News

City of Falls Church Declares Local Emergency, Urges Residents to Prepare for Upcoming Storm

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields signed a Declaration of Local Emergency for the City of Falls Church at 4 p.m. today in response to Hurricane Sandy, a release from the City announced today. The hurricane is projected to impact the City with heavy rain and damaging winds from late Sunday night through Tuesday night.

This storm is expected to produce rainfall of between 5 and 10 inches in our area, which could cause localized flooding. The City expects significant tree damage, and residents, businesses and visitors should plan for widespread power outages as a result.

The City has provided the following tips for residents to prepare for the upcoming storm:

• Get emergency supplies like flashlights, batteries, water (one gallon per person and pet per day), food (including for pets), and medicine. Withdraw extra cash.

• Charge electronic devices now in case of power outages. Laptops, cell phones, and tablets allow residents to obtain emergency information.

• Keep leaves out of the curb gutter to help water flow.

• Ensure outside items in yards and on decks and patios are secure.

• Prepare for flooding, especially if your home is in the floodplain. Remove valuables from the basement or place on shelves. Use sandbags to help divert water.

Key Phone Numbers

• Power Outages: Dominion Virginia Power, 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)

• Downed Trees or Power Lines: Police Dispatch, 703-248-5053 (Stay away from downed lines!)

• Traffic Light Outages: Police Dispatch, 703-248-5053

Stay Informed

• Storm tracking: www.weather.gov

• Alert System (www.alert.fallschurchva.gov)

• City Website (fallschurchva.gov/CFCstorm)

• Facebook (facebook.com/CityofFallsChurchGov) and Twitter (twitter.com/FallsChurchInfo)

• 1680 AM Radio

• Citizen Info Line, 703-248-5200

Generator Safety Tips

• Fact: CO deaths associated with generators have spiked in recent years as generator sales have risen. Understand the risks of generators!

• Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.

• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.

• Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.

• Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.

• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.

• Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

• When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. The cords should be checked for cuts, tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

• If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.