Posted 4:11 p.m.
Water, water everywhere. Tropical Storm Andrea continues to dump rain on our area. Here’s what you need to know for this afternoon into the evening.
1.) The National Weather Service predicts 1 more inch of rain through late tonight. The heaviest rain will fall from now until 8 p.m. The tropical system is expected to leave our area by 2 a.m.
2.) If you’re driving, turn on your headlights and slow down. Some roads have standing water, which means you could hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle if driving too fast.
3.) Watch out for flash floods, both as a driver and if you’re walking. If you’re driving, “turn around, don’t drown.” You have no idea how deep the water may be.
4.) If you’re outside, watch out for creeks and other bodies of water that may rise rapidly and unexpectedly. Children should not play near creeks with this amount of rain. The county has experienced loss of life in previous years because of rapidly rising water.
Posted 12:30 p.m.
The record-breaking heat wave will continue into the weekend, with temperatures on Saturday in the triple digits and a forecasted heat index of about 115⁰ F.
The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. The Fairfax County Health Department encourages residents to take these steps to stay safe and comfortable during these hot summer days.
Reduce/Alter Outdoor Activities
- Children, the elderly and individuals with heart or respiratory ailments, emphysema, asthma or chronic bronchitis should reduce outdoor activities.
- Healthy individuals should limit strenuous outdoor work or exercise and should limit their outdoor activities.
- To reduce risk during outdoor work, schedule frequent rest breaksin shaded or air conditioned environments.
- Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
- Approximately 300 homes in Fairfax County remain without power. Consider visiting a friend or a public place such as a mall or library to keep cool. Most county RECenters are open so you can beat the heat, shower and recharge your cellphones, medical devices and other electronic devices.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour if you are in a hot environment. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Do not drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages because they dehydrate the body.
- More heat safety tips.
Preserve Air Quality
The past week has been filled with Code Orange air quality days when pollution levels are harmful to children and anyone with breathing or heart conditions. More air quality alert days may be on the way.
- Limit driving and when possible, combine trips, telework, carpool or use mass transit, including Fairfax Connector.
- Refuel vehicles after dusk and limit idling.
- Avoid mowing lawns with gasoline-powered motors.
- Don’t use chemicals on your lawn and gardens.
- Put off painting until air quality improves.
Learn more about air quality and check daily and three-day forecasts.
The high temperatures are likely to stress utility systems this weekend. Help everyone out by conserving power:
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Keep air conditioning no lower than 78 degrees.
- More energy saving information.
Extra Care for Children
Even when the temperatures are at their hottest, kids rarely slow down. Be sure to plan ahead and alter activities to keep children safe and comfortable.
- Never leave children in a car – not even for a few minutes.
- Plan activities to keep kids active and occupied indoors.
- Keep your children hydrated.
- Dress your child appropriately, in light-weight, light-colored clothing.
- Apply sunscreen when your child will be outdoors.
Keep Pets Safe
- Never leave pets in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures can rapidly rise to dangerous levels. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact police.
- Shade and water are vital to pets.
- Limit exercise on hot days. Take care to adjust intensity and duration of exercise. Watch for shortness of breath.
- Remember that asphalt gets very hot and can burn paws; walk your dog on the grass if possible.
- Signs that your pet may need further attention.
The weekend may see additional thunderstorms, so be prepared in case your power goes out again.
- Develop an emergency plan based on our local weather hazards and practice how and where to take shelter.
- Create or refresh an emergency kit for needed food, supplies and medication.
- Learn what you can do to strengthen your home or business against severe weather.
- Understand the weather warning system.
- More tips on preparedness.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display. However, Fairfax County allows the supervised use of permissible fireworks on private property with the consent of the owner of the property and does not require a permit.
Deputy Chief Keith Morrison with the Fire and Rescue Department provides safety tips for the use of permissible fire works.
Posted 1:50 p.m.
An electrical power outage will affect the safe storage of refrigerated and frozen foods. Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk and eggs that are not stored properly refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed. In order to protect these foods from spoilage and save them for your use during the emergency, follow the guidelines listed below:
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep foods cold for 2-4 hours if it is unopened. Full freezers will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (1/2 full 12 hours) if the door remains closed. These times may vary depending on age of the unit, condition of the seals, temperature setting and amount of food.
- Digital, dial, or instant-read food thermometer and appliance thermometers will help you know if the food is at a safe temperature.
- Before eating perishable refrigerated foods (milk, cheeses, eggs, meats, fish, or poultry) be sure to check their temperature. Foods that are 41º F or below can be eaten and are considered safe. Foods that are above 41ºF for more than 2 hours must be discarded. Do Not Eat. Don’t trust your sense of smell. Food may be unsafe even if it doesn’t smell bad.
- Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still 41º F or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals or is below 41º F. You have to evaluate each food item separately. Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality of some food, but the food will remain safe to eat.
- If the power is out for longer than 4 hours, use dry ice. 25 pounds of dry ice will keep a ten cubic foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Handle dry ice with care and wear dry heavy gloves to avoid injury.
- Follow the golden rule of food safety, “When in Doubt, Throw it Out”, for any foods which you are not sure have stayed at a safe temperature or which do not look or smell as they should.
For more information on food safety, contact the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2444
Posted 2:23 p.m.
With the ongoing high temperatures, many residents are heading to area public and private swimming pools. Please keep these safety tips in mind:
- Never leave children alone or out of eye contact while they are in or near the water.
- An adult should be within arm’s length whenever an infant or toddler is in the pool.
- The water should be clear so that the main drain and any feature on the bottom of the pool is clearly visible.
- Have a phone and emergency equipment (such as life preservers and shepherd’s crook) poolside in case of emergency.