Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: June 11, 2014


Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about lightning safety, ticks and tick-borne diseases and staying safe and connected with your cellphone. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

National Lightning Awareness Week is June 22-28. Summer is on the way and that means summer storms are too. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer months when people are caught outdoors during the afternoons and evenings. Remember the 30/30 lighting safety rule: Go indoors if after seeing lightning you can’t count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter – a substantial building or a metal-topped vehicle with windows up.

  • If you are anywhere you feel your hair stand on end, then squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target, and minimize your contact with the ground.

  • Avoid contact with anything metal – motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.

  • If you are in an open area or on open water, get to land and find shelter immediately.

Lightning is one of the top three storm-related killers. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Stay informed about changing weather conditions during the summer by tuning in to local media weather reports and monitoring NOAA Weather Radio. For more about lightning safety, go to or


As people are drawn outdoors to enjoy warm summer temperatures, scientists warn that ticks are also active and encourage precautionary measures to reduce risk of contracting tick-borne diseases. Ticks are most active during the warmer months - usually April to September. Ticks are arachnids that typically live in wooded areas or brushy fields and survive on blood from hosts, which can include people and pets. Although most ticks in the United States do not carry diseases, others carry pathogens that cause a number of illnesses in humans, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Many tick-borne illnesses can be treated if caught early, so it is important to remove ticks safely and as soon as possible after bites are discovered. If you or your family spend time in the outdoors you should check for ticks regularly. Learn more from the Fairfax County Health Department at


When disaster or severe weather strikes, your cellphone can help you get information that you need to stay safe and connected with your loved ones.

  • Program in key phone numbers. Make sure that your phone is up-to-date with contact information for your friends and loved ones, especially those that you would rely on in an emergency.

  • Remember to text. During emergencies, phone lines may be jammed. Texting can help you check on your friends and family – and leave the lines open for emergency response personnel.

  • Store documents to a cloud drive. In a disaster, make sure that you've got the information that you need in case your records get destroyed. This includes copies of identification documents, pictures of your family members and pets, a list of prescriptions and even basic financial information.

And be sure to “friend” or follow Fairfax County on Twitter and Facebook and stay up-to-date before, during and after an emergency with the emergency information blog at You can also listen to the latest news and weather on Fairfax County Government Radio online at; and you’ll also want to download the county’s app at


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 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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