Flood Watch Issued from 2 p.m. Today Through Friday

Posted at 9:45 a.m.

Flood Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch in effect from 2 p.m. this afternoon through Friday evening for the potential for flooding from heavy rain. Localized areas of flooding of small streams and urban areas are possible today and tonight.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

From 2 p.m. this afternoon through Friday evening, periods of rain will continue across the region. This rain will be heavy at times, with overall additional rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches. While flash flooding cannot be ruled out, the primary concern is flooding of small streams and low-lying areas. Streams are already elevated and soils saturated from earlier rainfall, increasing the flood threat.

Turn Around Don’t Drown

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

  • Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult.
  • 12 inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
  • 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.

It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited.  It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.

Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

Is Your Business Prepared to Stay in Business?

Posted at 11 a.m.

We all have relationships. These relationships vary if you are an employee of a company, serving residents as part of the local government, or providing services to customers as the leader of a company. These relationships are vital because at the end of the chain of interactions and transactions is a person that is relying on you to get a job done.

Being proactive in ensuring these relationships and interactions continue without interruption is the heart of continuity planning.

In short, continuity planning ensures the ability to deliver resources to stakeholders by providing reliable options. It fills a vital void in the lifecycle in both business and government processes.

In this video, Avery Church, Fairfax County’s continuity program manager, highlights continuity of operations and the essential planning necessary for the success of a continuity program.

Watch the full video, including tips on how to be prepared and an interview with the county’s Police Department on its continuity of operations (COOP) plan.

Continuity Awareness Week in Fairfax County

Ongoing maintenance of a continuity program in business and government organizations plays a significant part in an effective resiliency capability. That’s why Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors, on behalf of all residents of Fairfax County, proclaimed the week of May 14-18, as Continuity Awareness Week in Fairfax County.

The board proclamation urges all business and government organizations to take steps to increase resiliency and reduce operational risks by becoming familiar with and engaging in continuity planning. This special week recognizes both the for-profit and not-for-profit efforts to minimize operational disruptions.

Continuity Awareness Week in Fairfax County

On Tuesday, May 15, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors designated May 14-18, 2018, as Continuity Awareness Week in Fairfax County.

The county’s Continuity of Operations Program was created in 2009 with the formation of an advisory work group to respond to the spread of the Influenza A virus. The program has expanded to cover all county missions and has been recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an example of a best practice for state, territorial, tribal and local governments continuity of operations planning.

Continuity of Operations Planning

Continuity planning as we know it has been around since the 1970s, and even earlier in other iterations. Internationally, continuity planning has been used greatly in areas that were highly susceptible to natural disasters. For example, Japan and New Zealand developed plans to manage the effects of earthquakes.

The concept of continuity planning naturally expanded to include other known disruptions like terrorism, pandemics, extreme weather, financial and cyber. This growth has created a proven planning principle that is an umbrella for all actions related to mitigating against operational disruptions.

More recently, we have realized that the clear majority of these disruptions have the same mitigation, response and recovery footprint. Instead of focusing on creating custom plans for the specific disruption, as was done in the 1970s, the better investment proved to be focusing on plans that were mnemonic and applicable to a large swath of events.

Continuity planning focuses on ensuring proper program oversight, management of the programs reputation, planning against anticipated threats to our operations and performing each initiative in the most effective manner.

In modern continuity planning, we place emphasis on improving our weaknesses against these anticipated threats to our operations. Universally, these threats include vendors and their associated supply chains, the availability of our human assets, the vulnerability of IT and the persistence of single points of failure. These form the footprint that we find in post-disruptions, so focusing our mitigation and recovery efforts on these areas will greatly improve our capabilities.

For more information, contact Church, continuity program manager, at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.

Hazardous Weather Outlook and Severe Thunderstorm Watch for This Afternoon and Evening

Posted at 3 p.m.

Thunderstorm Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook, which includes a severe thunderstorm watch, in effect through 9 p.m. tonight, Monday, May 14. Scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and large hail are possible this afternoon and evening. The greatest risk is south of U.S. Highway 50.

Remainder of the Week

There is a chance of isolated severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and large hail possible again Tuesday afternoon and evening. Heavy rains Thursday night and Friday also may result in small stream and urban flooding.

Monetary Donations Still Needed for Residents Affected by Centreville Fires

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

County agencies and our official partners, including various nonprofits and faith-based organizations in the Centerville and Chantilly community, continue to provide services and resources to the residents of the May 2 fires in Centerville.

We are still seeking monetary gifts — cash, check or credit card — through our official partner, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM), 4511 Daly Drive, Suite J, Chantilly, VA 20151. This is the best way to ensure that your support goes directly to the residents of the Centreville fires. You can mail or drop off donations to WFCM, as well as donate online at wfcmva.org (click the donate button).

For additional information, call 703-988-9656 or email rkolowe@wfcmva.org.

“The generosity of our community is great. That is apparent in all the offers we have received so far,” said Diana Rothe-Smith, emergency response program manager, Volunteer Fairfax. “The best way to help the residents get exactly what they need as soon as they need it is to give cash to a coordinating community-based organization, in this case it’s Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.”

County officials continue to partner with WFCM to identify residents’ needs and updates will be provided here on the blog on what future types of donations and assistance would be most beneficial.

Charity Fraud Precautions

Unfortunately, a tragic event such as an earthquake, hurricane or a local fire often prompts an outpouring of assistance from well-meaning residents. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminds consumers who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of a natural disaster to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or good cause.

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails, by clicking on links contained within those messages.
  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by researching the BBB Wise Giving Alliance or Guidestar.
  • Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations, rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf, to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
  • If a charity is soliciting contributions in Virginia, verify its registration with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) at 804-786-1343, or search the OCRP Charitable Organization Database.
  • While a legitimate charity should be registered with OCRP to solicit contributions in Virginia, registration alone does not mean that the organization will be effective in aiding victims of a particular natural disaster.
  • Carefully read the terms and conditions of online giving platforms, such as GoFundMe.
  • Use a credit card to make your donation in case you need to dispute a charge with your credit card company.

For questions and concerns about charitable giving, contact the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 433, Fairfax. A consumer specialist is available to respond to your consumer inquiries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 703-222-8435 or email consumer@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Hazardous Weather Outlook This Afternoon and Evening

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for isolated severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail possible this afternoon and early evening.

Detailed Forecast

hazardous weather

Today

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 5 p.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and frequent lightning. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Southwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tonight

Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8 p.m. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 60. West wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Get more weather information from the National Weather Service.


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