Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 14, 2014


Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about the upcoming hurricane sales tax holiday, boating safety and preparedness for older adults. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

Before the tropical storms arrive, you can get ready and save money, too. Shop during Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, May 25-31, and you won’t pay sales tax on many supplies for protecting your home and business. Many useful items qualify.  Shop for items that have a price of $60 or less, such as:

  • Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, reusable ice.
  • Batteries, excluding car or boat batteries.
  • Portable self-powered light sources such as flashlights, lanterns and glow sticks.
  • First-aid kits.
  • Cellphone chargers.
  • Weather band radios, NOAA Weather Radios and portable self-powered radios, including radios with electrical power capability.
  • Bottled water of any size, including flavored and carbonated.
  • Two-way radios.
  • Manual can openers.
  • Tarps, plastic sheeting and plastic drop cloths.
  • Bungee cords and rope.
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits.
  • Ratchet straps and duct tape.
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
  • Empty gas, propane or diesel fuel tanks or containers.
  • Water storage containers such as buckets, barrels, canteens and coolers.

You also can shop for items that have a sales price of $1,000 or less, such as portable generators and generator power cords, and inverters and inverter power cables. Retail outlets will have information about the tax holiday and you can visit and

Going boating today or this weekend? Don’t just carry a life jacket – wear it! Accidents happen too fast on the water to reach for stowed life jackets. Most boating fatalities are drownings and 85 percent of those who drown, while boating, are not wearing a life jacket. May 17-23 is National Safe Boating Week, a great reminder to wear your life jacket at all times while you are boating. And ask your friends and family to do the same – this week and anytime you’re on the water.

May is Older Americans Month. The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. There are common-sense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer. Older adults also should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items that might be needed. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance necessay to get to a shelter. Learn tips and information for seniors to take action and start preparing for emergencies today by visiting

Finally, the Fairfax County NewsWire is your comprehensive county news source, offering the news that's important to you and your community. Learn more and subscribe at And be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to the emergency information blog 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.

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