Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Jan. 13, 2009
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Jan. 13, 2009. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about the 56th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009, and how the historic event will impact your life and commute. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
The presidential inauguration is expected to draw record crowds. Whether you are going to inauguration events or not, activities from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20 will have an impact on daily life throughout Fairfax County and the region. Residents should take common-sense steps — make a plan, stay informed and be prepared.
Those who plan to attend inauguration events should take the following steps to be prepared:
- The number one thing you can bring is your common sense.
- Check weather forecasts, so you know how to dress appropriately. It is possible to get frostbite even if temperatures are not below freezing.
- Wear warm, comfortable shoes because you will have to walk long distances and stand for long periods of time.
- Bring any medications that you might need because there will be very long delays getting to and from events.
The answers to several questions might also be helpful in deciding whether to attend inauguration activities:
- Do you have the physical stamina to stand outside, “shoulder to shoulder,” in large crowds for four, five or six hours or more and then spend additional hours getting back home?
- Are you comfortable in extremely large crowds?
- Can you walk long distances to get to your destination?
- Are you prepared for the extremely long delays getting to and from events?
- Can you care for and control small children in large crowds and tight spaces for long hours, if you plan to bring them?
Meanwhile, traffic on Inauguration Day could mean traffic delays:
- Beginning at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, personal vehicles will not be allowed to enter Washington from Virginia roadways or bridges. The only vehicles authorized are emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and for-hire limos and car services. Personal vehicles will only be able to enter Washington by driving in from designated Maryland routes.
- Those going into Washington are encouraged to plan ahead and take public transportation. Be prepared for extremely crowded buses, trains, roads and highways, and prepare for very long delays to get where you are going.
- Fairfax Connector is running an enhanced Saturday schedule with more trips to Metro stations and additional routes; service will operate from 4 a.m. to midnight.
- Because some roads and Metro stations will be closed in D.C., you may have to walk long distances to get to your destination.
- If you are driving, be sure to have a full tank of gas before you leave so you do not become stranded while waiting in traffic.
Further information on road and bridge closures and restrictions, plus public transit information is on theFairfax County Inauguration Web page, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/inauguration, in addition to links to local, state and federal resources, including traffic and weather alerts, tips to be prepared and news releases.
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 www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1.