Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Sept. 4, 2013
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about National Preparedness Month, home fire safety and being safe on the roads near school zones. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
September Is National Preparedness Month. It’s no secret that disasters, both natural and man-made, seem to be occurring more frequently in the U.S. and locally. National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to get ready for whatever may come, including tropical storms, hurricanes, extended power outages and other types of events. You may think that it takes a lot of time and money to be prepared, but preparing for emergencies doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – and can be done in a few easy steps.
- First, make a plan. It doesn’t have to be a novel – just something everyone in your family can understand and remember.
- Second, set aside some emergency supplies, including enough food and water – enough for each person in your home to last for at least three days.
- And, be sure to review your insurance policies to make sure you’re adequately covered.
You can find lots of easy-to-accomplish preparedness tips on the Fairfax County emergency blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog. Look for the “ 30 Ways to Prepare” link under the “Prepare” tab at the top of the page.
Nearly 2,500 people die in home fires each year. Eighty-two percent of all fire deaths and 76 percent of all fire injuries in our country occur in the home – the very place we should feel most safe. Remember, in the event of fire, every second counts. Everyone should make and practice a home escape plan. If you have decreased mobility or a visual or hearing impairment, talk with your family members, building manager or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it.
- Make sure that your house number is clearly visible from the street using numbers that are at least 4 inches high.
- Have at least two exits from every room and know how to open locked or barred doors and windows.
- Contact your local fire station. The Fairfax County Fire Department will provide a courtesy home inspection, review your escape plan and even install smoke alarms if necessary.
- If you encounter smoke, stay near the ground or crawl low to an exit. Once outside, stay out and call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s house.
- If you are trapped in a room or do not feel that you can escape safely, close the door between you and the fire. Use a blanket or sheet to fill the gaps around the door to keep smoke out. Then, signal out the window using a blanket or sheet.
Fairfax County Police urge motorists to be extra vigilant for pedestrians and bicyclists as county schools resumed classes Sept. 3. Commuters should expect increased congestion throughout the first few weeks of school, so build some extra time into your schedules to accommodate this traditionally heavy time period. Residents may also notice police officers posted in school zones and near bus stops helping ensure pedestrian safety as well as safe loading and unloading of students. Police remind drivers that when bus lights and stop signs are activated, vehicles must stop in both directions, unless they are separated from the bus by a median. For more, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police.
Finally, be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to the county’s emergency information blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog for the latest preparedness news.
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.