25 Feb Health, Safety and Security
FHA HEALTH, SAFETY AND SECURITY
The HSS Mission: As stated in the Fearrington Homeowners Association (FHA) Articles of Incorporation, one of the important purposes of the FHA is to “provide for the health, safety and welfare” of the residents of Fearrington Village. As part of this important mission, and to be in compliance with the Articles, the FHA works hard to sustain a comprehensive resident-based Health, Safety, and Security Committee (HSS) to advise the Board of Directors on policies, programs, and services that will help to keep village residents healthy and safe. In addition to its communication with Fearrington residents, the HSS Committee maintains collaborative relationships with the Chatham County Emergency Management Division and 911, Emergency Medical Services (EMS/FirstHealth), the Chatham County North Chatham Fire Department, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Supporting Subcommittees (See each hot-link below for information on each component.) These subcommittees work under the direction of Warren Ort, the 2019-2021 FHA Board member overseeing Health, Safety, & Security matters.
- Emergency Preparedness maintains and promotes vital information related to emergency preparedness and individual/community/and County level emergency response.
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Planning NOTE: This Health, Safety, and Security component is currently being revived and restructured. Check the hot-linked page to see the historical context.
- Community Watch Information seeks to ensure that neighbors in Fearrington look out for one another and their property. In addition to its communication with Fearrington organizations, the committee maintains collaborative relationships with the Swim & Croquet Board, Fitch Creations, and the Chatham County Sheriff Department.
- Road Safety urges everyone to increase safety on all streets and roads in Fearrington Village for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. In order to carry out this mission, the committee works to raise and maintain awareness of the NCDOT-mandated village-wide 25 MPH speed limit and stop signs. They also operate a radar speed monitoring system and receive information from citizens regarding threats to safety on streets, roads, and paths.
- If you wish to read the committee’s entire unabridged (eleven-page) report on Roads and Road Safety Issues in Fearrington Village, CLICK HERE. Note that the FHA does not own or maintain any roads in the village.
- If you would like to have a copy of the slides used at an FHA Open Board Meeting Program, which was focused on Selective Safety Matters: 15/501 Signal Light & Village Roads and The Residential KNOX-BOX®, CLICK HERE.
COMMUNITY WATCH INFORMATION
This page is a repository for information, recent announcements, and occasional bulletins related to the Fearrington Village Community Watch Program.
ON-GOING ALERT: BE AWARE — Door to Door Solicitation — Protect Yourself: A Health, Safety, and Security Committee & Community Watch Advisory
From FEMA — Why It’s Important to Reinforce Overhead Garage Doors to protect your roof from severe windstorms, and how it can be done.Backgrounder on Preparing for a Tornado
Be sure to complete and turn in the (voluntary) FHA Emergency Information Registration Form (hot-linked just below). This information is a vital resource in case of an emergency.
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register the needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Fill in Online.)
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register the needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Print and fill in by hand.)
The Fearrington Village Home Owners Association (FHA) currently has many of the components of a modern safe community program already in effect and is now beginning the process of updating, reorganizing, and, in some instances, adding to those components to create a more unified and improved program to further improve the quality of life in the community. The FHA continues to enjoy a close working relationship with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, whose officers continue to contribute much time, professional knowledge, and advice in all the planning and implementation of many facets of ensuring the health, safety, and security of our community. We deeply appreciate this excellent partnership.
COMMUNITY WATCH OFFICERS WITH THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Lt. Phillip Richard – Community Service/STAR/Community Watch
Lt. Stephen Renn
For examples of specific Community Watch program components, which are part of the national model, see the list below. Items in blue text below are linked to existing aspects of those programs here in Fearrington Village and/or in Chatham County. In the coming weeks and months, the FHA Health, Safety, and Security Committee and its other subcommittees (Community Emergency Response Team/CERT, and Road Safety) will be working together to improve the integration and implementation of these important interrelated initiatives and programs.
While ours is not a crime-ridden neighborhood, we are not immune from the risk and we all need to be vigilant. While rare, there have been several prior home burglaries (when leaving your home, you should lock your doors, close any open ground floor and garage windows and close/lock your garage doors). There have also been several incidents of items taken from unlocked vehicles in driveways (always lock vehicles when left outside and don’t leave valuables inside the vehicle), and several years ago prior incidents of vandalism at the Swim and Croquet Club. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Department does patrol our village, but Chatham County is very large.
The Community Watch program is an attempt both to ensure that, as neighbors, we look out for one another and to let any potential criminals know that someone is watching out for them. It is an extension of the strong sense of community that distinguishes Fearrington Village.
Be sure to complete and turn in the (voluntary) FHA Emergency Information Registration Form. This information is a vital resource in case of an emergency. See the hot-links for these forms at the top of this page.
Common sense things to remember if you are going to be away: Let the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office know and have your house put on house checks. (Call 919-542-2811 to do so); let your neighbor’s know and ask them to be an extra set of eyes on your homes; if you are going to be gone for an extended time either stop your newspaper delivery or have a neighbor pick the papers up for you; if you have a house alarm, let your alarm company know you will be away and have a secondary key holder available.
When to Call 911 and When Not to Call 911
Calling 911 is an important communications tool for emergencies. However, some citizens call 911 in non-emergency situations. This can cause the dispatch operator to miss a call of a person needing help. It is important to understand when to call and when not to call 911.
WHEN TO CALL 911
- Medical emergency (examples: chest pain, extreme shortness of breath, uncontrolled bleeding).
- Motor vehicle accident.
- When a life is in danger.
WHEN NOT TO CALL
- The power is off.
- Asking for directions to the hospital.
- Asking for telephone numbers of others.
- Requesting to speak with a particular officer.
- Inquiring as to the time and day.
- Inquiring about community activities and locations.
For more information about when to call and when not to call, please contact (919) 542-2811, the non-emergency number for our 911 service, and ask if someone can discuss the topic with you.
BE PROACTIVE TO HELP RECOVER LOST OR STOLEN MERCHANDISE
Be proactive before anything you lose valuable items (especially electronic equipment such as TVs, computers, Tablets, Smart Speakers, etc.) or in case such items are stolen from your home or auto. Here’s a Personal Property Inventory Form provided by the Sheriff’s Department for your convenience.
Make sure to keep a list of your valuables. Include the name of the items, model number, serial number, and manufacturer’s name. Use your phone or a camera to take a picture of these items AS WELL a photo OF THE SERIAL NUMBERS (if any) of each item. Keep the packing boxes the items came in — many boxes have the serial number printed on them.
This specific information will increase the likelihood of the police being able to recover your item(s). You will need such information at hand to be able to document your ownership both for recovery purposes and for documenting your insurance claim. In short, you need evidence and should record it before the goods are lost or stolen, when it’s then too late.
Consider also recording such documentation on an inexpensive thumb drive or flash drive, which you could easily and quickly hand over to the police to make their investigation easier and faster. Remember the longer you wait to file a report and reporting it without documentation, the harder it is to recover your property.
You might also want to consider reaching out to the pawn shops, thrift stores and second-hand retailers in the area. Introduce yourself ask for the General Manager and explain what has happened, give them a detailed list of what has been stolen and the contact info for the detective working your case. Be sure to include as much detail, including serial numbers, as possible and send pictures if you have them.
EXAMPLES OF BASIC CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMS
- Distribute information and offer workshops on Community Watch Skills: Using Your Eyes & Ears
- Distribute information and offer workshops on Basic Home Security – Target Hardening to eliminate or reduce opportunities for crime
Examples of Emergency Preparedness Strategies and Programs
- Encouraging neighbors to register in ALERT CHATHAM / Code Red (reverse 911)
- Community CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program
- Providing critical information on what to do when …. / who to contact if ….
- North Carolina’s SILVER ALERT program designed to quickly disseminate descriptive information about missing and endangered adults so that citizens in the affected area can be on the lookout and notify local law enforcement with any relevant information.
Examples of Building Stronger, Safer Community
- Education on personal safety about the home and out and about
- Considering lighting and emergency indicators
- Safety & Security On-Line (educating neighbors about on-line fraud, phishing, ID theft, etc.)
- Checking on people who live alone
- Safety for hearing impaired persons
- Considering traffic safety issues in the community
Strategies for Improving Community Watch
- Working to incorporate Block Captains
- Organizing a Celebration of Safe Communities (as part of a national program each October)
- Recognizing volunteers who have helped to build safer communities
DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS CHECKLIST FOR EXTENDED DEPARTURES FROM FEARRINGTON.
ROAD SAFETY / STREETS & ROADS INFORMATION
If you would like to have a copy of the slides used at a FHA Open Board Meeting Program, which was focused on Selective Safety Matters: 15/501 Signal Light & Village Roads and The Residential KNOX-BOX®, CLICK HERE.
If you wish to read the committee’s entire unabridged (eleven-page) report on Roads and Road Safety Issues in Fearrington Village, CLICK HERE.
ROAD SAFETY REMINDER: 4-WAY STOP AT WEATHERSFIELD & EAST CAMDEN
Following a 2013 review by the NC Highway Department, the intersection at Weathersfield and East Camden returned to being a 4-Way stop (All Stop) intersection staring in November 2013.
Remember: STOP DOES NOT EQUAL YIELD. Old habits are sometimes not easy to break, so remember everyone must stop regardless of which direction they are coming from as they approach this intersection. This change was made because there have been quite a few close calls at that location as well as some actual accidents. This new traffic regulation ought to make this a much safer intersection as well as help to slow down the many who wiz by on Weathersfield at well over a safe speed.
SPEED MONITORS TO INCREASE THE SAFETY ON ALL STREETS AND ROADS IN FEARRINGTON VILLAGE FOR DRIVERS, PEDESTRIANS, AND CYCLISTS.
We have two speed monitoring devices to help remind drivers of their current speed. We want to maintain a safe environment for all of us. Our purpose is to make all motorists aware of our village-wide 25 mph speed limit, which is set by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Eight different stations are in the most heavily traveled areas of the Village (in both directions on Beechmast, Millcroft Road, Villageway, and Weathersfield). The speed monitors are moved from station to station by dedicated volunteers. This variety allows for more effective coverage and helps remind more drivers of their speed. The newer unit is greatly improved in terms of technology and battery life. It conveys data (including photos of speeding vehicles) immediately to an on-line traffic monitoring site that can analyze the information and present it in a useable form to the committee and FHA board. We will share information from the monitors in future articles.
The committee has also worked with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department and NCDOT to occasionally bring a mobile Speed Sentry radar unit to the Village. We had the support of the FHA and RB Fitch to make this happen and are proud to have achieved this milestone. Fearrington Village is the only community in NC that has legal permission from the NCDOT for placement and use of this mobile radar unit.
ICE AND SNOW STORMS: STATE VS. SERVICE GROUP RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROADWAY MAINTENANCE
The snow storm in January 2000 was described as the worst in 100 years, and the ice storm December 2002 was the worst ever. The effects of the ice and snow we experienced for much of the week of February 17 and 22, 2015 reminded us of the challenges we can face on our 80 streets and roads in the village. Since repeats are possible any time, some precautions are always appropriate:
- In most instances, residents should plan on having limited driving conditions and possibly slippery walking conditions for 12 – 48 hours following relatively rare instances of heavy snow and/or ice; street and road conditions typically improve quickly within that time frame. For emergency medical transportation in such weather, contact 911.
- The State of North Carolina owns 50 (61%) of the 82 streets and roads in the village. Recognize that only NCDOT and/or its duly authorized, suitably equipped contractors are allowed to plow, treat, or otherwise maintain any state secondary roads in Fearrington Village. The state must give priority to clearing main highways first, so patience may be necessary for NCDOT to get to the state secondary roads in the village as well as all across North Carolina. See this table for a list of the state-owned, state-maintained secondary roads in the village. State roads are shade in ROSE colored-fill background; service group owned roads are shaded with a light gray colored-fill background color. Note that the FHA does not own or maintain any roads in the village.During the three successive February 2015 ice and snow storms, NCDOT began to plow and treat our state roads within a day-and-half to two days following the end of each of the storms. Considering the 909 miles of hard paved roads they must cover just in District 8 (our district), their attention to our roads was quick and was very appreciated.
- Small neighborhood HOAs (service groups) are responsible for maintaining their own streets and are, therefore, responsible for any winter storm clearing or treatment they may feel is necessary or advisable. Six service groups own 32 (39%) of the streets and roads in the village. See this table for a list of roadways owned and maintained by the service groups. Note that the FHA does not own or maintain any roads in the village.
Always walk on the sidewalk if provided. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, PLEASE WALK FACING TRAFFIC, so you can see oncoming cars. Walkers MUST step to the side when an oncoming car approaches. Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, you should wear clothing with material which reflects off the headlights of cars coming towards you. Carry a lighted flashlight.
CROSSING THE STREET:
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks. If there are none, always stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the roadway.
Keep looking for cars while you are crossing.
Never cross between parked cars.
Encourage your children and grandchildren to follow the safety tips for safe street crossing.
Be visible, wear fluorescent green, yellow or orange. They are all excellent choices. Other bikers, motorists and pedestrians will be able to see you better.
Always ride your bicycle with the flow of traffic.
If you must ride your bicycle at night, wear reflective clothing and have front and rear lights on.
Wear an approved helmet. Make sure that children wear their helmets.
Always wear shoes when riding a bicycle.
Bad road surfaces and potholes can cause accidents. Watch out for them.
The important point to remember here is that whenever anyone’s safety, health or home appears to be in immediate danger, you should immediately call 911. If you should ever have trouble getting through on 911 because of phone problems, try calling 919-542-2811.
In the rare event of an emergency in Fearrington Village or the surrounding community we strongly advise residents to take the responsibility of being prepared so that they and their families can handle such emergencies in the best way possible. Use this guide to help you be prepared.
- Chatham County: 297 West Street, Pittsboro, NC, 919-542-2811, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday OR http://www.chathamnc.org/ choose: “Resident Information,” then choose “Emergency Contact Guide.”
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety – ReadyNC: http://readync.org/EN/index.html: Plan. Prepare. Stay Informed. On that site, you can download their free mobile app, which supplies up-to-date information during declared major emergencies.
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) North Carolina Disaster Declarations, preparations and assistance before, during, and after a declared disaster: https://www.fema.gov/states/north-carolina.
For related information, see the FHA “FORMS” and Health, Safety, & Security web pages menu tabs on the FHA web site home page. Here are some guidelines and a list of things to do and items to have on hand for emergencies:
- Create an emergency plan.
- Keep emergency supplies on hand and in a place that can be easily found.
- Keep informed.
Create an Emergency Plan
- Evaluate your personal needs and make an emergency plan so you can be better prepared for any situation.
- If family members are not together, determine a communication point and phone number contact where all can gather or call. It is also good to have an out-of-state contact phone number.
- Be sure all family members know where emergency supplies, papers, food and water are kept.
- Get an emergency supply kit.
- Plan in advance for shelter alternatives. Consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Only service animals may be allowed, e.g., a seeing-eye dog.
- Be alert to the Chatham County “Code Red” phone call notification system and be sure your phone number is registered. To verify registration, call 919-545-8163 or access the site at: www.chathamnc.org/codered. Also, download the CODERed Mobile Alert app for your smartphone. In an emergency, the county will send an automatic telephone message to all residents who have their phone numbers registered. It is desirable to include both your land line and cell numbers.
- Be sure your “FHA Voluntary Emergency Contact Information Registration Form” located in your welcome packet (and also available at the FHA Office) is on file with the FHA.
- We strongly encourage you to provide this information on-line using this secure encrypted form, https://form.jotform.com/FHAHSS/voluntary-emergency-info-form, which will allow residents to easily update their own information anytime, especially on an annual cycle. This will help keep the information up-to-date.
- If you filed a paper version, check and also update your information by calling or stopping in at the FHA Hospitality and Service Center in the rear of the Gathering Place (open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except holidays). Phone number: 919-542-1603.
Supplies To Have On Hand
(Be sure these can be easily found.)
- Regional smartphone weather alert apps for Apple or Android operating systems (offered free by WRAL-TV, WNCN-TV, ABC11 WTVD, The Weather Channel, etc.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries.
- Flashlights, matches (kept dry), extra batteries, and extra flashlight bulbs. Better yet use flashlights that require no batteries. Candles can be dangerous.
- Fire Extinguisher – Class A-B-C.
- Water: one gallon of water per person per day for three days for drinking and sanitation. Have reserve water on hand.
- Prescriptions, over the counter medications, eye glasses (extra pair), and contact lenses.
- Food (3-day supply of non perishable food is recommended plus a reserve); manual can opener.
- Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
- First Aid Kit – See contents in section below.
- Telephone – Hard wired and cell phone.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Blankets or sleeping bags and pillows.
- Moist towelettes.
- Portable generator if you require electricity for medical equipment.
- Pet food, water for your pet and pet supplies.
- Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Phone numbers and email addresses of key relatives and friends; pencil and paper.
- FHA Handbook and Directory (for phone numbers).
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, however your utility company will have to turn back on.
- Water containers and buckets.
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change.
- Local maps.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you expect to be in cold weather.
- Keep your automobile gas tank as full as possible.
First Aid Kit
- Two pairs of latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to latex).
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
- Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Burn ointment to prevent infection.
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
- Scissors and tweezers.
- Tube of petroleum jelly, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid.
- Plain household chlorine bleach (no scent or color) and medicine dropper. (Disinfectant plus nine parts water to one part bleach; cleaner water = 16 drops bleach to one gallon of water.)
Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live. In addition, learn about the established emergency plans by your state and local government.
We are blessed to be living in a beautiful, pleasant, and generally safe community. Our safety will be improved, however, if we all observe a few common-sense practices and courtesies.
Note: Abbreviated bit.ly links are provided below because they are shorter than the full links, and thus easier to type accurately.
To Report Emergencies (Police, Fire, Medical)
Emergency Services Police, fire, and ambulance services can all be reached by calling 911. Response has been prompt.
Observe the 25 MPH speed limit on all Fearrington streets and the 15 MPH speed limit in the Village Center. Speeders rob us of our tranquility and pose a real safety threat. Stop signs mean a full stop, even when other vehicles are not present.
Instead of the streets, use the walkway paths and trails where they are available. When walking on the streets, observe the elementary safety rule: North Carolina law requires that you walk along the edge and off the roadway as far as possible on the LEFT side, facing oncoming traffic and step off the roadway whenever a vehicle approaches. If you are approaching the crest of a steep hill or a blind curve to the left, and you cannot be seen by oncoming traffic (a common experience, e.g., on Spindlewood), you may be safer walking briefly on the right until you can see oncoming traffic again and then carefully return to walk on the left when it is safe to do so.
Drivers are required to SLOW DOWN and give walkers a break—here in this village, the ground on the side of these roadways is often narrow, rough, and uneven and can be unsafe surfaces on which to walk.
Make sure yours is visible from the street, day and night, so an emergency vehicle can quickly spot it. Make sure a plant or shrubbery does not cover it. Contrasting colors are best (e.g., black on white is more visible than brass on yellow or gray on gray.)
Ice and Snowstorms
The snowstorm in January 2000 was described as the worst in 100 years, and the ice storm December 2002 was the worst ever. Since repeats are possible any time, some precautions are appropriate:
- Keep a bucket of sand and a bag of rock salt on hand to treat your front steps and walk.
- Neither the state nor Fitch Creations nor FHA is responsible for clearing or treating Fearrington roads. The state gives priority to clearing main highways, so patience may be necessary for state secondary roads in the village. Small neighborhood HOAs (service groups) are responsible for maintaining their own streets and are responsible for any winter storm clearing or treatment they may feel is necessary or advisable. In most instances, residents should plan on limited driving conditions and possibly slippery walking conditions for 12 – 48 hours following relatively rare instances of heavy snow and/or ice; conditions typically improve quickly within that time. For emergency medical transportation in such weather, contact 911.
If a tree has fallen on a power line, DO NOT TOUCH; call 911. If it has fallen in the street, and your friends and neighbors can’t handle it, call 911 to schedule a state road crew. If a tree has fallen on your property, you must arrange removal with a private contractor.
Open fires in the village are always prohibited.
Removal of a dead animal from your property is your responsibility. For removal of other animals or for other contractors, consult the Chatham County phone book under the listing, “Animal Removal Service.” Dead animals on a state road right-of-way (such as most of the roads in the village) will be removed by the NC Department of Transportation. Use this NCDOT Contact Form: (https://bit.ly/3dod1jd) fill out the form and submit it.
Hiring Domestic Help
When hiring someone to do services in your home:
- Check their references.
- Ask if they are covered by insurance, and ask for proof of coverage.
- Ask if they are bonded, and ask for proof of coverage.
- Resource: Reviews and comparisons of professional background check services, (https://bit.ly/3EuvmqD) *
- Resource (fee based): Intelius.com
To check for past violations: