Members of the Fairfax County Fire Department from Herndon Station 4 as well as officers from the Herndon Police Department came out on Sunday to talk to community members about being prepared for emergencies.
Jackie Johnson, a professional organizer known as the Or/gan/iz/er, hosted the event and showed attendees how to put together their own emergency preparation kits. The event was held at JJ Deli.
Capt. Kerwin McNamara told attendees local fire stations are preparing for Fire Prevention Week, which begins October 7. This year's theme is Two Ways Out, he said.
Every family should make sure in the event of a fire they know of two ways they can escape, McNamara said. He said they refer to this as rabbit ready, because rabbits always have two ways out of their homes.
Families should have a plan in place, go through it and practice, as well as have a meeting place where they can gather in the event of a fire, he said.
During the holiday season, people should pay special attention to fire safety when it comes to trees, decor, candles, lightbulbs and cooking. He said those are all things that increase incidences of fire in the late fall and winter season.
McNamara said all Fairfax County fire stations will have an open house on Oct. 13 where they can learn more about the county's fire and rescue department and area firefighters.
Officers from the Herndon Police Department said one of the best things about serving in a town the size of Herndon is they are able to have quick response times—most of the time arriving on a scene in two to three minutes.
They said the most important thing people can keep in mind during an emergency such as a storm is to listen to police and other officials—especially if they say a road or route is blocked.
Additionally, anyone who has witnessed an incident or is having an emergency should try to pay close attention to their surroundings including their location, what they can see, hear and smell.
Officer Warren Brathwaite said people don't normally get a lot of training for emergencies and it's easy to react based on emotions. He said it's important for people to have a plan they are well versed in so they can keep calm during emergencies.
For more information on emergency preparedness, making plans and creating emergency kits, visit Ready.gov.