Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: June 12, 2013



Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for June 12, 2013. Coming up, learn about National Safety Month, minimizing damage from future storms, safe rooms and a new community initiative from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

June is National Safety Month. Be sure to follow the emergency information blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog for special articles and videos all month featuring safety tips and information to keep you and your family safe as we head into the summer season.

FEMA urges property owners to take steps now to minimize damage from future storms. To better protect your family and yourself in the event of an emergency, ensure your home is a safe structure. The following are some house maintenance tips from Ready.gov, FEMA.gov and FloodSmart.gov on how to strengthen and protect your property from storms with sustained high wind speeds.

  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.  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. 

For more information, go to Ready.gov/hurricanes or fema.gov.

Extreme weather is upon us as recently seen with the tornadoes in Oklahoma and as we enter hurricane season. In preparation, you should be encouraged to know that finding shelter in a safe room reduces the probability of injury or death during a natural disaster. FEMA provides guidance on creating “near-absolute protection” safe rooms. For guidance in creating a safe room for residential and community properties visit www.fema.gov/safe-rooms.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has launched a new countywide community outreach initiative called “Safety in Our Community,” supporting the overarching goal of “preventing the 9-1-1 call.” The program began Saturday, June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. with firefighters in the community checking and installing working smoke alarms and also providing seasonal fire and life safety tips for residents. The Safety in Our Community initiative will continue every Saturday afternoon throughout the summer, fall and spring, with accompanying seasonal safety messages. If residents are not home, firefighters will leave behind a door hanger with important smoke alarm and fire and life safety information. To request the installation of a smoke alarm, or a visual smoke alarm for deaf and hard of hearing persons, at no cost, call 703-246-3801, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.

Finally, the Fairfax County NewsWire is your comprehensive county news source, offering the news that's important to you and your community. NewsWire is available in multiple formats, such as Twitter, email and RSS, for your convenience. Learn more and subscribe at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/subscribe. And be sure to also subscribe by RSS or email to the emergency information blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog.

That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., 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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