Resources for Disaster Preparedness

Resources for Disaster Preparedness

In our digital age, there are many, many resources available to stay informed in the event of a weather emergency or other disaster event.  That said, being prepared well in advance is probably one of the most important things you can do (especially if power outage limits one’s access to this information.)  We have collected some reference material and links in the Resource Center on the portal in a folder called “Disaster Preparedness.”  Click here to go to the Resource Center

Also, scroll down for a list of links.Fairfax County has also invested a great deal in helping its residents prepare for these types of events and stay informed when they happen.  The video below provides some great insight…and isn’t that former resident Ginny Biggs making a cameo appearance? Yes it is. (about 3:37 in the video)

This video is posted on a page from the county’s Emergency Information Blog.  Click here to go to the page entitled “Digital Preparedness Kit” where you can see all of the information in complete context.  I have registered the three RFHA board members’ email accounts to receive automatic messages from the county’s Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) as mentioned toward the end of the video.  You can also register as an individual to receive alerts via email, mobile phone, etc.  As before, we will use email and discussion groups to pass any pertinent information along to you.

Discussion Groups.  Here in Raceway Farms, many of you have discovered the utility of the “Inclement Weather & Utility Outages” Discussion Group (click to go there now) for communicating with each other when significant weather events occur.  Note that discussion groups are available for interaction under less stressful circumstances (pure social interaction, RFHA business, etc.) but they are especially useful when we’re trying to rapidly share information in the event local conditions warrant.  See illustration at left for how to get to these groups (third from the bottom on the drop-down menu under the “What’s Happening” tab.)  We’ve exercised administrative privileges to subscribe everyone to this thread as well as the “Crime Watch” group — that’s why you get those automatic emails.  We encourage you to remain subscribed so that you won’t miss urgent information exchanges which may affect you and your families.  Of course you’re encouraged to participate in other groups as well, and of course the community Facebook page works too.  Communicating is one of the ways we strengthen our community and make it a desirable place to live.

Register with the web portal.  Most Raceway Farms households are registered with the web portal and are taking advantage of the communications opportunities it avails, however, there are some who aren’t.  It’s likely a few don’t use computers or the internet, but these days, I’m betting that’s very few.  For those reading this, please ask your neighbors if they’re registered.  If you know those who aren’t and critical information is passed, please insure that they get it via word of mouth.  Let’s take care of one another.For you who are registered, take a moment, go to your profile and enter in emergency contact information.  This will be used to reach you in matters regarding your property if you are away and something happens (damage, emergency personnel need to enter, etc.)  Click on “Edit My Profile” on the Home page of the portal (see illustration.)  Scroll down until you find the emergency contact information and use the edit button.  If you only want your Block Representatives and RFHA officials to be able to see it, you can choose to hide it by removing the check from the box.  Easy.If you have any other suggestions for how the association can assist during emergencies, send an email to and we’ll do our best to act upon your input.  One idea might be to have a contact list for the medical and emergency response personnel who live in our community posted on the portal.  You may have other ideas — don’t be shy.

UPDATE:  Fairfax County and the Federal Government both offer great resources:- Fairfax County Emergency Blog–

Preparedness links:GENERAL

How to Prep for Every Type of Natural Disaster
Getting Your Family and Kids Prepared for a Disaster
Ready or Not:  Disaster Preparedness in the Workplace
Disaster Safety for Renters (good tips for others too though)
Disaster Preparedness at Home:  Filter out the Damage
Disaster Prep & Self Storage:  What You Need to Know

PA DMV Emergency Driving Tips

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (FEMA document)
Disaster Safety for People with Disabilities:  What to Do When Emergency Weather Strikes
Is Your Parent’s Long-Term Care Residence Ready for an Emergency?  Questions to Ask
Emergency Preparedness for Seniors and the Disabled
Home Fire Safety for Older Adults (PDF, this is lengthy, skip to page 7!)

How to Earthquake Proof Your Home

Fire Safety for Kids:  Sparky the Fire Dog
Open Campfire Safety Rules
How to Prepare for a Wildfire (PDF)
Survive the Unthinkable if Wildfire Threatens Your Home (PDF)Burn Prevention and Fire Safety Tips
Fireplace and Chimney Problems:  Tips and Prevention
Hurricane Safety Checklists
Storm Spotting for Children:  At-home Meteorology

Pet Disaster Preparedness
Ready for Anything:  First Aid for Pets
Humane Society:  Protect Your Pets
Burns:  First Aid for Pets
Disaster Preparedness for Livestock (PDF)

CDC Guide to Extreme Heat

Protect Yourself: Don’t Lose Power This Winter
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
How To Keep Your House Warm During the Winter
How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes (video)Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite