Video: County Holds Emergency Exercise

Posted at 10 a.m.

On Tuesday, Fairfax County held an emergency exercise — Operation Thunderbolt Strikes — at multiple locations including Tysons Corner Center, the county’s Government Center and the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The exercise was held to test the coordination, command and control between the county’s EOC and field command locations, as well as test emergency planning and response capabilities, validate several emergency plans and improve the level of response in case of a complex coordinated attack.

In this video, Michael Guditus, exercise director and assistant coordinator of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, discusses the exercise and what organizers were hoping to accomplish.

Fairfax County holds numerous exercises and events throughout the year, including tabletop discussions and more involved functional and full-scale drills. The exercises range from agency-level scenarios to multi-agency, county-level and regional events.

For more on Operation Thunderbolt Strikes or the county’s training and exercise program, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.

Fairfax Alerts

Make Your Emergency Plan ~ And Practice It

Posted at 3:15 p.m.

Before a disaster happens you want to make sure you know where to go … as well as your backup location and your secondary backup location. Also, do you have a communications plan? To be prepared you need to have an emergency plan for yourself and your family.

Especially now during National Preparedness Month, be sure to develop your plan, for free, at And after you’ve made your plan, be sure to practice it every six months.

In this video, Courtney Arroyo of the county’s Office of Emergency Management discusses the need to plan for emergencies and some things to consider.

Learn more at

County to Host Emergency Exercise on Tuesday, Sept. 19

Posted at 1 p.m.

operation thunderbolt strikes emergency exercise

Fairfax County will hold an emergency exercise, Operation Thunderbolt Strikes, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, in two locations — Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons and the county’s Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Residents and visitors may notice an increased presence of public safety personnel and equipment (fire, police, etc.) in these areas.

There is no cause for concern — this is only an exercise.

Operation Thunderbolt Strikes will allow the county’s emergency management staff to examine and validate the coordination, command and control between the county’s emergency operations center and field command locations. Emergency management, public safety and health officials also will be able to test emergency planning and response capabilities, validate several emergency plans and improve the level of response in case of a complex coordinated attack.

If you travel in either area as part of your normal commute, you may want to sign up for free severe traffic alerts from Fairfax Alerts to stay informed about significant traffic delays. Visit for more details.

For more information on the emergency exercise, be sure to check this blog tomorrow for a short video recap.


Please remember, 9-1-1 is only for emergencies. For routine questions or non-emergency situations in Fairfax County, dial 703-691-2131. To report road hazards or ask road-related question, 24/7, call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).

Video: National Preparedness Month – Helping Your Neighborhood and Community

Posted at 1 p.m.

It’s the second week of National Preparedness Month. This week’s theme is “Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community.”

In this week’s video, Sulayman Brown, assistant coordinator of emergency management for Fairfax County, stresses the importance of being prepared for a minimum of three days (72 hours) before assistance arrives.

As part of your planning, be sure to include what you and your neighbors can do together to make sure everyone stays safe, such as checking on elderly neighbors and those with access and functional needs.

You’ll also want to stay informed with Fairfax Alerts so you can share information through your neighborhood groups. And you and your neighbors will want to get involved and can participate with groups such as Volunteer Fairfax and Citizen Corps programs.

Get more information from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management online at or by calling 571-350-1000, TTY 711. Emergency preparedness information can be found at

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can!

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, a time to focus on planning for emergencies, with an overarching theme this year of “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

In this video, Seamus Mooney, coordinator of emergency management for Fairfax County, discusses the importance of having an emergency plan as well as how to stay informed before, during and after emergency events so that you can be better prepared for what happens.

“Hurricane Harvey has reminded each of us that disasters can change our lives and our communities in an instant,” says Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke. “Whether it’s a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake or a terrorist attack, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can be a matter of survival for you and your family.”

“Disasters can be overwhelming to think about, but don’t wait until it’s too late to ask yourself hard questions — and come up with good answers,” Duke added.


Be sure to follow this emergency information blog throughout National Preparedness Month for weekly videos on preparedness. And join us on the county’s Facebook page for a Facebook Live on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. as emergency management staff discuss what you should have in your emergency supply kit and how to be better prepared.

National Preparedness Month 2017 - Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can.