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Terrorist Attack Serves as Reminder to Be Prepared

Posted at 11 a.m.

Authorities in London are treating a major security incident near the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday as a terrorist attack.

There’s no guarantee you can be 100 percent ready for a terrorist attack, but there are some steps you can take to be much better prepared.

  • Fairfax AlertsSign up for Fairfax Alerts ~ This is the county’s emergency alert system and it will send emergency notifications to your cellphone and email. You can also subscribe for additional alert categories, such as severe weather, severe traffic and even non-emergency notifications such as tax or commuter information.
  • Have an Emergency Plan ~ Do you know how to respond if disaster impacts your home or workplace? Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance. If your family is in different locations when the disaster strikes, how will you contact one another? How will you get back together? What will you do in different situations? Making a plan is an essential step in your preparedness efforts — ReadyNOVA.org can help (and it’s free).
  • Make an Emergency Kit ~ Everyone should have supplies on hand sufficient for at least three days following an emergency. If you already have an emergency kit, be sure to check and test your supplies periodically.  And don’t forget items for your pets, any special needs family members may have, and emergency kits for your office and car.
  • See Something. Say Something ~ It’s easy to take for granted the routine moments in our every day — going to work or school, the grocery store or the gas station. But your every day is different than your neighbor’s — filled with the moments that make it uniquely yours. So if you see something you know shouldn’t be there — or someone’s behavior that doesn’t seem quite right — say something. Because only you know what’s supposed to be in your everyday. If you see something suspicious in Fairfax County, call 703-802-2746, or the Fairfax County non-emergency line at 703-691-2131, TTY 703-877-3715. In addition, you can submit information through an online form with Virginia State Police.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to be better prepared. For more information, visit our emergency information preparedness page and be sure to follow Fairfax County on our various social media channels so that you can stay informed and be ready to take action.

A30 Ways in 30 Days nother great info source is our “30 Ways in 30 Days” preparedness campaign. Commit to take a few minutes each day for the next 30 days and you and your loved ones will be much better prepared for any challenge that may come your way. Each step on its own is fairly easy and doesn’t take a lot of time, but combine all 30 and you’re well on your way to being ready for any hazard.

Fairfax County Government Open With Unscheduled Leave for Employees for Tuesday, March 14; Schools Closed

Posted 4:34 a.m; updated 11:28 a.m. 

Government, Schools and Courts

  • Fairfax County Government offices will be open on Tuesday, March 14, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 14. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers will be closed.
  • The Fairfax County General District Court, Circuit Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are open on time.
  • There will be no trash, recycling, yard waste or special pickup collection on Tuesday, March 14.  Tuesday customers should leave their trash and recycling carts at the curb/street line for us to collect this week. If you receive trash/recycling collection service from a private trash collector please contact them directly.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status.

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Public Assistance Lobbies/SkillSource

The Department of Family Services employment/SkillSource centers and public assistance lobbies may be affected by inclement weather.  Call 703-324-7500, TTY 711, for the current operating status.

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.
  • George Mason Regional, Reston Regional and Oakton Library are closed Tuesday, March 14.

View the public meetings calendar at for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

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Spring Your Clocks Forward, Check Smoke Alarms This Weekend

Posted at 3 p.m.

Daylight Saving Time is Sunday, March 12. Be sure to “spring” clocks forward 1 hour before going to bed Saturday, March 11.

Daylight Saving Time March 12, 2017

A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer instructions, and follow these tips:

  • Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery. Test the alarm monthly. Replace the batteries at least once every year. Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
  • Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery. Test the alarm monthly. Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions and dispose of it properly at a household hazardous waste site or by sending it back to the manufacturer.
  • Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Test the alarm monthly. Replace the backup battery at least once every year. Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Replace any of your emergency supplies that will expire within the next six months and use the old supplies before they expire. Some examples of items that can expire are:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Prescription medications
  • First-aid supplies
  • Batteries

For more information on emergency supplies, visit www.Ready.gov or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/make-a-kit.htm.

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect at Midnight

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

Winter Weather Advisory

A winter weather advisory is in effect from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet and freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities; use caution while driving.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain, with snow accumulation of up to 1 inch along with around a trace of ice is possible affecting the area late tonight through tomorrow.

For more winter preparedness and safety information, visit our winter weather guide.

VDOT Crews Prep for Weekend Weather

Posted at 2:15 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports this afternoon that they have crews and contract crews preparing for plummeting temperatures and a gamut of winter weather forecast this weekend for Northern Virginia.

Crews began pretreating roads yesterday and will be staged roadside in the region by 10 p.m. tonight. Throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington* counties (*Arlington maintains own secondary roads) crews treat about 5,200 lane miles of interstates and other high-volume roads with liquid magnesium chloride or brine when conditions allow for winter weather. Learn more about Northern Virginia’s snow preparations.

Drives are asked to monitor weather reports for the latest updates to avoid being on the road during periods of limited visibility or icy conditions.

Weather Forecast

weather forecast Jan. 13-16, 2017

The National Weather Service predicts a slight chance of rain, snow and sleet between 9 p.m. and midnight tonight, then snow, freezing rain and sleet likely. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 31° Fahrenheit and a 60 percent chance of precipitation. Little or no ice accumulation and little or no snow and sleet accumulation are expected.

On Saturday, snow, freezing rain and sleet are in the forecast before noon, then rain or freezing rain is likely with a high near 33°. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch is possible.

For severe weather alerts on your mobile phone or by email, be sure to sign up for Fairfax Alerts.

Fairfax Connector

Fairfax Connector reminds riders that during inclement weather, heavy snow or icy conditions, service may be reduced, modified or suspended to poor travel conditions. If road conditions become unsafe, icy or snow packed, service may be suspended on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide.

Take one of these 3 easy steps to stay informed of operating status, service changes and detours before, during and after a winter weather event.

  1. Sign-up for text and/or email alerts through Fairfax Alerts by subscribing to “Fairfax Connector Passenger Information.”
  2. Follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Call Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608; Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Se habla Español.

Listen to OEM Coordinator Seamus Mooney on the County Conversation podcast

For additional winter preparedness and safety information, be sure to visit our winter weather guide.