Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Well, at least we got in one nice day this weekend! Hurricane Sandy has the potential to significantly impact our area so please take the opportunity to prepare now. The latest from the Virginia Emergency Operations Center is that Northern Virginia could experience wind gusts between 45 and 50 miles per hour for more than 48 hours. With four to five inches of rain expected, downed trees, extensive power outages, and flooding are likely.
What should residents be doing now?
- Make sure that your family has an emergency preparedness plan and check on friends and neighbors to see if they need assistance.
- Have flashlights, a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio, and extra batteries in case power goes out.
- Have food that does not need refrigeration and one gallon of water per person per day. Plan for at least three days. Don't forget a manual can opener.
- Have a range of hand tools available, including pliers. Know how to shut off your utilities if necessary.
- Other important items are a first aid kit and medications, blankets and other supplies, including plastic sheeting and a whistle to call for help in case of an emergency.
- Visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/prepare/kit.htm for a full list of suggested items.
Important contacts and resources.
- Emergency. If you are having an emergency, please call 911.
- Non-Emergency Police Contact. The Fairfax County non-emergency number is 703-691-2131. The City of Fairfax non-emergency number is 703-385-7924.
- Road Closures. Real-time road closures and traffic conditions are available by dialing 511 or visiting www.511Virginia.org.
- Power interruption - Dominion. Call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report the outage. You may also visit www.dom.com.
- Power interruption - NOVEC. Call NOVEC at 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500. You may also visit www.novec.com.
- Downed Trees. If the tree is on a public road, contact VDOT at 1-800-FOR-ROAD.
What to do after the storm?
- Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information. Check on your neighbors.
- Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized and stay away from them.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate a generator inside your home or in any enclosed space (such as a garage). Do not hook them directly into your electrical system; instead plug directly into the generator with properly-sized extension cords.
- Trees that fall on private property are the owner's responsibility. Be aware of the risk of chain saw injury during tree removal. If a tree has hit your home, call your property insurance company before starting the removal process.
While the situation is fluid, Virginia is taking Hurricane Sandy very seriously. On Friday, the Governor declared a state of emergency and is actively working with our local officials. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating with the State Police, the Department of Health, and VDOT. The Virginia National Guard has been pre-positioned and chainsaw crews from the Department of Forestry are standing by to help with debris removal.
Please stay safe!