Tag Archive | emergency

8 Ways to Prepare for Significant Rain and Flooding

(Updated Oct. 2, 8:40 a.m.)

There’s a lot of rain on tap until Saturday, which could cause some serious flooding situations.

There are two storms to keep in mind:

  1. Friday to Saturday: The National Weather Service is predicting 2 to 3 inches of rain with likely flooding; flood watches are now in effect. The heaviest rain is expected between 2 and 8 p.m. Friday.
  2. Hurricane Joaquin: The path of the hurricane appears to be out to sea rather than on land; keep an eye on weather forecasts.

Here are 8 ways to get ready for the Friday to Saturday rain:

#1: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

If you’re out amid all of the rain that’s coming, we know this message may sound a little funny, but swift water rescues happen in our county when roads flood. Don’t drive through any flooded roads — “turn around, don’t drown.”

#2: Kids and Creeks

Do not allow children to play near creeks or other bodies of water that may rise rapidly. Many of our local waterways and creeks will likely experience some flooding, so keep kids away.

#3: Storm Drains and Gutters

It’s fall, so many of our storm drains and gutters are covered in leaves. Clear leaves from storm drains, gutters and other areas that, if clogged, could cause flooding.  If you live within a homeowner’s association or apartment complex check in to see if they plan to clear common areas.

#4: Move Valuables to Higher Ground

If you live in low-lying areas that have flooded before, move vehicles to higher ground. Try to avoid parking under trees when possible because the saturated ground may lead to downed trees. Move any valuables from the basement, especially if your basement has flooded before. Take pictures of your property before the storms to help validate any insurance claims.

#5: Sandbags

If you think you may need sandbags to protect your property from flooding, especially in areas that historically flood, please visit a local hardware store and get supplies there. Fairfax County does not provide sandbags.

#6: Fairfax Alerts and Wireless Emergency Alerts

Be sure to sign up for Fairfax Alerts and get the latest local watches, warnings and weather updates sent to your various devices. If you own a smartphone and if a dangerous situation warrants based on your location, then you will receive Wireless Emergency Alerts, which is separate from Fairfax Alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts come with a distinct ringtone and vibration pattern in order to get your attention. Pay attention to these alerts, which are usually sent by the National Weather Service.

#7: Supplies and Gas

Get your supplies – water, medicines, canned food, cash, pet food and more. View suggestions for emergency supply kits. In advance of all of this weather, it’s always a good idea to get a full tank of gas if you own a car.

#8: Phone Numbers

Save important phone numbers to your phone or write them down, especially your power company. Always report a power outage.

Please share this information with your family, friends and co-workers so our whole community can be better prepared.

Ways to Stay Informed: Fairfax Prepares Day 12

Posted 4:18 p.m.

day 12 iconWe recently closed our emegrency information and derecho storm survey. We thank you for your participation!

Some of the questions focused on specific emergency information tools we use to share updates and to hear what’s going on in the community. We listed a variety of tools in the survey such as:

In written comments about which of these tools people use to stay informed, a clear consensus said we could do a better job in marketing/advertising these tools. Many people were simply unaware.

Exclamation point iconTHE ASK: By this weekend, share this post with a family member or friend (or many others!) and ask them to sign up for at least one of the tools above. We need your help in sharing the menu of options for how people may stay informed during an emergency.

TELL US you’ve done this:

  • Post a quick reply in this blog’s comments section below such as “I’ve done this.”
  • Use the Twitter hashtag #fairfaxprepares and tweet your accomplishment. Include photos if you’d like.
  • Like our special Facebook page for this campaign to leave comments and share tips with your friends.
  • Email us at publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov that you accomplished an ask.


  • Click the links below to email, share on social media or print a hard copy. Thanks!

30 Ways in 30 Days logo

July 4 Resource Numbers

Posted 5:30 p.m.

Most county government facilities will be closed tomorrow for the July 4th holiday. Here is a roundup of resources numbers that you can call.

  • Information and Referral Line: 571-350-1173 – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (available July 4 only).
  • Dominion Virginia Power for outages and downed wires: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
  • NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative) outages and downed wires: 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500.
  • 9-1-1 for emergencies only. For non-emergencies call 703-691-2131.
  • Parks – 703-324-8661 (includes RECenters, nature centers, historic sites).  
  • National Weather Service forecast: 703-652-1210.

View the latest list of closures and delays.

9-1-1 Call Center Director Explains Telecommunications Outage

Posted 2:10 p.m.

Steve Souder, director of the Department of Public Safety Communications, discusses the telecommunications outages that affected the 9-1-1 Call Center after the recent storm.

Verizon 9-1-1 Service Restored to Fairfax County

Posted 11:46 a.m.

Verizon 9-1-1 service has been restored to Fairfax County. Residents no longer need to call alternate numbers. For non-emergencies call 703-691-2131.

Do not call 9-1-1 to report power outages. Call:

  • Dominion Virginia Power for outages and downed wires: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
  • NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative) outages and downed wires: 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500.

View the latest list of closures and delays.