Category Archives: Preparedness

Turn Around Don’t Drown

There has been some heavy rain storms this past weekend and the Northern Virginia region remains under flash flood watch. This is an important time to remember: “Turn Around Don’t Drown®!”

Each year, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard. Most of these drownings could be prevented—if people better understood the force and power of rushing floodwater. Whether driving or walking, save your life, and the lives of your children and other family members or traveling companions. When you see flood waters ahead: Turn Around Don’t Drown®.

More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when vehicles are swept away because their drivers attempted to travel through flood water. Many drive around flood barriers because they mistakenly believe their 3,000 pound or more vehicle is so heavy it will stay in contact with the road surface.

Keep these facts in mind:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.

The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths occurs when people try to walk through or walk too close to flood waters. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true that as little as six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult.

If you come to an area that is covered with flood water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded area, Turn Around Don’t Drown®.

For more information go to ready.gov/floods and tadd.weather.gov.

Fireworks Safety

The 4th of July holiday if a great time to celebrate our nation’s independence outdoors with great food, family, and friends. Fireworks are often associated with the 4th of July as many professional displays light up our nighttime sky.  Many celebrate with their own personal fireworks at home, and it’s important to keep safety in mind if you decide to use them.

Sparklers, often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young, burn at very high temperatures–up to 2,000 degrees! That is as hot as a blow torch!

Above is a fact sheet from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for fireworks safety. Please be safe and enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence.

 

Be Prepared in the Heat! Know Heat-Related Illnesses

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the NOVA service area today.  This advisory means that heat indexes will be at-or above 100 degrees for two hours or more.  People can be affected by this type of heat and it is important to know heat-related symptoms before it’s too late.

The National Weather Service has great information on their website to help keep you prepared in this hot weather – https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is June 1-7

Do you know CPR or how to use an AED? If not, you should as lives could be saved if more people knew CPR along with how to use an AED.

June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness week, so take time to watch the Hands-Only CPR video below and learn more information through the American Heart Association here: National CPR and AED Awareness Week.

Don’t forget to check with your local hospitals and community associations, as they may offer certified CPR and AED training to you at little to no cost.

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. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. With May being “Older Americans Month,” this is a good opportunity for the NOVA Community to make sure the Seniors in our families are prepared.

There are commonsense measures Seniors can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. If you or someone in your family is older, be sure to include special items in your supply kit in addition to the basic supplies. Below are a few important first steps to make to ensure our Senior family members are prepared for any type of emergency that could impact our Northern Virginia region.

  • Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers to aid the Seniors in an emergency. Discuss the Seniors’ needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
  • If the Seniors takes medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure they have what they need on hand to make it on their own for at least a week. They should also keep a copy of their prescriptions as well as dosage or treatment information. If it is not possible to have a week-long supply of medicines and supplies, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to their pharmacist or doctor about what else they should do to prepare.
  • Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, hearing aid batteries, food for service animals, and any other items they might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices they require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
  • Have copies of medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid cards readily available.
  • If the Seniors undergoes routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, or if they receive regular services such as home health care, treatment, or transportation, talk to the service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers within the area and the areas you might evacuate to. If the Seniors use medical equipment in their home that requires electricity to operate, talk to their health care provider about what can be done to prepare for its use during a power outage.

For additional steps you can take to ensure the Seniors in our families are prepared for emergencies, please visit the following sites for more detailed information: https://www.ready.gov/seniors and http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit/older.