Category Archives: Preparedness

Tornado Weather Alert Definitions

On Friday, April 19th Virginia experienced 11 tornadoes–including one in Northern Virginia’s Reston area! Many of us were at home when this all occurred.  We were inundated with news coverage and tornado alerts from the National Weather Service, but what actually do these weather alerts mean?

When these weather alerts are issued, it is important to know the definitions because they should trigger different actions you take. You may need to plan ahead and take precautions,  or you may even need to take immediate life-saving action. The infographic above highlights the differences between a tornado watch and warning. Please take a moment to review these definitions so you are better prepared.

 

*Important Video* – Close Before You Doze

People 40 years ago once had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, that time has dropped to 3 minutes or less due to materials used in furnishings, homes incorporating more open layouts, and lightweight construction materials—all contributing to fires spreading much quicker.

One thing you can do to protect yourself is to close your bedroom door before you fall asleep. The important 5-minute video below demonstrates how a closed bedroom door can potentially save your life during a house fire.

In the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) video above, their research reveals closed bedroom doors dramatically decrease heat and CO levels versus open doors during house fires, providing trapped occupants more time to react and escape if they can do so safely.

When a fire ignites, there’s no time to act. If you would like to learn more about closing your bedroom door at night, please visit https://closeyourdoor.org/.

 

Heimlich Maneuver Can Save Lives

In this month’s NOVA Public Safety Newsletter, it described how one fast-acting NOVA employee was able to apply the Heimlich Maneuver to a fellow colleague in need. This is an important reminder to refresh yourself on how to perform this life-saving maneuver. Here’s a quick one-minute refresher on how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver from the Mayo Clinic.

You can also find more specific step-by-step details on the Mayo Clinic’s A step-by-step guide explaining what to do in a choking emergency website.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Winter isn’t just around the corner—it’s hear today! Make sure your vehicle and emergency vehicle kit are ready to keep you safe and prepared.

Prepare Your Vehicle

  • Install good winter tires. Make sure each tire has enough tread.
  • Keep your gas tank full. A full tank keeps the fuel line from freezing, and it’s also a good idea in case you lose power.
  • Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, so be sure to have yours tested.
  • Have your vehicle’s antifreeze level and radiator system checked.
  • Proactively replace your car’s worn wiper blades.
  • To help with visibility, clean off your car entirely—including your trunk, roof, windows, and headlights.

Prepare Yourself

Making sure your emergency vehicle kit is fully stocked:

  • Water, non-perishable food, and an extra set of warm clothes in case you get stranded
  • Jumper cables
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Ice scraper
  • Flares or reflective triangle

For more information about winter vehicle safety, visit: www.ready.gov/car.