Thursday, December 30, 2010

CrisisCommons receives two-year grant

CrisisCommons is a global network of volunteers who use creative problem solving and open technologies to help people and communities in times and places of crisis.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was awarded a two year, $1.2 million dollar grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support CrisisCommons as a full-time project through 2012. CrisisCommons is a commons-based approach to crisis management and global development.

The grant will focus on three main objectives:

  1. To provide community and technology liaison support during and after disasters;
  2. To facilitate a shared approach to research and innovation; and
  3. To establish trust and formalize relationships in the crisis response and volunteer technology communities.
More information about CrisisCommons is available at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Attention CERT members - ADOPT A HYDRANT

The winter months bring a special challenge to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Large winter storms can often hide fire hydrants under a mountain of snow making them difficult to find quickly. In the event of a fire, firefighters have to locate and shovel out fire hydrants before hooking up to them. Precious time is lost. It is critical that the fire and rescue department have access to hydrants during a fire. Locating and accessing an obstructed or covered fire hydrant may take 5-7 minutes once firefighters arrive on the scene.
Normally, firefighters attempt to shovel every hydrant in their first due area, but sometimes this is difficult. Please take some time to help firefighters have access to a fire hydrant---don’t let your neighborhood hydrants remain “undercover.”
We are asking for your help by keeping fire hydrant s closest to your residence or business clear of snow. A three-foot clearance is needed on all sides.
Safety Tips: when shoveling snow, be aware of vehicle traffic. Do not stand in the street and be careful not to slip and fall.
The general public, associations, and civic groups (Boy Scouts, etc) may “adopt” a hydrant or hydrants in their neighborhood. If you volunteer to participate, please send an email to with the location or locations of the hydrant(s) that you pledge to keep clear.

The house you save may be your own!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Outreach HELP for Frostival- Don't hibernate , Celebrate!

Hey Fellow CERTs!!! We need your help at this years Frostival. It will be at the Dulles Expo & Conference Center. The hours are 10:00am - 5:00pm, except 12/31, that day will be 10:00am to 4:00pm. Come out for a 2 or 4 hour block and chat with your neighbors about CERT. This is a great way to give back to your community,your fellow Fairfax County neighbors, "The Gift of CERT".
Please email James our Outreach Coordinator at or Please cc me at also. For more info about Frostival, please go to Hope to see you out there!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What do you do if you smell Natural Gas?

For detection and safety, gas is normally added with the unpleasant odorant called mercaptan. If you smell a rotten egg odor, do not attempt to locate the leak source.Call 911. If the smell is strong or you also hear a blowing or hissing noise, vacate the building immediately, leaving doors UNLOCKED as you leave. Deny access to the building or area. Don't turn on lights, use a cell phone, flash light, don't start your car or open your garage door if you have an electric opener. Call 911 from a safe distance.

Fairfax FROSTIVAL Outreach Support

The 2nd annual FROSTIVAL is coming up from December 30 - January 2 at the Dulles Expo and Conference Center. FROSTIVAL is exciting winter-themed family festival, with programs targeted to elementary and pre-K aged children.

Fairfax County CERT has been asked to have a display and provide the attendees (parents and guardians) information about Preparedness and the CERT Program. This is the first OUTREACH event for 2011 that needs your support.

Event times are: 10:00am-5:00pm Daily (Except 12/31: 10:00am-4:00pm only)

We need at least two people to staff the display booth that can talk CERT during the event. Anyone available for any 2-4 hour block between 10:00 am and 4:00pm:

THURSDAY (12/30) FRIDAY (12/31) SATURDAY (1/1) and SUNDAY (1/2)

Please contact James at the OUTREACH Coordinator e-mail address or directly at

Fairfax County OEM December Emergency Preparedness Newsletter

The December Emergency Preparedness newsletter from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is now available online:

• PDF -
• Word (ADA) version -

For past issues of the newsletter, or to refer a friend to our newsletter page, visit
For more information about outreach and public education, and the latest news about emergency management, visit

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Preparedness

Winter Preparedness Information Available from Fairfax County

Dec. 5-11 is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia and Fairfax County offers tips and information at

Topics include: cold temperatures and wind chill; frostbite and hypothermia; frozen pipes and plumbing protection; home heating assistance and alternative heating sources; road safety; pet safety; clearing snow and debris; and care for people with disabilities.

Fairfax County uses a number of tools and resources to keep residents informed about the weather and operating status, including the Fairfax County website (, Twitter (, Facebook (, the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN — and Fairfax County Government Channel 16 (

Additional winter preparedness information is available at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management winter weather Web page (