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Fairfax County Residents Prefer Emergency Info on Mobile Device, Survey Says

Mobile device such as an iPhone trumps TV, radio, computer.

When an emergency strikes, Fairfax County residents prefer to find out what's happening via their mobile device, a new county survey shows.

Following the June 29 derecho storm, the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs and Office of Emergency Management conducted a survey of the public.

A total of 5,795 respondents completed the survey between Aug. 13 and Sept. 7. Those respondents also generated nearly 17,000 written comments that staff is analyzing for an additional layer of qualitative feedback.

Among some of the key findings:

• 78 percent of respondents ranked the county’s overall emergency communications efforts as excellent or good.

• 45 percent of respondents prefer a mobile device such as an iPhone to get emergency information, followed by radio at 17.3 percent, TV at 16.8 percent and a desktop computer at 16.1 percent.

• 69 percent of respondents lost power as a result of the storm, with 20 percent in the dark for more than four days. Even without power, though, 37 percent said they continued to access emergency information from the county.

• 82 percent are ready to be self-sufficient for three days.

You can sign up for mobile device emergency alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network here.

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