Red Flag Warning in Effect Today From 11 a.m. Until 8 p.m.

Red Flag Warning

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and low relative humidity in effect from 11 a.m. this morning to 8 p.m. this evening for portions of Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

  • Humidity: 20 to 30 percent late this morning through early this afternoon.
  • Winds: Northwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
  • Fuel moisture is less than 8 percent.

Get the latest Fairfax County weather and sign up for weather alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN).

Two CERT Classes to Begin Soon

Posted at 9:30 a.m.

CERT - Community Emergency Response TeamThis Saturday, April 26, our Fire and Rescue Department is beginning a basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class at the LDS Church in Springfield. There is still plenty of room if you’d like to attend. The class will meet on four Saturdays and run each day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; tentative class dates are April 26, May 3, May 10 and May 24.

Fire and Rescue also has added a new CERT Class at the Fire and Rescue Academy beginning Monday, May 5. This class will meet on every Monday from 7-10:30 p.m. (except for May 26) and will finish on June 23.

To sign up for either class, you first must register as a volunteer at www.fairfaxcert.com to receive registration information on the classes. If you have trouble registering, or have any questions, email fire.cert@fairfaxcounty.gov. Sign up now and get Certified!

CERT helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members also can help with non-emergency projects that help improve the preparedness and safety of the community.

For more information on CERT, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.

Small Business Preparedness

Posted at 1:45 p.m.

small business preparedness

An Ad Council survey reported that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents said they do not have an emergency plan in place for their business.

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ about half of all private sector employees.
  • Have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.

All businesses should have an emergency plan, including small businesses! A successful business emergency plan includes emergency contact information, essential business functions, an alternate location and probable delegations of authority in the event of a disaster.

Here are some great resources to create your business emergency plan:

  • ReadyNOVA provides a free template to create a business emergency plan and will guide you step-by-step through the process.
  • The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a 123 point self-assessment of their level of preparedness and have access to tools, tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness. The 123 point assessment has been aligned with the federal government’s Private Sector Preparedness standards (PS-Prep).
  • Free business continuity planning software provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is scalable for any organization to create a business continuity plan. It can be used to maintain normal operations and provide resilience during a disruption.

Have questions or want a business presentation? Contact our Office of Emergency Management for more info by phone at 571-350-1000, TTY 711; or email oem@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Flood Warning Until 7 p.m. Tonight (April 15) for Eastern Fairfax County

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.

This afternoon’s flood warning has been canceled by the National Weather Service.

Posted at 3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service  has issued a Flood Warning for urban areas and small streams in Eastern Fairfax County until 7 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, April 15.

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, observations indicated one to two inches of rain had fallen today between Burke and Springfield. Area streams were on the rise and some flooding of low-lying areas near streams, as well as low spots on roads near the stream crossings, is expected this afternoon.

A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow. However, you should take necessary precautions immediately. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on small creeks and streams and ponding of water in urban areas such as highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage areas and low lying spots.

If you encounter excessive water on area roads, remember to “Turn Around; Don’t Drown.” And please keep children indoors and away from streams or creeks that may rise rapidly.

Get more on the weather forecast at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/weather-forecast.htm.

National 9-1-1 Education Month

Posted at 2 p.m.

National 9-1-1 Education MonthThe National 9-1-1 Education Coalition recognizes April as National 9-1-1 Education Month. This year’s theme is “Be 9-1-1 Ready.”

Here’s a few key things to remember when calling 9-1-1:

  • Know Where You Are: Where are you right now? Can you tell 9-1-1 exactly where to find you?
  • Use a Landline: Whenever possible, use a landline to call 9-1-1. Cellphone calls aren’t always routed to the closest call center and the time it takes to transfer your call to the call center is important in an emergency.
  • Stay Calm and Ready to Listen: 9-1-1 will stay on the line to help you until help arrives. Be ready to listen and follow directions.
  • Never Hang Up – Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the problem has gone away, it is important that you stay on the phone until the call taker tells you it is alright to hang up. It is the call taker’s job to make sure that you are OK and that help has gotten to whoever needs it. In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is going on in the room. Most times, they will be able to use the computers at the 9-1-1 Center to find your address.

Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center is the primary 9-1-1 public safety answering point for Fairfax County, as well as the City of Fairfax and the towns of Herndon and Vienna. The center provides the dispatch for all units of the Fairfax County Police Department and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, including the City of Fairfax Fire Department and the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.

Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center – located at the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center (MPSTOC) and collocated on the operations floor with call takers and dispatchers from Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation – is one of the 50 largest in the U.S. and the largest in Virginia. Call takers and dispatchers in Fairfax County answer approximately 2,200 calls for assistance daily; some 830,000 annually from the public, both 9-1-1 and non-emergency.

For more information about 9-1-1 Education Month or the county’s 9-1-1 Call Center, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911.

Know What To Do If You Encounter Flooding This Spring

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

This is Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16-22), but flooding can happen at any time and anywhere!

Flooding causes more damage in the U.S. than any other weather related event and is the second leading cause of weather related fatalities in the U.S. (behind heat). On average, floods cause $8 billion in damages and over 80 fatalities annually.

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only 18 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.
Turn Around. Don't Drown.
One way to prepare is with flood insurance. Keep your head above water by learning the basics about this special coverage available for homes and businesses. Here’s what you should know:

  • Flood losses are not typically covered under renter and homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Flood insurance is available in most communities through insurance agents.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a valuable resource to learn more about your flood risk, how to find an agent, and the flood recovery process. NFIP also offers interactive ways to understand floods. Calculate the cost of flooding, watch real flood testimonials and launch a levee simulator to take your flood knowledge to the next level.

More information about floods and what you should do before, during and after a flood is at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/flooding.htm.

7 Things to Know About the Snow

Posted 8:08 a.m.

If you’re a snow lover, then the luck of the Irish is with you today! As you begin your day, here are a few things to know:

1.) Please stay off the roads. We need the roads clear for public safety response and Virginia Department of Transportation snow removal crews. Plows will be out in full force this morning, so never crowd a plow!

2.) If you must drive, practice common sense and drive slowly, especially on secondary roads. Remember that your car cannot start, stop or turn as quickly on snow or ice. Find road conditions on one of our maps.

3.) The Police Department’s accident policy is in effect, meaning officers will respond to personal injury crashes, hit and run crashes involving injury and to fatal crashes only.

4.) County government offices, courts and schools are closed today. Your trash/recycling collection has likely been affected.

5.) When shoveling snow, help clear sidewalks, especially near school bus stops; clear fire hydrants; and be careful if you have heart conditions.Snow shovel safety tips

6.) To see the status of VDOT plowing in your neighborhood, enter your address at www.vdotplows.org.

7.) Check in on elderly neighbors and other housebound individuals to see if they need any help.

Visit our winter weather page for more tips and resources. Stay safe!

Changes to County Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule; Private Trash Collection Services Likely Affected

Posted 6:50 a.m.

Due to the winter weather and existing road conditions, Fairfax County trash and recycling collection in sanitary districts (15 percent of county households) has been cancelled for Monday, March 17. Collections are planned to resume in sanitary districts on Tuesday (weather and road conditions permitting) on the following schedule:

  • Monday routes will be collected on Tuesday, March 18
  • Tuesday and Wednesday routes will be collected on Wednesday, March 19
  • No changes are planned for Thursday and Friday customers

Please check the trash/recycling county customer website for updated service information. Service-related questions can also be directed to the trash/recycling customer service center at 703-802-3322, TTY 711.

Private Trash/Recycling

The impact of the winter weather may also be affecting the operations of private trash and recycling collectors. Customers of private service providers (more than 85 percent of county households) should contact their trash and recycling collector directly for any changes in service. Contact information for private trash and recycling collectors operating in Fairfax County is available online.

If your trash collection service has been postponed until another day please remove your trash containers from the curb in order to enhance the effectiveness of snow clearing operations and to avoid having your containers damaged or buried in snowbanks.

Fairfax County Government Offices and Courts Closed Monday, March 17

Posted 5:40 a.m. // Updated 6:50 a.m.

  • Fairfax County Government offices are closed Monday, March 17, and employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. (*An earlier decision to open offices at noon has been changed.)
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed on Monday.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Monday. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.

Trash and Recycling

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status.

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

View the public meetings calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar/ShowCalendar.aspx for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County Government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter.

UPDATE: County Government and Courts Closed on Monday

UPDATED 5:30 a.m. // Posted at 4:15 a.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices will be CLOSED on Monday, March 17. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Monday, March 17. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status.

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 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

View the public meetings calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar/ShowCalendar.aspx for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter.

Winter Storm Warning in Effect Tonight Through Monday Afternoon

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

A National Weather Service winter storm warning is in effect from 7 p.m. this evening until 2 p.m. Monday, March 17. A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring.

Significant amounts of snow are forecast — accumulations of 4 to 8 inches.

A mix of rain and snow early this evening will change to all snow by mid evening. Snow will continue overnight through early afternoon Monday. The heaviest snow is expected late this evening through early Monday morning.

Roads will become snow covered and slippery.  If you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home — plan to get where you need to be before the weather gets bad. Visit the Virginia Department of Transportation for the latest on the roads.

To stay informed about the storm, continue to follow this blog and be sure to listen to Fairfax County Government Radio.

Red Flag Warning in Effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Posted at 7 a.m.

Red Flag WarningA Red Flag Warning is in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, Thursday, March 13, for Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

A National Weather Service (NWS) wind advisory also remains in effect until 11 a.m. this morning.

Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies with a high near 35. It will be breezy with a northwest wind 22 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Northwest winds continue tonight, 9 to 14 mph, becoming light and variable after midnight with temperatures around 20.

Get more on the weather by listening to Fairfax County Government Radio, which broadcasts NWS forecasts several times per hour.

Wind Advisory Overnight; Power Outages Possible

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

Wind Advisory in effect overnight

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory, in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to 11 a.m. Thursday morning, March 13.

Winds are expected to be from the Northwest at 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

Should you lose electricity, here are the numbers to report outages:

  • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711.
  • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711.

Other tips to consider:

  • Take care driving high profile vehicles.
  • Secure outdoor furniture.
  • If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.
  • If you have downed trees, here’s a resource list of who to call.

Emergency Phone Numbers | Weather forecast

Video: Are You Ready for Tuesday’s Tornado Drill

Posted at 3:55 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11, is the statewide tornado drill, beginning at 9:45 a.m.

The tornado drill is an important statewide safety exercise in an effort to prepare for nature’s most violent storms. Virginia has been hit hard in the past by multiple tornadoes that have cost lives and left extensive damage. In fact Virginia has had 70 tornadoes since 2011, with more than $3 million in damage. 


 

When the drill starts at 9:45, immediately protect yourself by going to a designated shelter-in-place or to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.

Find more information on the Statewide Tornado Drill or additional drill resources at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) at http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/tornadoes. Find more information on tornadoes from FEMA at http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes.

When it comes to tornadoes, there is no such thing as a “tornado season.” Tornadoes can strike anywhere, anytime, and you need to know the drill — you need to be prepared to act quickly.

Change Your Clocks; Check Your Supplies

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

ClockWe’ve got a time change coming up this weekend. Clocks go forward one hour on Sunday, March 9, which is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST).

So tonight before you go to bed, be sure to change your clocks — move them forward one hour — but also use DST event to take just a little bit of time to be better prepared for emergencies in your home and our community.

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms. It only takes a couple of minutes to change your batteries, so this is an easy “to do” item — just be sure you go to the store today and grab some fresh batteries if you don’t already have some on hand.
  • Update the supplies in your emergency supply kits — at home, the office and in your car. With the recent snow you may have used some bottled water or the granola bars, so take a couple of minutes and inventory your supplies. Then while you’re at the store picking up those batteries (see above), get those items you need to keep your emergency kits fully stock.

Learn more about Daylight Saving Time from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

For more on emergency preparedness and making an emergency kit, contact our emergency management office at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.

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