Archive by Author | Fairfax County Emergency Information

Health Department Seeks Volunteers for Point of Dispensing (POD) Exercise

Posted at 11 a.m.

Did you know that the Fairfax County Health Department has robust plans in place to respond to a wide-scale bioterrorism attack?

To keep our plans up-to-date and staff trained and ready, those plans have to be tested. And that’s where you can help!

Point of Dispensing (POD) exercise

The Health Department is seeking volunteers to participate in our upcoming Point of Dispensing (POD) exercise on Saturday, July 29. From 9-11 a.m. a simulated POD will be operated at Centreville High School, 6001 Union Mill Road, Clifton.

Trained Health Department staff and volunteers will assist actors – POD clients – with filling out a screening form, dispensing faux-medications and answering questions. This exercise is intended to evaluate the Health Department’s ability to provide critical services during a disaster, specifically dispensing medication quickly to residents.

Register to participate as an actor by going to Eventbrite. If you have any questions, contact Liz Sullivan, training and exercise coordinator, at 703-246-8703.

Fairfax Alerts

Heat Safety for People and Pets in Vehicles

Posted at 1 p.m.

heat safety for people and pets

With the summer months upon us, now is the time to learn about the dangers of heatstroke and being trapped in a hot car. Heatstroke is dangerous and can be deadly.

Never leave children, pets, or older adults unattended in a parked car.

Unfortunately, children mistakenly being left in hot vehicles make up many of the tragedies reported each year.

Use the following life saving tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind yourself and others to check the back seat before walking away from a vehicle.

  • Look Before You Lock. Get into the routine of always checking the back seat of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
  • A Gentle Reminder. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it is empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Alternatively, place your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
  • A Routine Check. If someone else is driving your child, or you alter your daily routine, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
  • A Key to Safety. You know to keep your vehicle locked, but also keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.
animation of heat in vehicles

Animation Courtesy of General Motors and San Francisco State University.

On a warm day, temperatures can rapidly rise to dangerous levels. Even with the windows slightly open, the temperature in a car on a 93-degree day can soar to 125 degrees in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 degrees in 40 minutes.

Keep Your Pets Safe Too

Rolling down the windows has little effect on the temperature inside a car. High temps can cause organ damage and even death for our furry friends.

If your pet shows any of the following signs contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Profuse salivation

Take steps to reduce the animal’s body temperature, apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest; provide water and ice cubes for hydration; and move the animal into the shade or air-conditioning.

If you see a child or pet alone in a parked car on a hot day, call 9-1-1.

Learn more extreme heat preparedness at

Volunteer Victim Actors Needed for Weekend CERT Exercise

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

Fairfax County CERTNewly trained Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members will have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and work together with seasoned CERT members in a training this Saturday, June 10, at Virginia Task Force One’s (VATF-1) training facility at the former Lorton Juvenile Detention Center.

From moulage — the art of applying mock injuries for the purpose of training emergency response teams and other medical and military personnel — to triage, CERT members will experience it all in this unique opportunity to practice their skills in a realistic full-scale exercise, allowing players to react to information and situations as they are presented.

Your Opportunity to Participate

If you’re not a CERT member, you can still participate. Volunteers are needed to play victim actors. Victim actors simulate specific roles during exercise play, typically victims or bystanders.

As a victim actor, you may be covered in theatrical make-up (moulage), could be lying in a damaged building waiting to be rescued or even looking for your imaginary friend. The scenarios you’ll participate in allow CERT responders to gain insight and learn to treat multiple victims in a short period of time.

  • 7:30-8 a.m. ~ Victim actor check in
  • 8-8:30 a.m. ~ Responder check in
  • Late arrivals will not be admitted after 9 a.m.

If you’re interested, you need to register online and sign a waiver. Participants will receive lunch provided by one of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Canteen units.

Get Your Pets Ready During National Pet Preparedness Month

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

June marks National Pet Preparedness Month and is a perfect opportunity for you to learn how to plan for your pet’s safety during an emergency event.

If you need to evacuate your home for any reason do not forget to plan for your furry, scaly or feathered friends. The Ready Campaign offers guidance and tips with regard to:

  • Making a pet emergency plan.
  • Preparing shelter for your pet.
  • Protecting your pet during a disaster and caring for them afterwards.
  • Tips for large animals.

Learn more about how to prepare your pet(s) for emergency situations at and

pet preparedness

Take a selfie with your pet! Be sure you have a current photo of you with your pet in case you are separated during a disaster. Learn more at

2017 Hurricane Preparedness Week Underway

Posted at 11 a.m.

This week (May 7-13) is National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful and destructive events and the cause behind eight of the 10 costliest disasters in U.S. history. Hurricanes are not just a coastal concern. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Now is the time to prepare.

  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Be sure to include your pets in your emergency preparedness planning.
  • Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family and friends.
  • Keep an emergency kit where you spend time — home, car and work.
  • Practice your preparedness plans with a drill or exercise.


Visit for more information about hurricane preparedness. For the current National Hurricane Center map of active Atlantic cyclones and tropical disturbances, visit