornado Drill is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Ready Virginia and the National Weather Service in cooperation with local emergency management offices. If you’d like assistance in planning a tornado drill at your workplace, contact the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711; or by email at


EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, is promoting National Radon Action Month in January to encourage all residents to test buildings for radon – an invisible, odorless, tasteless and potentially deadly gas that can cause lung cancer. EPA offers four steps to protect against radon poisoning:

  • Test your home. Radon testing is easy and inexpensive. Learn how to obtain an easy-to-use test kit at

  • Attend a National Radon Action Month event.

  • Spread the word about radon and encourage your friends and neighbors to test their homes.

  • If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction and purchase a radon-resistant home.

For more information about radon and safety, visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month website. has more details.


During winter, the chance of home fires increases. Having home fire sprinklers not only saves lives, but can increase chances of surviving a fire by more than 82 percent. Additionally, they can decrease home damage up to 97 percent. Best of all, fire sprinklers are a low cost way to help save lives if a fire does happen. For other fire safety tips, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website at or the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Web page at


Finally, when a winter storm is imminent, the National Weather Service will issue a winter storm warning or blizzard warning six to 18 hours before the storm strikes. This is a signal to take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe. Start preparing today before a winter storm warning is even issued with the following steps:

  • Update your emergency kit with winter weather items.

  • Keep up with your local forecast at or on your phone.

  • Review your family communications plan.

  • Purchase a NOAA weather radio or download one of the many apps offering a NOAA weather radio signal and alerts.

Learn more about winter weather preparedness at And be sure to follow the Fairfax County Emergency Information Blog for the latest preparedness information and news during an emergency. You also can get the blog updates by mail; sign up on the site 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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