Two Years Ago: Waking Up in the Aftermath of the Derecho Storm
Posted 11:48 a.m.
Two years ago today, many of us woke up to no power, spotty cellphone service, 9-1-1 problems, downed trees and a host of other complications as the result of a derecho storm.
We continue to talk about the derecho storm two years later as it impacted many aspects of our emergency preparedness and response efforts. And we continue to conduct exercise drills so we’re better prepared:
- Last week we participated in a drill focused on a major hurricane.
- Over the weekend, our first responders joined in an exercise on the new Silver Line Metro.
We are preparing for the next weather event or emergency:
What preparations have you made?
We Need Everyone to Prepare
During widespread events such as the derecho, the government alone can’t respond immediately to long power outages, downed trees, hurricanes or people stuck in transit, especially across a county that’s 400 square miles.
To help, we’ve developed 30 easy ways for you to prepare, including:
- Having cash and medicine on hand
- Determining how much water you need
- Two ways to get out of your home, workplace or faith community
- Digital preparedness
Digital preparedness is increasingly important and after the derecho, power and cell service were interrupted. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management created this quick visual to help us think about digital preparedness:
Our new Fairfax Alerts system is now available, too. Please sign up for this new system so you can be informed of weather alerts and other critical information.
A Word About 9-1-1
One of the major impacts from the derecho was the inability to call 9-1-1. In this video, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova discusses some of the changes made with Verizon, the region’s 9-1-1 carrier.