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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:

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 – 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!

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Suit May Go On in Disaster Plan for the Disabled

By Benjamin Weiser, 12/8/2012

A judge has agreed to allow a class-action lawsuit to proceed against New York City alleging a systemic failure in addressing the needs of the disabled population in planning for emergencies and disasters.

The lawsuit was filed last year after Tropical Storm Irene; the lawyers have contended that there were significant gaps in the city's plans to accommodate people with disabilities at city shelters or to evacuate them from high rises, among other claims.   ...continue reading "New York City Lawsuit over Disaster Planning for Individuals with Disabilities"

Disability Rights Office/CGB Offers Communication Guidance to Persons with Disabilities

In Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

From FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, 10/31/2012 

Disability Rights Office/CGB Offers Communication Guidance to Persons with Disabilities in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

The Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau offers the following information to individuals with disabilities seeking information and assistance during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

Phone Calls

•  According to an October 30, 2012 FEMA news release, the President declared major disasters for New York and New Jersey, making disaster assistance available to those in the heaviest hit areas affected by the storm.  Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties in New York and New Jersey can begin the disaster application process by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Disaster assistance applicants who have a hearing or speech disability and use TTYs should call 1-800-462-7585 directly.  If you do not use a TTY and are calling through any relay service or by voice, you can also access the following voice telephone number:  1-800-621-3362.  These toll-free telephone numbers (provided by FEMA) will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

• If you have a hearing or speech disability, you also can use telecommunications relay services to make calls for assistance.  In your local area, dial 711 to access these services by TTY or by voice.  Alternatively, you can access IP Relay, IP Captioned Telephone or video relay services on line.

•  If you are trying to send someone a text message and it is not going through, wait 10 seconds before redialing a call.  On many wireless handsets, to re-dial a number, you simply push "send" after you've ended a call to redial the previous number.  If you do this too quickly, the data from the handset to the cell sites do not have enough time to clear before you've resent the same data.  This contributes to a clogged network.

• If you do not have electric power in your home, consider using your vehicle to charge cell phones or listen to news alerts on the car radio.  But don’t try to reach your car if it is not safe to do so, and remain vigilant about carbon monoxide emissions from your car if it is a closed space, such as a garage.

Television, Radio and the Internet

• Tune-in to television, radio and the Internet (via your desktop or laptop computer, tablet or mobile phone) for important news alerts.

• FCC rules require audio information about emergencies provided on television to be accompanied by visual information for persons with hearing disabilities.  This is typically provided through closed captions, so please make sure you have your captions turned on.

•  If you have a visual disability, emergency information provided during televised news programming must be provided in an audio format along with its visual format.  If you are watching regularly scheduled (non-news) programming and hear tones or beeps, this signifies that emergency information is being provided.  Turn on your radio or call someone to get up-to-date information about the emergency that is occurring.

• The Commission will continue to monitor closely complaints alleging violations of our laws requiring access to emergency information on television, and will review for possible enforcement action.  If you have a complaint regarding the lack of emergency information being presented in an accessible format, you may contact your video programming distributor directly for quick resolution of the problem (you can locate VPD contact information by searching the VPD Registry located on the FCC’s webpage at: or you may file a complaint with the FCC.

If you decide to complain directly to the FCC, your complaint should include:

• The name of the VPD (e.g., broadcast station, cable company, satellite TV provider, local telephone company) against whom the complaint is alleged;

• The date and time of the transmission of emergency information that was in a format not accessible to persons with disabilities; and

• The type of emergency.

You can file your complaint with the FCC using the on-line complaint Form 2000C found at  You also may contact the FCC by letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, audio-cassette recording, Braille, or any other method that would best accommodate your disability.  Send your complaint to:

Federal Communications Commission

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20554

Phone: 1-888-225-5322 (voice); 1-888-835-5322 (TTY)



Fax:  866-418-0232

Fact sheets summarizing the closed captioning and access to emergency information rules are available at the FCC’s Web site at, and

Find more information at,,  or

Distributed 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.


(You can follow Fairfax County’s Emergency Blog at #ffxstorm )

National Weather Service rainfall potential of Hurricane Sandy for the next 1-5 days.

Hurricane Sandy continues to be a major threat to our area and could lead to substantial impacts in the next few days. Virginia has already declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm.

To put it simply: we need you to prepare.

The storm’s track is not yet certain, but the National Weather Service models this morning suggest a likely scenario of 4-6 inches of rain, tropical storm winds, downed trees/power lines and flooding for possibly multiple days. More details will become available later today and Saturday from the National Weather Service about timing and impact.

But right now, we have time to get ready.

What you need to know and do:
1.)    Supplies: Get your supplies – water, medicines, canned food, cash, pet food and more. View more suggestions for emergency supply kits. We strongly recommend that you be prepared with at least three days of supplies.

2.)    Gas: Fill your car’s gas tank. Gas stations will be in short supply in a power outage.

3.)    Generators: If you have a generator or plan to buy one, please be familiar with safety tips.

4.)    Food Safety:  Power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.

5.)    Outdoor Items: Plan to secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

6.)    Trees: Remove dead limbs on trees that could fall on your property (home, car, land).

7.)    Leaves: Clear leaves from storm drains, gutters and other areas that, if clogged, could cause flooding.

8.)    Weather Forecasts: Pay close attention to weather forecasts for the latest storm track. We will provide guidance as needed. Purchase or charge up your weather radio. If you have a weather radio that uses SAME codes, Fairfax County’s SAME code is 051059.

9.)    Tech Ready: View our Digital Preparedness Kit, which is an important way to stay informed and connected before, during and after an emergency.

10.) Phone Numbers: Save important phone numbers to your phone or write them down, especially your power company. Always report a power outage.

Please share this information with your family, friends and co-workers so our whole community can be better prepared.

Distributed 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

You should stock six basics for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Make your preparations easier by downloading the checklists included with each category and use them as you shop and store your supplies.

Food and Water
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Store one gallon of water per person per day.
Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).*

*Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.

Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
Canned juices
Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
High energy foods
Food for infants
Comfort/stress foods

First Aid and Non-Prescription Drugs
*First Aid Kit
(20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.
(1) 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing.
(1) conforming roller gauze bandage.
(2) triangular bandages.
(2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads.
(2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads.
(1) roll 3″ cohesive bandage.
(2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
(6) antiseptic wipes.
(2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.
Adhesive tape, 2″ width.
Anti-bacterial ointment.
Cold pack.
Scissors (small, personal).
CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield.

Non-Prescription Drugs
*Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
*Anti-diarrhea medication
*Antacid (for stomach upset)
*Activated charcoal (use if advised by the American Association of Poison Control Centers)

Tools and Supplies
*Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*
*Emergency preparedness manual*
*Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
*Flashlight and extra batteries*
*Cash or traveler’s checks, change*
*Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
*Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
*Tube tent
*Matches in a waterproof container
*Aluminum foil
*Plastic storage containers
*Signal flare
*Paper, pencil
*Needles, thread
*Medicine dropper
*Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
*Plastic sheeting
*Map of the area (for locating shelters)

Sanitation, Clothing and Bedding
Toilet paper, towelettes*
Soap, liquid detergent*
Feminine supplies*
Personal hygiene items*
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Plastic bucket with tight lid
Household chlorine bleach

*Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
Sturdy shoes or work boots
Rain gear
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hat and gloves
Thermal underwear

Special Items
Any and all medications
Heart and high blood pressure medication
Prescription drugs
Denture needs
Contact lenses and supplies
Extra eye glasses


*Board games and other games that don’t require batteries or electricity.

For Pets
Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet’s collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It’s important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers

Thanks to Arva Priola

Distributed 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.