Active Violence in the Workplace Preparedness Workshop

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

The Fairfax County Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Fairfax County Community Collaboration for Disaster Resiliency and the Fairfax County OEM Volunteer Corps will present a preparedness workshop — Active Violence in the Workplace — on three dates and at three locations later this month.

The workshop will provide the same presentation and information but is being offered at multiple times to provide ample opportunity for residents to find a convenient date.

Registration is required. There is no cost to attend.

Workshops will be presented on:

The workshop is designed to define active violence, review active violence incidents in U.S. history, discuss options when planning a response and to discuss police response. Additional information will be available on the Stop the Bleed program, Continuity of Operations for businesses and the Community Resiliency Group program.

Additional Info on Yesterday’s Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Test

Posted at 12:30 p.m.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the survey about yesterday’s test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. Even if you didn’t receive an alert — and we’ve heard from numerous folks that didn’t — we still encourage you to take the survey and let our emergency management officials know.

There are several reasons why you may not have received the WEA test:

  • Some participating carriers may offer WEA on some, but not all, of their mobile devices. Consumers should check with their wireless carriers to find out if their cellphone is WEA-capable.
  • When the test was deployed, a person was taking a call on their cellphone.
  • If apps are running, you may not have received the audible alert.
  • Participation in WEA by wireless carriers is widespread, but voluntary. Some carriers may offer WEA over all or parts of their service areas or over all or only some of their wireless devices. Other carriers may not offer WEA at all. Even if you have a WEA-enabled device, you would not receive WEAs in a service area where the provider is not offering WEA or if your device is roaming on a provider network that does not support the WEA service. Consumers should check with their wireless carriers to determine the extent to which they are offering WEA.
  • It’s also possible that some residents may have turned off the WEA notification on their cellphone(s).

Sulayman Brown of our Office of Emergency Management was on Facebook Live this morning and discussed the Wireless Emergency Alerts system, the test, why some residents may not have receive it and why it’s important to complete the survey. You can watch that video below.

The WEA survey can be found online at www.mwcog.org/wea.

Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.

Did You Receive Today’s WEA Test?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) survey

Posted at 10:35 a.m.

If you received the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) test on your cellphone or mobile-enabled device today, April 5, we need your feedback.

Emergency management officials in Fairfax County and the National Capital Region coordinated this morning’s regional test to ensure that in times of an emergency or disaster, they have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public when needed.

As such, they want your feedback on the effectiveness of today’s test. Please take a moment and complete a short survey — found online at www.mwcog.org/wea — and share your experiences regarding the WEA test.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems helps assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and identify any needed technological and administrative improvements. Conducting this regional test supports the continued use, training and improvement of the system.

Regional Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) System on Thursday, April 5

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Test

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

Your mobile phone will buzz loudly on Thursday, April 5, between 10 and 11 a.m. as the National Capital Region tests the Wireless Emergency Alerts system.

Twenty jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, will simultaneously issue a test message to the public through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system on Thursday, April 5, between 10-11 a.m. WEA is a public safety system allowing people who use cellphones and other enabled mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages about threats to safety in their area.

WEA triggers a loud noise and a text message on cellphones and enabled mobile devices. This special WEA tone and vibration will both be repeated twice.

Individuals with cellphones or other enabled mobile devices in Fairfax County will receive the following message: “A test of the Fairfax County Emergency Alert System. No action required.”

We Need Your Help

Consider where you will be on April 5 between 10 and 11 a.m. Wherever you are, be it driving, in a store, at work, in a place of quiet like a library, know that this test will be happening and let others know. Please share this information on social media and in other ways to help get the word out as the test will be temporarily disruptive and noticeable.

If you are traveling between jurisdictions between 10-11 a.m. on April 5, you may receive multiple messages. Each participating jurisdiction will draw a geo-targeted map in their Wireless Emergency Alerts system. Cellphones or enabled mobile devices located outside, but near, the participating jurisdictions will receive the WEA test because this technology uses carrier towers.

People traveling and visiting the area will also receive this message, too, not just residents of the region.

If you’ll be out of the region, then you should not receive a test alert as you won’t be near local cell towers.

Why is WEA Being Tested

Public safety officials need to be sure that in times of an emergency or disaster, they have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public when needed. Conducting a regional test supports the continued use, training and improvement of the system.

If a real-world event impacts the WEA test on Thursday, April 5, the back-up test date is Monday, April 9, between 10-11 a.m.

Participating Jurisdictions

The National Capital Region Emergency Managers Council of Governments: City of Alexandria, City of Arlington, City of Bowie, City of College Park, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, City of Gaithersburg, City of Greenbelt, City of Takoma Park, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, City of Rockville, District of Columbia, Charles County, Fairfax County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Prince William County.

More About WEA

There are three types of messages sent through WEA. WEA is used for:

  • Extreme weather and other threatening emergencies in an area.
  • AMBER alerts.
  • Presidential alerts during a national emergency.

WEA is a short text message designed to capture your attention – emergency officials currently only have 90 characters for the message.

Fairfax County sends Fairfax Alerts messages via text, email and sometimes telephone calls. Messages sent through Fairfax Alerts often include more in-depth details about a critical event. Fairfax Alerts also deliver emergency and non-emergency information and you must subscribe to receive Fairfax Alerts.

For additional WEA information, visit www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.

Fairfax County Government Open With Unscheduled Leave for Employees on Thursday, March 22; Schools Closed

Posted Wednesday, March 21, at 7:20 p.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices are open on Thursday, March 22, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Thursday.
  • School Age Child Care(SACC) centers are also closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be open.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

View the public meetings calendar for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s website (www.fairfaxcounty.gov), Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty), Twitter (www.twitter.com/fairfaxcounty), Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts or by calling the Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline at 703-817-7771, TTY 711. Fairfax County Government Radio (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/radio) will announce county government closing status and also broadcasts weather forecasts several times per hour.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found in our Winter Weather Guide.

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