March 23, 2022
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. Coming up, learn about the Ready Campaign’s “It’s Not Luck” emergency preparedness campaign, 9-1-1’s emergency health profile, FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance program and what to do if you see a young wildlife that appears to be orphaned or abandoned. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
As spring weather marches in, the Ready Campaign reminds everyone, don’t rely on a lucky charm to be prepared for disasters that can happen anywhere and at any time. Ready.gov recently released the “It’s Not Luck!” annual springtime awareness effort inspired by St. Patrick’s Day to remind everyone that no one should rely on luck with it comes to being prepared for the potential impacts of Spring weather. Remember, the basic steps to being prepared:
- Have several ways to receive emergency alerts to be notified about disasters and emergencies in your area, including weather alerts and other types of alerts and information from Fairfax Alerts. Sign up at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.
- Make a plan so that you and your loved ones will know what to do in case of an emergency.
- Build a kit that will last for several days so that you can weather a storm. Don't leave preparing for disasters to chance.
[Audio Clip – 9-1-1 Operator: “Where is your emergency?”]
Sharing essential medical information with 9-1-1 call takers during a crisis is always helpful and often can be the difference between life and death. Remembering all the details of your health situation and relaying it to 9-1-1 is difficult even on a normal day – and is only worse during an emergency crisis. Steve McMurrer, 9-1-1 system administrator, suggests that you provide Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 this information ahead of time by completing a voluntary personal Emergency Health Profile.
[Audio Clip: Steve McMurrer]
The emergency health profile is free service available to residents and anyone who frequents the county for work or leisure. The Emergency Health Profile is voluntary and is just another way to assist first responders. Learn more at fairfaxcounty.gov/911/emergency-health-profile.
FEMA recently announced that the agency has provided over $2 billion in COVID-19 Funeral Assistance to support more then 300,00 applicants grappling with the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. Eligible applicants to the funeral assistance program may qualify for up to $9,000 for each deceased individual per application, with a maximum of $35,000 for families who may have multiple funeral expenses due to COVID-19. People who incurred funeral expenses related to a COVID-19-related death in the United States or its territories on or after Jan. 20, 2020, can apply online, or call toll-free, 1-888-684-6333, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Springtime is here, and with the warming temperatures, we see a boom in baby wildlife. Our Animal Protection Police Officers and Wildlife Management office receive many calls this time of year from residents who are seeking help for young wildlife that appear to be orphaned or abandoned. While these actions are well-intended, it is important to realize intervention may be unnecessary and can be detrimental to wildlife. Many baby animals that are brought to wildlife professionals are in no need of help from humans. Baby animals left alone are not necessarily orphaned or abandoned; many species of wildlife will hide their young for safety, leaving them alone for extended periods of time.
Common wildlife frequently found and “rescued” in Fairfax County include squirrels, red foxes, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, opossums and songbirds. If you come across a baby animal and feel the need to intervene, first, determine if the animal needs help. Signs that an animal needs help include:
- Shows signs of flies, worms, or maggots, which look like grains of rice
- Was caught by a cat or dog
- Is bleeding, has an open wound, or shows signs of trauma, such as swelling
- If the parents are known to be dead or separated and cannot be reunited
- Is very cold, thin, or weak
- Is on the ground unable to move
- Is not fully furred or feathered
- If an animal is displaying any of these signs, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, veterinarian or our Animal Protection Police for further assistance and instruction.
Do not attempt to treat or raise wildlife yourself. Please do not handle any baby wild animal and do not attempt to offer food or water unless instructed to do so by a professional. Wild animals can also cause injury or carry parasites and disease, even at a young age. A young animal’s best chance for survival is to receive natural care from its parents and remain wild. If you have questions about whether an animal needs help or to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, you may contact the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline toll-free at 1-855-571-9003, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Fairfax County’s Animal Protection Police can be reached through the Police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.
Finally, Fairfax County's free alert system sends you important information during an emergency, helps you navigate your commute and shares community information. You can also customize your Fairfax Alerts to receive the information pertinent to you. Don't miss this important information! Sign up today for Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.