We’re sure you’re aware of the need to prepare for Hurricane Irene, but it doesn’t hurt to provide information. Jim Moran actually sent out some helpful information about how to prepare for and stay safe during and after the hurricane. In addition to the information below, here are a couple tips – keep your cell phone charged by buying a car power adapter that will allow you to charge your phone in your car if you lose power. This is especially important if you don’t have a landline or if it doesn’t work during a power outage. WTOP Radio will have important information and updates during the storm, so you can listen on your phone during a power outage by calling 202-380-9977. Be smart and stay safe.
Track Hurricane Irene’s path with the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov and follow updates from FEMA at http://blog.fema.gov.
You can also receive mobile updates by visiting http://m.fema.gov/
When listening to the weather forecast, it is important to understand the meaning of watches and warnings.
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible, usually within 36 hours.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 24 hours.
Hurricane Irene is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rains to the region this weekend. This could result in tree damage and downed power lines. Be prepared for the impact of the storm by preparing an emergency kit, developing an emergency plan, and staying informed.
Your emergency kit should have food, water, medications (be sure refill any supply of essential prescription drugs), a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, and other essentials on hand to last several days. Be sure to fill up your car’s gas tank.
You should prepare your pets for a disaster as well, FEMA has useful instructions here: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/animals.shtm
For low-lying areas in close proximity to the Potomac River and major streams, flooding is possible. Please take flood preparation into account. Check your municipality’s website (below) to find out if they are distributing sandbags.
Be a good neighbor. Keep an eye out and lend a hand to the elderly and disabled who may need help with transportation and medical concerns.
Teach children how to reach family members in case they become separated during a storm.
Discuss how to dial emergency numbers and practicing escape routes from all rooms with your children. The emergency number for fire, police, and ambulance is 911.
Bring in any outdoor furniture that could be picked up by the wind.
Turn off propane tanks and small appliances.
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management: 571-350-1000
Arlington County Office of Emergency Management: 703-228-7935
Falls Church Office of Emergency Management: 703-248-5200
Dominion Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP to report power outages
Washington Gas: www.washgas.com or 703-750-1000
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
City of Alexandria Hurricane Preparedness
Arlington County Office of Emergency Management: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/EmergencyManagement/EmergencyManagementMain.aspx
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem
Falls Church Hurricane Preparedness: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/Content/Government/Departments/PublicSafety/EmergPrep/EmergencyPreparedness.aspx?&cnlid=181
American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist: http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Hurricane.pdf
Sign up for email and mobile Emergency Alerts:
For emergency updates in Arlington, sign up for mobile and email alerts from Arlington Alert: https://www.arlingtonalert.com/index.php?CCheck=1
For emergency updates in Alexandria, sign up for mobile and email alerts from Alexandria eNews: https://enews.alexandriava.gov/index.php?CCheck=1
For emergency updates in Fairfax Co., sign up for mobile and email alerts from Community Emergency Alert Network: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean/
For emergency updates in Falls Church, sign up for mobile and email alerts from Falls Church Alert: https://alert.fallschurchva.gov/index.php?CCheck=1