AT&T National Outage May Affect 9-1-1 Service in Fairfax County

Posted at 10:25 p.m.

AT&T is experiencing a national outage which may affect the ability to call 9-1-1 from an AT&T phone.

Residents of Fairfax County can call 703-691-2233 as an alternative if your AT&T phone is not able to reach 9-1-1.

Text messages to 9-1-1 from an AT&T phone within Fairfax County are also an alternative.

Spring Flooding Safety Tips

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

When spring hits, whether it’s “official” — the first day of Spring is Monday, March 20 — or just feels like spring, many of us are eager to get out of the office and into the fresh air.

And while spring brings warmer temperatures, it also can bring heavy rain. But until the ground thaws, melting snow — which we haven’t had a lot of this winter — and rain cannot be absorbed into the earth. Spring storms can bring several inches of precipitation in just hours or can stall out over an area for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by oversaturating the ground, overfilling storm drains or causing rivers or lakes to spill over their banks or levees.

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States.

Here are some things to keep in mind as the spring flood season draws near.

  • Never drive or walk through flooded streets. It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off their feet (and not in the romantic way) and 12 inches to move a car. Remember, if a street is flooded, Turn Around; Don’t Drown.
  • Floods are expensive. A few inches of water in a 1,000-square foot home could cost more than $10,000 in repairs and replacement of personal possessions.
  • Most insurance does not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance will cover the damage from floods. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more and remember flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so purchase now to protect your family.
  • Talk with your family and make an emergency plan for you and your pets. No matter the disaster, it’s always a good idea to have emergency supplies ready at home, at work, and in the car.

You can learn more about the dangers of flooding and find information about flood insurance at www.Ready.gov/floods and www.Floodsmart.gov.

the cost of flood insurance versus flood damage

Reprinted from FEMA’s Ready campaign

Severe Thunderstorms, High Winds in the Forecast; Could Bring Possible Power Outages

Posted at 9:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service (NWS) and county emergency management officials are monitoring the progress of a powerful cold front that is forecast to affect our area this afternoon. With temperatures rising to near 80 degrees there will be an unusual amount of heat energy available for this time of the year to fuel thunderstorms as the cold front passes. The primary threat will be high winds and related power outages. In addition, isolated thunderstorm cells could also bring us hail and wind gusts to 40 mph or greater.

NWS reports scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail are possible this afternoon and evening. The most likely time for severe thunderstorms is between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.

If you aren’t yet registered for severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts, you may want to sign up. You can receive alerts via text and email.

Weather Forecast

weather forecast March 1, 2017

Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 7 p.m. and midnight. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Low around 44. Breezy, with a southwest wind 21 to 25 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 51. Breezy, with a northwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

 

Food Safety for the Big Game

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

M
any of us will gather around the television on Sunday to watch the big game. And more than likely we’ll have lots of food and beverages to enjoy the action between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

But there are several things you need to remember to ensure that you, your family and any friends you’ve invited over for a game party stay safe with any food that you’re serving.

If you’re having chicken wings — a football fan’s favorite — take a temperature of your wings and place them on a clean plate covered in paper toweling. Use a clean food thermometer to check the internal temperature; for food safety the temp should be 165°F. You should measure several wings before you finish cooking each batch. Another option, of course, is just buy a platter of wings from your favorite restaurant.

For this weekend’s game, or any time you’re in the kitchen, remember these four simple steps: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

food safety for the big game

Most importantly, make sure to keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

  • Hot foods must have a heat source to keep them at or warmer than 140°F.
  • Cold foods should be kept on ice to remain at a safe temperature at or below 40°F.
  • Perishable foods left out longer than two hours should be discarded and replenished with fresh servings.

For more on food safety — and what it means to clean, separate, cook and chill — watch this video with Ron Campbell from the Health Department.

Other Tips:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds to avoid spreading bacteria to your towels.
  • Never reuse paper towels. This product is for single use only. When used multiple times, bacteria can find their way onto the towel and hitch a ride around the kitchen.
  • Kitchen towels build up bacteria after multiple uses. To keep the bacteria from getting the upper hand, you should wash your kitchen towels frequently in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Enjoy the game and the food — and stay safe!

 

Wind Advisory in Effect Until 7 p.m.

Posted at 1:40 p.m.

A National Weather Service wind advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening. A wind advisory means that winds of 45 to 55 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

East winds 25 mph, with gusts to 45 mph, are expected through early evening tonight. These strong winds may blow down limbs, trees and power lines. Scattered power outages are to be expected.

Our fire and rescue department reports that from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, units have already responded to 21 calls for reports of downed power lines.

Downed power lines can be deadly. Always assume a downed power line is live and avoid going near it or anything in contact with it.

downed-and-dangerous-downed-power-line-safety

Graphic courtesy of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).