Tag Archive | emergency preparedness

Virginia Sales Tax Holiday is This Weekend, Aug. 4-6

Stock Up on Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Items and Save Money

Posted at 11 a.m.

Virginia sales tax free weekend 2017

Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday is this weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6.

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying hurricane and emergency preparedness items (PDF), as well as school supplies, clothing, footwear and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax.

What items are eligible?

  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness products  
    • Portable generators – $1,000 or less per item
    • Gas-powered chainsaws – $350 or less per item
    • Chainsaw accessories – $60 or less per item
    • Other specified hurricane preparedness items – $60 or less per item
  • School supplies, clothing, and footwear 
    • Qualified school supplies – $20 or less per item
    • Qualified clothing and footwear – $100 or less per item
  • Energy Star™ and WaterSense™​ products 
    • Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products purchased for noncommercial home or personal use – $2,500 or less per item

Virginia sales tax holiday graphic of eligible items

Detailed lists of qualifying items on the sales tax holiday can be found in the 2017 Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines. The county’s NewsCenter also has more on the sales tax holiday.

National PrepareAthon Day is This Saturday, April 30

Posted at 10:30 a.m.America's PrepareAthon April 30

It’s time to get prepared!

Twice a year — on April 30 and Sept. 30 — America’s PrepareAthon holds national PrepareAthon Days.

The goal is to build our nation’s resilience by increasing the number of individuals who understand what disasters could happen in their community, know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage, take action to increase preparedness and participate in community resilience planning.

Why is the Prepare-Athon Important and Why Participate?

Between 1900 and 2014, the U.S. experienced 38 earthquakes, 166 floods, 568 storms and 936 tornados. In 2014 alone, there were more than 300 fatalities and more than 2,100 injuries due to weather-related disasters.

Based on a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) national survey, 54 percent of the U.S. population do not believe their community will experience a natural disaster – and less than half of those respondents have a plan they have discussed with their family members.

Research shows that people are more prepared for a disaster if they are aware of community alerts and systems, talk about their preparedness plan with family and others, attend trainings and participate in a drill or exercise. What better way to get started than to participate in this month’s PrepareAthon?

Participation in America’s PrepareAthon is Simple

Everyone can participate including workplaces, schools, houses of worship, community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, as well as individuals and families. Also, participation in America’s PreparAthon can take place anytime throughout the year — just in case you can’t this Saturday.

Visit ready.gov/prepare to learn which hazards can affect your community, review the list of 10 actions and choose a preparedness activity that best fits your hazard. Next, register yourself to be counted.

Once registered, you can download a certificate of participation. Then – congratulations! You, your organization or group has now taken an important step toward preparing for disasters.

America's PrepareAthon 10 Ways to Participate

For more information about the PrepareAthon or emergency preparedness, email our Office of Emergency Management, or call them at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.

Emergency Preparedness: Don’t Leave it to Luck

Posted at 9:15 a.m.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, is St. Patrick’s Day — a time to wear green and celebrate.

But as Whitney Kazragis from our emergency management office demonstrates, St. Patrick’s Day can also be a great time to save some “green” while getting better prepared for any type of emergency — and without having to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Learn more about emergency preparedness; and be sure to sign up for emergency alerts for your inbox and cellphone from Fairfax Alerts.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas from Emergency Management

Posted at 1 p.m.

Valentine’s Day is this Saturday, Feb. 14. Are you prepared?

Emergency Preparedness Gifts for Valentine's Day

There was a big snowstorm on Valentine’s Day last year, which caused a lot of problems for those last minute gift givers. While we aren’t expecting a major snowstorm this year (check the forecast), you still don’t want to wait until the last minute to get your Valentine a gift.

If you’re struggling for what to give, our Office of Emergency Management has some clever ideas for your special Valentine.

Learn more about emergency preparedness — and have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Emergency Management Coordinator Dave McKernan on Being Ready for All Hazards

Posted at 11 a.m.

Our Emergency Management Coordinator Dave McKernan spoke to the Board of Supervisors during their Sept. 9 meeting as part of the Board’s proclamation of September as “Emergency Preparedness Month” in Fairfax County, part of the larger, National Preparedness Month held every September.

McKernan says that Fairfax County has done a lot to be prepared as a government and is ready to respond to emergency situations, but that county residents also need to be ready for any and all hazards.


McKernan noted that regional, national and international events continue to highlight the need to be ready for all hazards — as an individual, family, organization or business.


And should something occur, McKernan noted that you should “be your own hero” and be ready to provide for the safety of yourself and your family, as well as help friends and neighbors.


McKernan adds that every resident in Fairfax County should also be enrolled on Fairfax Alerts, the county’s way to send emergency alerts and notifications — including severe weather and traffic alerts — to both email and smartphones.

Additional information and resources are available online, including tips on making an emergency kit and an emergency plan for your family or your business.

If you need more information on emergency preparedness, you can call our emergency management office at 571-350-1000, TTY 711; or email oem@fairfaxcounty.gov.