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The Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) teaches emergency preparedness and disaster response skills to regular people, so that they can safely help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods during major emergencies where first responders may be delayed.

Taught by experienced instructors from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and CERT volunteer instructors, the free training combines 25 hours of classroom learning with hands-on training. CERT students learn disaster preparedness, light search and rescue techniques, disaster medicine, fire suppression, lifting and cribbing, and other necessary skills.

Fairfax County has 38 fire and rescue stations for 200 square miles. A weather incident (tornado, hurricane) or disaster such as a hazardous materials spill may leave many individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside support. Households and neighborhoods may need to rely on their own resources. Emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately. Having CERT trained individuals in the community can save lives and protect property in our neighborhood.

The names of individuals who attend and complete the CERT program and provide authorization to the Glencannon Board for release of their names will be posted to the community website. In this way neighbors can assist each other as they are able.

Glencannon residents can also obtain more information about emergency preparedness from the following sources:


Excerpts from the FEMA website –

The Two-Minute Rule

Imagine being sound asleep in the middle of the night when suddenly your smoke alarms start blaring. Your house is filling with smoke. Do you know what to do? According to the American Red Cross (ARC), fire experts agree that people have about two minutes to escape a burning home.

With this in mind, ARC created the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to reduce the number of fire related deaths and injuries by up to 25 percent over the next five years. You can be a part of this movement by having a fire escape plan that includes the following:

Make sure all members of the household know how to get out of every room in the house;

Pick a place outside where everyone can meet and be sure everyone knows where it is;

Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside;

Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the house can do it in less than two minutes; and

Make sure everyone knows how to call ‘911’.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says people are at greater risk for home fires during the winter months. Now that the season is here, use ARC’s printable worksheet and begin planning; then check out this video from the USFA to learn how to conduct a fire drill with your family today!

Blacked Out?

Snowy weather may be visually appealing, but a severe winter storm can knock out power to your home.  Because the length of an outage can vary from a few hours to several days, you should plan to get by without utilities for at least three days. With winter in full swing, preparation is necessary to stay safe! Here are some tips to prepare your family for a black out:

Build an emergency supply kit;

Make a family communications plan;

Keep your car’s gas tank at least half full at all times; and

Know where the manual release lever of your garage door is located and how      to operate it.

During a black out, it is important to remember to:

Use only flashlights or emergency lighting, NEVER use candles due to the risk of fires;

Keep one light on so that you know when power returns;

Conserve your cell phone battery and only use it for life threatening situations;

Put on layers of warm clothing; and

Do not use your oven as a heating source.

Being prepared is imperative and could make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major emergency.

To learn more about how to manage a power outage this winter, visit America’s PrepareAthon!

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