Excessive Heat Watch Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Posted at 12:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued three separate Excessive Heat Watches for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All three begin in the morning each day and expire in the evening.

An Excessive Heat Watch means that a prolonged period of dangerously high temperatures is possible. You should prepare for extreme temperatures and high humidity, which would create a situation in which heat illnesses are expected.

Heat index values could potentially rise to 110 to 115 degrees each day with temperatures in the middle 90s to around 100 degrees and dewpoints in the lower to middle 70s.

Heat Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a car.
  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat. (See Fairfax County’s cooling center information below.)
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Fairfax County Cooling Centers

With these high temperature and heat index, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness for those without air-conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period. During extremely hot days, there is plenty that you can do to stay cool, like go to a movie, stroll through a shopping center or visit one of Fairfax County’s Cooling Centers:

Please check the operating hours to ensure the facility is open before arriving. Remember — resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses.

Fairfax County and Region Test Health Emergency Response

Posted at 8:30 a.m.

F
airfax County — along with jurisdictions in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia — will participate in a full-scale emergency exercise designed to evaluate the National Capital Region’s ability to dispense medication quickly in response to an anthrax attack.

The four-day regional exercise began on Wednesday and ends on Saturday, July 20. As part of the exercise, each jurisdiction will test their ability to establish a Point of Distribution (POD) for the dispersal of medication.

As part of Fairfax County’s exercise, our Health Department will be testing a simulated medication dispensing site on Friday, July 19, from 10 a.m. – noon at Lake Braddock Secondary School, 9200 Burke Lake Road, Burke.

Although no actual medications will be handed out at the POD, our public health staff and volunteers will go through the same procedures and protocols that they would use to dispense medications in a real disaster.

Residents and visitors in the area of the school may see increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic as health and public safety staff, along with several hundred volunteers, participate.

Watch this video to get a better idea of what a POD is like.

 

County Declares Local Emergency in Response to July 8 Rainfall; Residents Encouraged to Submit Damage Reports

Posted at 4:10 p.m.

At its July 16 meeting, the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency for Fairfax County as a result of the July 8 torrential rainstorm that caused substantial damage to both public and private property.

The heavy rains caused several county closures, numerous road closures, damage to homes, businesses, roads and dams as well as multiple rescues from our fire and rescue personnel of motorists stranded in flooded roadways.

As a result, the Board declared a local emergency, retroactive to July 8, that officially activates the county’s emergency operations plan and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the plan to mitigate the results of the severe weather.

This local aid includes the waiving of fees associated with residential and commercial building permits, including trades, needed for the repair of storm damage for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the declaration. This waiver and declaration, however, does not remove the requirement for adherence to all federal, state and local building codes.

The declaration of a local emergency is necessary for the county to seek funds for recovery, clean-up and evaluation should such funds become available.

The declaration notes that this severe weather event “created an emergency of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering threated” pursuant to Virginia Code.

Submit Your Damage Reports

The county’s Office of Emergency Management is currently collecting information from Fairfax County residents and businesses on damage and losses suffered during the rain event.

It is critically important that you submit any storm-related damage to Fairfax County.

The information you provide will be part of the county’s preliminary damage assessment, which is used to help determine if the county is eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Individuals and businesses are asked to report any storm damage to the county’s Disaster Damage Database.

“By submitting information you are helping the county focus on what areas of the county had the most damage to provide to the federal assessors.”

Seamus Mooney
Fairfax County Emergency Management Coordinator

While the database is completely voluntary, the damage reports received may impact what kind of federal disaster assistance — if any — that can be made available to county residents who suffered losses.

Your submission of damage information may benefit you and other county residents by supporting a disaster declaration, which is a prerequisite to eligibility for federal disaster assistance. However, submission of a Disaster Damage Report is not a requirement to apply for federal disaster assistance, nor is it a promise that federal disaster assistance will be provided.

Learn more about the Disaster Damage Database and submit your damage form online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/disasterreport/dr_submit.aspx.

Heat Advisory in Effect — Stay Safe and Cool

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service reports that excessive heat will impact Fairfax County throughout the week and a Heat Advisory is in effect. Heat indices around 105°F – 110°F are possible today and Thursday afternoon and early evening. In addition, dew points are expected to be in the low to middle 70s through Thursday, creating very humid conditions.

Dangerous heat and humidity are likely Friday through Sunday across the entire area. Heat indices of 110°F to 115°F degrees are possible during the afternoon and evening hours each day, and heat indices may hold in the 80s and 90s at night.

The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. Learn more about the heat index from the National Weather Service.

If the prolonged heat and humidity is realized, it will become a significant threat to anyone exposed to the heat for an extended period of time.

heat safety

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory in effect from 11 a.m. this morning until 8 p.m. this evening. A Heat Advisory means that a period of high temperatures is expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside — take frequent breaks and be sure to stay hydrated. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call or text 9-1-1.

Fairfax County Cooling Centers

With these high temperature and heat index, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness for those without air-conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period. During extremely hot days, there is plenty that you can do to stay cool, like go to a movie, stroll through a shopping center or visit one of Fairfax County’s Cooling Centers (see map below):

Please check the operating hours to ensure the facility is open before arriving. Remember — resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses.

Kids and Pets in Cars

Please remember that it is never safe to leave a child, adult or a pet alone in a car, even in the winter. So far in 2019, according to weather.gov, nine toddlers have died in hot cars!

The sun’s shortwave radiation heats objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation that is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The younger the child the more severe the effects because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate its internal temperature.

Heat Safety Tips

  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat. (See Fairfax County’s cooling center information above.)
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Weather Forecast

heat advisory

  • Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 95 and a heat index value as high as 100. Chance of precipitation is 40%, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m.
  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 90. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98.

Find a detailed forecast here.


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Monday’s Storms Caused Widespread Damage; County Officials Ask that You Report Your Damage Online

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

The heavy rain yesterday (see previous articles here and here) caused property damage for many residents in the county. If you were one of those affected, we encourage you to report your damage to the county’s Disaster Damage Database.

This database is completely voluntary, but the damage reports may impact what kind of federal disaster assistance — if any — that can be made available to county residents who suffered losses.

Initial damage assessment reports are due by Friday, July 12. Should residents need more time to complete their report, they should submit no later than Wednesday, July 24.

Learn more about the Disaster Damage Database and submit your damage form online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/disasterreport/dr_submit.aspx.

Your submission of damage information may benefit you and other county residents by supporting a disaster declaration, which is a prerequisite to eligibility for federal disaster assistance. However, submission of a Disaster Damage Report is not a requirement to apply for federal disaster assistance, nor is it a promise that federal disaster assistance will be provided.