Emergency Preparedness - Archive

6 Ways to Get Ready for the Blizzard – Fairfax County , VA

January 20, 2016 in Emergency Preparedness

 

There’s quite the winter storm heading our way — the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for this weekend.

Posted on January 20, 2016

Weather , Emergency related Links

(click four links below)snow
All NewsEmergencyTo KnowWeather

In its statement, the National Weather Service says:
“Potential life-threatening conditions expected Friday night into Saturday night.
Travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday.”

It’s time to prepare if you haven’t already begun.
This storm has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the whole region and the forecasts show it’s not our typical snow storm event.

Stay connected here a link to Fairfax County > SNOW RELATED Hub of Information

Everyone needs to prepare and take this storm seriously. When talking about feet of snow rather than inches, major impacts are guaranteed.
Here’s what Fairfax County Government recommend you consider as the storm approaches:

Read  ALL 1- 6 – recommendations CLICK HERE 

1.) Vulnerable Neighbors
2.) Fire Hydrants
3.) Get Supplies
4.) Road Snow Removal
5.) Neighborhood Snow Removal
6.) Stay Informed

ARLINGTON VA, Text-to-911 – Coming Soon

January 19, 2016 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

In an emergency, we always want you to call 9-1-1, but for those instances when you’re unable to call, Arlington County will soon offer a text-to-911 capability. You’ll be able to send a text message to our Emergency Communications Center if you can’t call 9-1-1.

When is texting helpful?

The new service allows people who are unable to speak to reach 9-1-1 and request emergency services. This might include those who are:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • unable to speak
  • in a situation where it’s unsafe to speak

When is this available?

We’re working now on implementing this capability in Arlington; our target timeframe is early 2016.

GA – Deaf woman texts local 911 – gets response

January 7, 2016 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

Channel 11, Atlanta,GA
By Jon Shirek, WXIA
January 7, 2016

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A text for help – from a deaf woman who spotted two small children in a car – highlights a local 911 center that is among the first utilizing a popular technology.

On Wednesday night, she shared her story – through the same technology – with 11Alive News.

Her name is Lisa Collis, and she texted that it was at about 4:30 pm on New Year’s Eve, in a parking lot in the North Point area of Alpharetta, when she saw two, small children alone in a parked car.

Luckily for all, since Collis is deaf and this is Alpharetta, she was able to report what she saw by texting 911.

Read more . . . See captioned video – 911 Story

extto911

 

Notice from AT&T: TTY Emergency Calls via Wireless IP (Internet) is Not Recommended

December 8, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

TDI website
Dec 07, 2015

From the time Robert H. Weitbrecht made text-telephonys (TTY) possible up to the present, there has always been challenges to making our world all the more accessible. AT&T, one of the most ardent supporters for accessibility, has run into one of those such challenges.

When you call 911 through a regular telephone land line, using a telephone or TTY, your call is automatically connected to your 9-1-1 emergency services center – the 9-1-1 center that serves your location. Your address and phone number are automatically displayed on the computer screen of the 9-1-1 operator, even if you don’t type or say anything. The 9-1-1 operator can send emergency services to your location immediately, and call you back if your call is disconnected.

Learn more  …  TTY Emergency Calls

JOB OPENING – Management and Program Analyst – expert in disability integration

December 8, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness, Employment

 

Job Title:  Management and Program Analyst
Department:  Department Of Homeland Security
Agency:  Federal Emergency Management Agency

Job Announcement Number:  FEMA-16-MBB-71494-CORE

 

SALARY RANGE: $90,823.00 to $118,069.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Friday, December 4, 2015 to Friday, December 18, 2015
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0343-13
POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time – Temporary – Not to Exceed 2 Years
PROMOTION POTENTIAL: 13
DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy – Washington DC, DC

WHO MAY APPLY: All U.S. citizens

This announcement will close on Friday, December 18, 2015 OR the date the 200th application is received, whichever comes first.

Read Full posting on USAJOBS

Shake Out, the World’s Largest Earthquake Drill-October 15th, 10:15am

October 9, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

Next Thursday October 15th at 10:15am is the Shake Out, the World’s Largest Earthquake Drill.

Attached is the flyer and a helpful document of what to do should you experience an earthquake. As earthquakes seem to be more common here in Virginia, I think it is wise to know what to do to maximize safety. I pulled some of the more relevant info from the document and pasted it below. I will send out an email next Thursday at 10:15 to signal the earthquake. Please take the time to participate.

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • COVER your head and neck with your arms and seek shelter by getting under a sturdy desk or table if nearby; and
  • HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

If you are unable to Drop, Cover, and Hold On: If you have difficulty getting safely to the floor on your own, get as low as possible, protect your head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you.

In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

MYTH – Head for the Doorway: An enduring earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the doorframe as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. We now understand that doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house, and do not provide protection from falling or flying objects. You are safer under a table.

DOWNLOAD – ShakeOut_Recommended_Earthquake_Safety_Actions

DOWNLOAD -ShakeOut_Global_2015_Poster_Join-Us

Fairfax County Job Opportunity – Access & Functional Needs

October 6, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness

 

Access and Functional Needs Specialist
(Emergency Management Specialist II)

The Access and Functional Needs Specialist will coordinate the agencies’ emergency preparedness efforts for persons with access and functional needs and disabilities. Access and functional needs emergency planning initiatives include, but is not limited to, emergency transportation, emergency sheltering, outreach projects, medical needs registry and developing liaisons with access and function needs support groups.

Read entire Job Posting – Fairfax County

Fairfax County – Public launch of Text to 911 – on Tuesday Sept. 22

September 22, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

September 22, 2015

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) now accepts text messages to 9-1-1 for reporting police/fire/medical emergencies.

See TEXT-TO-911_Post Card

Was publicly announced at the Board of Supervisors meeting. – September 22

(The following is the text from the DPSC Post Card)

Fairfax County Emergency 9-1-1

CALL IF YOU CAN TEXT IF YOU CAN’T

Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in 3 Emergency Scenarios:

  1. For individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing or has a speech disability.
  2. For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  3. Medical emergency the renders the person incapable of speaking.
Only Text 9-1-1 In An Emergency (English Only)

 

How do I text to 9-1-1?

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “TO” or “RECIPIENT” field.
  • The first text to 9-1-1 should be short, include location of the emergency, ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Push the “SEND” button
  • Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words. NO abbreviations or Slang.
  • Keep text messages short.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are in a roaming situation.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1. Standard text messaging rates apply.
  • Photos and Videos CANNOT be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text to 9-1-1 CANNOT include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
  • Prank-texters can be identified and possibly prosecuted according to local laws/regulations.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is available in Fairfax County beginning Tuesday September 22, 2015
  • DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE!

More information can be found at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911/text-to-911.htm

(END of the DPSC Post Card Text)

Guidelines for  TEXTING  to 9-1-1

  • Stay calm – dispatchers can’t help you if they can’t understand you. Take a deep breath and think before you text. TEXT slowly and clearly. The first text to 9-1-1 should be short, include location of the emergency, ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Know your location and text the dispatcher the exact address (apartment/suite number, intersection, interstate mile markers) where the help is needed.
  • Answer all questions. The call taker will have questions for you and may even ask you to do something to help. It is important that you answer the questions as best as you can. DO NOT STOP TEXTING  unless you are in danger or the dispatcher tells you to do so.
  • TEXT the nature of the emergency. Stay on the line to answer further questions the dispatcher may have.
  • Send someone to meet the emergency equipment if at all possible. It’s hard to find an address on a dimly lit street in the middle of the night.
  • If you Text  9-1-1 even by mistake, do not hang up the phone.  If you call by accident, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that there is no emergency, so the call taker doesn’t have to waste time sending police trying locate you.
  • Prevent prank Text to 9-1-1.  Prank-Texters  not only waste time; they are illegal in most states and endanger public safety.  If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need.  Be sure all members of your household are aware that prank or harassing calls to 9-1-1 will be dealt with by local law enforcement agencies.

 

TEXT to 911 – Coverage Map as of September 22,2015 

text-to-9-1-1_availability_v2

Fairfax County 911 to TEXT starts – Sept. 22, 2015 for police/fire/medical emergencies

September 4, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness

 

 

On Sept. 22, 2015, Fairfax County’s Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) will begin to accept text messages to 9-1-1 for reporting police/fire/medical emergencies.

DOWNLOAD TEXT_to_911_flyer

Attend presentation about – 911 to text for Fairfax County – RSVP Deadline Sept. 10th

September 4, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community Events, Emergency Preparedness

 

RSVP Deadline EXTENDED to Sept. 10th

UPDATE  – These presentations are specifically for Deaf and Hard of Hearing residents
ASL Interpreters will be present for both presentation dates

To learn about texting to 9-1-1, the department, call processing and dispatching, you are cordially invited to attend a special presentation by DPSC staff:

Monday, Sept 14, 6-8 p.m.
OR
Thursday, Sept 17, 6-8 p.m.

McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center
4890 Alliance Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Limited space – only 50 people may attend each session. You must RSVP to John Korman at john.korman@fairfaxcounty.gov by Sept. 7, 2015. Include: names of everyone in your party, email address, if anyone has their own personal hearing device, and if so, the type of device so equipment is properly configured for the meeting to meet attendee needs.

Sign Interpreters will be present for both dates

To request reasonable ADA accommodations, contact John Korman at 571-350-1765, TTY 711

 

A Fairfax County, Va., publication

Virginia Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday: May 25-31

May 14, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

The 2015 hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, 2015. Though hurricanes don’t typically make landfall in Fairfax County, the effects of high winds and flooding can wreak havoc on our community and businesses. To assist in preparing for hurricane season, Virginia will hold its Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Sales Tax Holiday May 25-May 31.  Batteries, generators up to $1000, chainsaws up to $340, smoke detectors, first aid kits, flashlights and more will be tax-free.

More information: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stay-informed/hurricanes/sales-tax-holiday

Please share this information with your employees and networks, encouraging others to take the time to:

  • Check emergency kits at home, work and in vehicles – visitwww.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency for lists and helpful tips.
  • Review family emergency plans – visit www.ReadyNOVA.orgto make your own plan.
  • Practice family evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures – don’t forget pets and kids!

Now is the best time to prepare for hurricane season and other emergencies!

DOWNLOAD VA-HurricaneSaleFlyer

National Weather Service helping those with hearing problems stay informed

May 12, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness

 

 

KPAX.com CH 8TV
Posted: May 09, 2015

MISSOULA, Montana – Alerts to dangerous weather can keep you out of trouble, unfortunately, people who are deaf or hard of hearing may have trouble receiving audible weather alerts.

The National Weather Service has recognized this as a problem and is trying to educate the community on alternatives to audible alerts.

NWS holds at least two meetings a year like the one Friday to answer questions, and demonstrate other tools like mobile apps that can make these alerts available for everybody.

Read more . . . Watch Captioned Video NWS

Click here to see NOAA Wether Radio (NWR) information for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

 

 

Opportunity for Stakeholder Input on Broadband Access and Adoption

May 7, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

The Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council. Stakeholders have the opportunity to review the Federal Register Notice and submit written comments by e-mail to BOCrfc2015@ntia.doc.gov on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10, 2015.

A summary of the Federal Register notice is below, and stakeholders can view the full Federal Register Notice at  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/29/2015-09996/broadband-opportunity-council-notice-and-request-for-comment.

Summary: “In furtherance of the Presidential Memorandum entitled Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training, which established the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council.1 The Council’s objectives are to: (i) Engage with industry and other stakeholders to understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking to expand broadband access and adoption; (ii) identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment, adoption, or competition; (iii) survey and report back on existing programs that currently support or could be modified to support broadband competition, deployment, or adoption; and (iv) take all necessary actions to remove these barriers and realign existing programs to increase broadband competition, deployment, and adoption.2 We welcome input from all interested parties, including the stakeholder groups identified in the Presidential Memorandum.”

 

 

 

Official FCC Blog – Direct Video Communication . . .

April 17, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

Direct Video Communication: Access for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Disabled in an IP World

by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
April 14, 2015 – 02:27 PM

A few months ago, I received a note from a woman in New Mexico, recounting her recent experience in making a 911 call. She had fallen in her home, alone, badly hurt and bleeding.  She dialed 911, reached an emergency center, an ambulance was dispatched and she was taken to a medical facility.

You might be wondering why someone would write to the Chairman of the FCC about a 911 call. The reason is that this was an emergency for someone who is deaf and the call was made through Video Relay Service (VRS), a program administered by the FCC. The woman had never before had a reason to make an emergency call and, when she made the call, she wondered whether the technology would work.

Most of us take for granted that when we make a phone call, the call goes through. You call from any type of device to any phone number. You don’t think about how the call travels – via circuit or packet, time division or code division, copper or fiber, 1.9 GHz or 700 MHz Networks are interconnected. Telecommunications software is increasingly interoperable.

Now, imagine that you hear with your eyes. You contact friends and family by video calling and your native language is American Sign Language (ASL).  And when you call a hearing person who does not speak your language, the call is automatically routed over the Internet through a VRS sign language interpreter who conveys what you want to communicate to the hearing person.  The VRS interpreter voices everything you sign to the hearing person and signs back everything that the hearing person says.

Read more  . . .Direct Video Communication

Job Announcements: Disability Integration Advisor Positions

March 26, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Employment

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA is now accepting applications for two open positions: (1) Disability Integration Advisor; and (2) Disability Integration Advisor with a specialty in American Sign Language (ASL). The open period for these announcements is from Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015. For full information, including a description of duties, please review the job summaries below.

Apply using the following links via the USAJobs.gov portal:

  1. Disability Integration Advisor
  2. Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Blair at shannon.blair@fema.dhs.gov or by phone number 800-879-6076.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-020-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor in FEMA’s Reservist Program, some of the duties you will be responsible for include:

  • Participating as part of a team in facility site evaluation for Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) within 48 hours of a validated State’s request.
  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to External Affairs, Community Relations, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities and/or other access and functional needs, have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, IT and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center locations.
  • Advising Support Services Branch and Equal Rights Advisors in the identification and evaluation of disability laws and regulations as they relate to space compliance in the various field locations.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-019-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty) in FEMA’s Reservist Program, you will be responsible for:

Providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation to meet the communications requirements of disaster survivors, FEMA employees, and the general public throughout emergency operations, programs and services while deployed to disasters.

Providing guidance regarding effective communication access in all phases of emergency response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness.

Providing interpreting services to achieve equal access to effective communication between Disability Integration Advisors, Disability Advisor Leads and Command and General Staff including:

  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, External Affairs, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, Information Technology and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center and other field locations.