I just wanted to give you some tips on what you can do today to prepare for hurricane Sandy before the power goes out, as well as provide helpful websites for smartphones and numbers that you can use when it does. As always, our office is open to you should you need shelter. Please be sure to check on your neighbors, especially if they are disabled or elderly.
Keep up to date on what’s going on and emergency alerts at the County’s emergency blog – http://fairfaxcountyemergency.wordpress.com/
When the power goes out use this website to see their restoration work.
Please report any downed power lines or outages through Dominion’s interactive voice response system (1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), or via smartphone here.
When the power goes out use this website to see their restoration work
Downed power lines should be immediately reported by contacting NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 888-335-0500, or via smartphone here.
Stay away from downed lines and anything touching them, and please report them immediately to your power company.
Verizon is tracking the storm and have a dedicated webpage to it – http://www22.verizon.com/about/community/sandy2012.htm To report an outage call 1-800-837-4966.
Cox is also tracking the storm and have their own Sandy webpage here – http://ww2.cox.com/myconnection/northernvirginia/community/alert.cox?campcode=rl_rh_alert_weather-alert_z_z_z_z_1
To report an outage call 703-378-8422.
If you smell gas, or in the event of a natural gas emergency, leave the area immediately and call 911 and Washington Gas at 703-750-1400 or 1-800-752-7520. WG customer service line: 703-750-1000.
Using a generator? Here are some safety tips – http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/portgen.pdf
Schools and County Closures
FCPS has cancelled schools for both today and tomorrow. Full school and county closures can be tracked here – http://fairfaxcountyemergency.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/fairfax-county-government-closed-monday/
More than 400 Virginia Department of Transportation crewmembers have begun 12-hour shifts monitoring roadways in Northern Virginia. Our county police are monitoring roadways, as well.
As conditions in Northern Virginia will deteriorate throughout the day, drivers are asked to make every effort to be off the road. Please, get where you need to be before the weather gets bad (and plan to stay awhile!). Make every effort to be off the road during heavy rains and tropical-storm force winds.
If you are driving and encounter flooded roadways, “turn around, don’t drown.” Water may be much deeper than you think.
If you encounter traffic lights without power, drivers are reminded to obey four-way stop rules at intersections without power.
- Treat each traffic light as a four-way stop, with the driver on the right having the right-of-way.
- Proceed with caution only when traffic permits.
- Enter intersections only when it is safe to do so, using turn signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Watch out for and obey police officers directing traffic within intersections.
High water on roads in flood-prone areas, traffic signal outages, and road closures due to debris, downed trees and power lines are expected over the next several days.
VDOT reminds drivers:
- Slow down on wet roads to avoid hydroplaning.
- Ensure vehicles have adequate fuel to complete trips during power outages.
You can get the latest road conditions at www.511virginia.org or by downloading the 511 mobile app.
View the entire list of roads closed due to the storm, sortable by county, at http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions.
Please only call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency; do not call 9-1-1 to report power outages.
If for some reason you are unable to reach 9-1-1, use these alternate numbers: 703-691-7561 or 703-691-3680. These numbers may be used for either emergency or non-emergency calls. Do not call these numbers for power outage information.
The Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline has been activated and is available for residents to call for information about the storm. The number is 571-350-1300.
We are closely monitoring the storm. In the event that shelters are required to accommodate residents who must leave their homes for any reason, Fairfax County is prepared to open shelters. We have pre-identified the best locations for emergency shelters. Because a shelter could be impacted by the storm and because people should not report to a shelter before it is ready, we will announce the locations if and when they opened.
Please stay informed; we will publish the locations through multiple communication channels, including CEAN text alerts, the emergency blog, social media, and the news media (links below). If you lose power, rely on local news radio. Some shelters will allow pets. If you feel more comfortable making alternative arrangements with friends or family, please do so.
Existing Fairfax County homeless shelters are operating on a no-turn-away status.
As the rain increases, we absolutely need you to follow this advice if you have a need to be outside:
- Turn around, don’t drown if you have a need to drive. Never drive through standing water on a roadway – turn around, don’t drown. Water may be much deeper than you think.
- Do not allow children to play near creeks or other bodies of water that may rise rapidly.
- If you live in low-lying areas that have flooded before, move vehicles to higher ground. Try to avoid parking under trees when possible. Move any valuables from the basement, especially if your basement has flooded before.
A high wind warning is in effect from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, Halloween decorations and other items so they do not blow away or pose a threat to property or people.
- Remove dead limbs on trees that could fall on your property (home, car, land).
If a tree falls on you house your should:
- Get everyone safely out of your house. If your family has a pre-determined meeting place, head there, or go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
- Use your cell phone or go to a neighbor and call 911.
- Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
- Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.
If trees fall in your neighborhood, here’s who to call in the days ahead regarding removal:
Adjacent to Public Roads
- Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
On County Parkland
- Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
Posing Hazard to Public Areas
- Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
- Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.
Stay Up to Date on Your Smartphone
As Hurricane Sandy moves into the area, it’s important to know how you can stay informed on your mobile device, especially if you lose power. For those with smartphones, there are a variety of mobile apps available to help you collect up-to-the-minute news about road closures, facility closings, safety messages and more.
- Fairfax County Mobile App provides users with emergency information, news, one-touch calling, GPS maps, social media links, transportation resources and more. You can also view our mobile website at m.fairfaxcounty.gov.
- American Red Cross Hurricane App helps you monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out.
- VDOT’s 511 App will give you the latest traffic information from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
- Most of the area’s local news media offer mobile apps to share their newscasts and emergency messages. Check the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace to see what is available for your phone, or check out the “TuneIn Radio” app which carries over 70,000 radio stations.
- Google Crisis Map is tracking Sandy and has many informative features.
Also, to conserve energy on your phone, texting tips and other ideas, visit our Digital Preparedness Kit.