Archive | Podcast RSS for this section

The Health and Safety Podcast (Aug. 29 Edition)

Posted at 11 a.m.

On the Aug. 29 edition of the Health and Safety Podcast, learn about preparing for the unexpected, ticks, suicide prevention, West Nile Virus and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Listen to the podcast below.

 

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about preparing for the unexpected, ticks, suicide prevention, West Nile virus and the National Flood Insurance Program. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

Make sure your business is ready to handle the unexpected — whether it’s a hurricane, a cybersecurity incident, an act of violence or a flu outbreak. Minimize your company’s losses and recover quickly by being prepared. Find tips and checklists to help you get ready for specific types of disasters and training resources for your employees. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration online at www.sba.gov and click on the top navigation link “Business Guide,” then click on “manage your business” and then “prepare for emergencies.” You also can contact the county’s Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, email oem@fairfaxcounty.gov or visit online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.

Don’t get sick from the bite of a tick or mosquito when you’re outside enjoying the parks. That’s the message from the Health Department’s MC Bugg-Z – also known as Andy Lima. He is a full-time bug biologist (and part-time rap artist) who is part of the agency’s Disease Carrying Insects Program – a group that monitors tick and mosquito populations in Fairfax County. And his summer anthem is Tick Check 1-2, a song that reminds us all about the essentials of preventing bites from disease-carrying insects, including:

  • Use insect repellent: Make sure it has EPA-recommended active ingredients: picaridin, IR 3535, DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Treat equipment with permethrin (but not your skin). Always follow label instructions.
  • Do a tick check: Ticks crawl all over your body, so make sure you inspect yourself carefully when coming in from outside. Be sure to bathe and wash your clothes without delay.
  • Safely remove ticks: If you find a tick, don’t panic! Use tweezers to remove it. Grab the tick as close to the head as possible and pull slowly until it releases. Disinfect the bite site, watch for 30 days, and see your doctor if you develop any symptoms such as rash, fever, fatigue or headache.

Also, did you know that you can take any ticks you remove to the Health Department for identification? While they do not test for bacteria or viruses, knowing the type of tick that bit you will help inform your diagnosis should you develop any symptoms.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Health Department has identified the first reported human case of West Nile virus disease in 2018. The case coincides with a large increase in WNV infected mosquitoes across the county; an increase that has occurred earlier this summer compared with previous years. The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to:

  • Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus, making sure to follow label instructions.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves to cover exposed skin.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are especially common during peak biting times, particularly at dawn and dusk.

In addition to preventing mosquito bites, you should take steps to reduce breeding of mosquitoes on your property and in your community. This includes tipping and tossing anything that holds water including old tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flowerpots, tarps, trash containers, downspout extensions and other containers. For more information on mosquito bite prevention or to report a mosquito problem, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/fightthebite, call 703-246-8931 or email fightthebite@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Every 13 minutes, someone commits suicide in the U.S. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15 to 34 in the United States, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report revealed an increase in suicides in nearly every state from 1999 through 2014. Suicide is a serious public health issue that affects families and communities across the nation. There are ways to identify signs and make an approach if you suspect a friend or loved one is considering suicide. Learn to recognize the signs and what you can do as a parent, sibling, other relative, friend or even acquaintance to help. The National Institute of Mental Health has information on the risk factors for suicide and the five action steps for helping someone in emotional pain.

  1. Ask: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
  2. Keep them safe.
  3. Be there: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling.
  4. Help them connect: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You also can help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor or mental health professional.
  5. Stay connected.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Fairfax County’s Community Services Board’s Emergency Services at 703-573-5679, text “CONNECT” to 855-11 or call PRS CrisisLink at 703-527-4077. You also can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255. And please remember, that if it’s an immediate, life-threatening situation, call 9-1-1.

August marks the 50th anniversary of the National Flood Insurance Program. Congress created the program on Aug. 1, 1968, to provide federally backed flood insurance in communities that voluntarily adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances that meet the minimum NFIP requirements. The NFIP provides the primary source of flood insurance in the United States for homeowners, renters and businesses. In the last 50 years, the program has supported 2.3 million policyholders impacted by flood damage paying more than $64 billion in flood claims losses. Insured survivors recover faster and more fully after a flood than uninsured survivors. Today, the National Flood Insurance Program manages flood risk for more than 22,000 participating communities by providing insurance and protecting the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains through land use and development requirements. The program supports more than 5 million flood insurance policies, insuring more than $1.2 trillion in assets. For more information visit www.fema.gov/nfip50. To learn more about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Finally, learn how to make a family emergency plan – as well as emergency plans for your business and house of worship – online at www.ReadyNOVA.org.

That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

 

Listen to the Health and Safety Podcast (Aug. 1 Edition)

Posted at 11 a.m.

On the Aug. 1 edition of the Health and Safety Podcast, learn about getting severe weather alerts by email and text and what you can do to prepare for extreme summertime weather, person-centered care, National Night Out and back-to-school immunizations.

Listen to the podcast below.

Transcript

Keep your summer fun and safe from severe weather or other emergencies. You can get weather and emergency alerts right on your cellphone or tablet. Timely information about weather conditions or emergencies can help you stay safe. Sign up today for weather and emergency alerts through Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.

Are you ready for extreme weather? Every minute counts during a disaster – plan now so you’re prepared. Know the risks from different weather events that could affect you and your family where you live, work and go to school. Preparedness is a shared responsibility. While government plays a role, there are important things individuals, organizations and businesses can do to be ready for the unexpected. Here are some steps you can take to become better prepared:

  • Sign up for Fairfax Alerts to receive timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events. Text messages will be sent direct to your cellphone. Sign up at www.fairfaxcounty.alerts.
  • Create and test a family communications plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area and know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Learn more at www.readynova.org.
  • Document and insure your property. When a disaster strikes, having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild or replace whatever is damaged. Look for homeowners or renters insurance that covers damage caused by floods, high winds from tornados and hurricanes, earthquakes or other concerns.
  • Strengthen your financial preparedness. Collect and secure personal financial, insurance, medical and other records so you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay. Know your disaster costs. More information is online at www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness.
  • Get trained to help others. Minutes matter in a disaster, and if emergency responders aren’t nearby, you can be the help until more help arrives. Learn about Community Emergency Response Teams – CERT – online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov, search “CERT.”

Have you heard the phrase “Person-Centered Care”? If you are looking into care options for an older adult, it’s a good idea to educate yourself. With Person-Centered Care, health practitioners go beyond a person’s medical chart to understand their spiritual, social and holistic needs. This helps them create a plan that is customized to them and takes into account their whole being. Learn more about Person-Centered Care on the Fairfax County Health Department’s Adult Day Health Care website. Go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health and search “adult day health care.”

National Night Out, an annual neighborhood-based crime and drug prevention event, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Between 6-9 p.m., you are encouraged to lock your doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside together. There will be special events, anticrime rallies, activities for children and police officers will visit as many neighborhood gatherings as possible. It’s a great opportunity to show neighborhood spirit and strengthen partnerships with local police and demonstrate neighborhood commitment to fight crime. Make your plans now to participate. Learn more at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/, search “National Night Out.” And if you’re hearing this after Aug. 7, be sure to check the Fairfax County Police Facebook page for pictures and more information about how you can make your neighborhood a safer place to live.

Make sure your kids are protected before sending them back to school. The Fairfax County Health Department offers school-required immunizations and TB testing for free at their five clinics, and there are even extended hours right before school starts. You can avoid the rush by making an appointment and filling out your paper work ahead of time. In addition to the regular hours of operation, extended walk-in hours are Friday, Aug. 24 from 1-3:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 27 from 1-6 p.m., and Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 8-10 a.m. For more information, including clinic locations, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/immunization.

Finally, save important phone numbers to your phone contacts and be prepared digitally before an emergency or crisis. Find the numbers you need online; just search “hotlines and emergency numbers” at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.