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Cash Donations More Helpful to Disaster Victims

Frequently, after a disaster hits, donations of food and clothing begin pouring into areas that do not have the resources to sort and distribute items.  The best way to help victims of disasters is to make financial contributions to local charities and faith-based organizations that are responding to the situation or the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. 

Read more from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management about ways you can help.

Virginia Task Force 1 Returning from Connecticut

Virginia Task Force 1 logoVirginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team will return to Fairfax this afternoon from Waterbury, Conn., where they have been deployed in the days after Hurricane Irene. The team was first deployed by FEMA to North Carolina, then New Jersey and finally Connecticut.

Learn more about the team.

Dominion Virginia Power Restoration By Tuesday

Dominion Virginia Power has announced all power restoration in Northern Virginia will be completed by tomorrow.

If you have lost power, keep these important tips in mind:

  • Dispose perishable foods that have been without refrigeration for more than two hours. Fish, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and other dairy products, and leftovers are especially high risk.  When in doubt, throw it out.
  • When power returns, inspect the food in your freezer. If there are still ice crystals in the package it is probably safe to refreeze.  Use a thermometer to check the temperature and if your freezer remained under 40 F, the food is probably safe to refreeze.  Otherwise, it is probably not safe.  When in doubt, throw it out.
  • If you have medication that requires refrigeration but you lost power, check with the pharmacy on the label.  A pharmacist can advise you if it can still be used.

Use Chainsaws Safely During Storm Cleanup

Accidents while using chainsaws during storm cleanup are frequent and often lead to severe injuries.  Most accidents are caused by contact with the moving chain, and most deaths happen when operators are struck by a falling limb or tree during the cutting process.  Here are tips for using chainsaws safely during cleanup from Hurricane Irene.

  • Chainsaw operators must wear/use protective equipment, including:
    • Hard hat
    • Eye protection (safety glasses or goggles)
    • Hearing protection
    • Leather work gloves
    • Cut-resistant leg wear (chaps, leggings, pants) with two-inch boot overlap
    • Sturdy boots, preferably steel-toed
  • Make sure the chain brake is on when:
    • Starting the saw
    • Both hands are not on the saw, or
    • Taking more than two steps
  • Before starting the saw:
    • Size up the tree
    • Watch for hazards around the tree
    • Cut only when it’s safe to do so
  • Starting the saw:
    • Place the saw on the ground
    • Place the toe of your boot through the back handle to hold the saw down
    • Hold the front handle with your left hand
    • Use your right hand to pull the start cord using a fast but short stroke

Go to www.dof.virginia.gov for additional information and safety tips.

Virginia Task Force 1 to New Jersey

As a result of flooding and concerns with the integrity of various dams in New Jersey, FEMA has directed our Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey this afternoon. Swift water resources have been added to the complement of VATF-1 resources.