Department of Emergency Management and Security

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30p.m., Monday - Friday

4890 Alliance Drive, Suite 2200, Fairfax, VA 22030

Seamus Mooney,

Stay Informed

Getting correct information during an emergency is the key to taking safe action. Someone in your household may not be able to receive, understand, or act on emergency information. Think about what special needs your household may have. Take action now to make sure everyone in your family will be safe in an emergency. 

Things to consider…

  • Emergency news or weather broadcasts may not be closed captioned (link to emergency blog)
  • Information that is shown on screen may not be spoken aloud
  • Automated voices and voices over loud speakers may be hard to understand.
  • Information comes quickly and the stress of a disaster may make it hard to understand or remember instructions.
  • Words moving across the bottom of a television screen may move very quickly.
  • The screen color or color of the text might make some information on television hard to read.

Communication is Key

Make sure everyone in your household can communicate during times of emergency or disaster.


The way emergency information is sent out in your community may not work for everyone.  If you don't speak English well, or if you use an assistive device to speak or hear, make a plan now.  Make sure you can get and give information in an emergency or disaster.


Communities may give information by television or radio, by automated phone call, text messages, email, or by sounding outdoor warning sirens.  Police or fire may use loudspeakers to give information as the drive through the streets.  Responders or volunteers may go door-to-door to talk to people directly.


If you think you may not be able to understand emergency information, identify someone (or more than one person) that you can contact for help in an emergency or disaster.  Have more than one way to get in touch with them.  Keep their contact information with you.

Get a NOAA Emergency Alert Radio

Weather can change very quickly.  Severe weather may strike when people are sleeping or unaware of the forecast.  This can be deadly if people do not seek a safe shelter.  A NOAA emergency alert radio (sometimes called a weather radio) can turn itself on when an emergency alert is issued and can warn you at anytime day or night.

Emergency alert radios can also be used to warn about other emergencies, such as a chemical spill.  With the Emergency Alert Radio, you will be warned about dangerous situations in time to take shelter or other safe action.

Every home should have an emergency alert radio, just the way all homes should have a smoke detector.  They can be purchased at stores that sell electronics.  Prices start at about $20.00.  Most run on batteries or have battery back-ups.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant