Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about a weather recertification for Fairfax County, winter weather preparedness, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, personal financial planning and what you can do if all you did for the end of Daylight Saving Time was to move your clock back one hour. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Fairfax County has received recertification from the National Weather Service for the StormReady program. This voluntary nationwide program is designed to help counties and communities take a proactive approach to the kinds of severe weather that affect their areas by improving local hazardous weather operations and heightening public awareness. The program is operated by the National Weather Service. This was the county’s second recertification and it is good through 2021.
Speaking of the weather … winter weather will soon be here. Are you ready? You know the best time to prepare for winter weather is before it arrives. Here are some steps you can take now to be ready for what’s possible this winter.
- Be sure to follow the National Weather Service for weather forecasts. You’ll also want to sign up for Fairfax Alerts so you can receive email and text updates on severe weather. The service is free from Fairfax County. Learn more and sign up at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.
- Be sure to include an emergency kit for your car. You’ll want jumper cables, warm clothes, bottled water and snacks, a spare cellphone charger and an ice scraper at a minimum. Check out www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/readyfairfax for more info on how to make an emergency kit.
- You’ll also want to have supplies ready at home in case you lose electricity. Keep in mind your family’s needs such as medications or any other special needs. And don’t forget about food and supplies for pets too.
- Also, go ahead now and prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping.
For more winter weather tips, visit Ready.gov’s snowstorms and extreme cold webpage at www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
To stay informed during emergencies – and severe weather events – follow Fairfax County’s emergency information blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog. You can bookmark the page or subscribe for email updates when an article is published.
November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month and according to the Department of Homeland Security, there are 16 critical infrastructure sectors that are important for the safety and security of the United States. These sectors include the power we use at home, the farms that grow our food, the stores we shop in and the hospitals in our communities. Did you know that we all play a part to keep these sectors safe in our communities? You can get involved by joining the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Hometown Security Initiative. Learn more at www.dhs.gov/hometown-security.
Personal financial planning helps families prepare for emergencies. Saving can be a tall order for some, but in an emergency, a lack of financial preparedness could leave you and your family with fewer options for immediate relief. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Set aside money in an emergency savings fund for initial out-of-pocket costs including gas, food and hotel accommodations to provide safety, comfort and distance during a disaster.
- Keep cash on hand in the event of power outage when electronic payments are not available.
- Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and digitize important documents such as medical records, ID cards and insurance records in case they are needed following a disaster.
- Consider the cost of insurance deductibles. Obtain homeowners or renters insurance and health and life insurance if you do not have them; if you do, review the policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards.
Be ready for the unexpected, and being financially prepared should be incorporated in your personal preparedness plan. Learn more at www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness.
Finally, I’m sure you remembered to turn your clocks back an hour on Nov. 4 for the end of Daylight Saving Time. But did you remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and restock the supplies in your emergency supply kits? There’s still time. Make an appointment with yourself to get those tasks done as soon as possible. More information is available on the emergency information blog at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog as well as the Ready Fairfax page at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/readyfairfax.
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.