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Friday, August 26, 2011

Prepare now for Hurricane Irene

With Hurricane Irene expected to slam into Northern Virginia tomorrow, here are some things to do today:
  • Charge your phone and laptop.
  • Bring in your outdoor furniture and trash cans or make sure they are securely tied.
  • Secure construction materials, debris, and other items that could become dangerous projectiles.
  • Fill your gas tank.
  • Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you open it in case of a power outage.
  • Put flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches somewhere easy to find in case of an outage.
  • Have a plan for your pets.
  • Make sure you have non-perishable food, bottle water, first aid items, and other supplies.    
  • Sign up for Fairfax County emergency alerts.        
If there is a power outage:
  • Turn off major appliances, such as heat pumps, water heaters, and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves, and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the system when power is restored.
  • Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
  • Frozen food can last up to three days. It is safe to eat if it still has ice crystals at the center.
  • If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
  • Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed garage.
Useful phone numbers:
  • Public safety non-emergency: 703/691-2131
  • Fairfax County emergency information line: 703/817-7771
  • Dominion Virginia Power: 866/366-4357
  • Washington Gas: 800/752-7520
  • VDOT: 800/FOR-ROAD
  • Fairfax Water: 703/698-5800
  • Verizon Customer Service: 800/837-4966
  • Cox Customer Service: 703/378-8422
  • Fairfax County Stormwater Management Division: 703/877-2800
  • Fairfax County Wastewater Collection Division, Trouble Response Center: 703/323-1211
If you smell gas, leave the building, and call 911 immediately.

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