Material pertaining to the Fearrington Homeowners Association Board of Directors
- Category: Health, Safety, and Security
Police, Fire or Health Emergency
County Sheriff (for non-emergency)
You can access additional emergency phone numbers and other contact information by clicking here.
The Fearrington Homeowners Association also has available a guide for emergency preparations. You can see the guide as a web page, download it to save on your computer. or print it out by going to this page:
Voluntary Emergency Information Forms for Residents
An important part of emergency preparedness involves being sure that first responders can have quick access to specifically relevant up-to-date and accurate information about the needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. The following voluntary forms will help to ensure that such information will be there when and if it is needed in an emergency.
IMPORTANT: If there have been recent changes in your household regarding needs and capabilities of any resident(s), be sure to complete and turn in a new form so the content will be up to date!
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration Form
Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Fill in Online.)
Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Print and fill in by hand.)
- Voluntary File of Life Card
File of Life Card (Used to update the medical information card in the red "File of Life" folder. Fill in by typing on the web page, then print.)
File of Life Card (Used to update the medical information card in the red "File of Life" folder. Print and fill in by hand.)
Important Links to Hurricane Preparedness Information
- WRAL-TV Weather On-Line and Up-to-Date
- In preparation for approaching hurricanes and tropical storms, consider checking the on-going, periodic NOAA detailed hurricane status updates.
- The Weather Channel also has an interactive tracking site that provides timely information.
- South and North Carolina Emergency Preparations
- NOAA also has published a valuable hurricane preparedness document. See especially pages 12 - 16.
- Also visit The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Hurricane Health & Safety Site
- The North Carolina Hurricane Guide
- The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Hurricane Preparedness site
- If you know of neighbors who do not have Internet access, please consider printing some of these resources for them, and also suggest that they also look at pages 16 -- 17 -- 18 of the 2011 FHA Handbook and Directory for some related safety information.
- Also see the Hurricane/Ice and Snow Storm Preparedness Checklist at the bottom of this page.
Dangerous Weather Alerts
Get Alerts About Dangerous & Severe Weather Conditions for Your Own Street
For weather-related alerts and warnings specifically for your own street, WRAL-TV's WEATHER CALL, based on doppler radar reports, references conditions in your own immediate neighborhood. This popular fee-based subscription weather alert service costs $8.00/year. You can subscribe by using this link.
Chatham County advises residents and businesses to rely on weather alert radios tuned to the National Weather Service (NWS) frequencies (providing alerts by counties), weather coverage on commercial radio and television news and weather programs, and on phone, email, or text messaging weather alert services (such as the WRAL service described above) or free zip code-related services such as offered by The Weather Channel.
Our Designated Evacuation Center & Chatham County's CODE RED/Reverse 911 Emergency Notification System
Northwood High School is our main evacuation shelter. The school is located 5 miles south on the right side of 15/501, just before the west bound entrance of 64 west.
If the Northwood High School Shelter is ACTIVATED by the Chatham County OEM Coordinator, notification to the public will be made well in advance on ALL the major TV stations.
Chatham County Emergency Management Services maintains an effective, secure high-speed emergecy telephone notification system for notifying County residents of emergencies or disaster information, such as evacuation notices, boil water notices, bio-terrorism events, etc. This system automatically subscribes land-line phones, except for unlisted numbers and anyone who acquired a new phone number within the past three months. VISIT THIS SITE to read all about such aspects as:
- If you have a land-line phone and do not want to receive such calls, you must formally opt out of the system. The article explains how.
- If you have a cell phone (or want to receive such calls on your cell phone) or if you have telephone service through an Internet (VoIP connection), you have to subscribe yourself to receive such calls. The article explains how.
- IMPORTANT: Note that Chatham County's CodeRed service does not get activated for severe weather alerts. See the section just above for instructions on how to receive severe weather alerts.
CHECKLIST FOR HURRICANE /ICE AND SNOW STORMS
- Have a safe room, usually an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- Have someone out-of-state as a contact for all family members.
- Make sure insurance papers etc are protected and available.
- Have a plan for your pets if you will need to evacuate. Only pets permitted in shelters are Seeing Eye dogs.
- If a family member requires life support equipment, make special plans for them to have extra filled oxygen bottles on hand; extra medications, at least a two week supply.
- Water for at least one week; One gallon per person per day. Have extra water for cooking and sanitary use. Fill up your bathtub, pots, empty jugs, etc., when warned of an approaching storm.
- Now is the time to check to see if your flashlight works and batteries are fresh. Always have extra batteries and spare flashlight bulbs on hand.
- Have a battery operated TV / Radio or the newer generator wind-up type.
- If storm is pending turn down the temperature setting on your refrigerator. In the event of a power outage open the refrigerator only if necessary. Have an insulated chest filled with ice.
- Never operate any generator where fumes can enter your home.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas.
- Have extra cash on hand. ATM machines in area may not have power.
- Secure outdoor furniture or bring inside.
- Have non-perishable food on hand, such as parmalat milk, canned meats, pet food, canned fruits etc.
- Have a non-electric can opener.
- Enough warning is given before a hurricane, ice or snow storm hits, don’t wait until all the stores are crowded and stock is low. Always be prepared.
- If you are a special needs resident please, use the links near the top of this page to access an important form so we can add you to the Fearrington Village needs list.
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.
NOTE: This Health, Safety, and Security component is currently being revived and restructured. Read about it below.
Going Forward: Renewed and Revised Village Emergency Response Planning
We are continuing to work with Chatham County Emergency Management, the regional American Red Cross, the FHA Board, the Fearrington Cares Board, and volunteer residents to develop clear plans and procedures for a coordinated village emergency response to meet the needs of residents following a variety of potential emergencies. This planning will involve establishing clear guidelines for the use of The Gathering Place and the Fearrington Cares Building, neither of which has the capacity to serve as either short-term or long-term community shelters. While both buildings do have access to emergency generated electric power during village power interruptions, both buildings could potentially support only limited, very short-term specific use during certain phases of certain village emergencies, and then, only for a few residents who may need it. We will soon complete operational guidelines and response plans and then distribute the information widely to residents.
Chatham County Emergency Management has established facilities and procedures for protracted sheltering at nearby Northwood High School and at the facilities of the Chatham County Council on Aging.
NEW as of 2018: What if I need special assistance during emergency sheltering at a center or at home, or if I am unable to drive myself to a shelter because of my physical condition? Chatham County has established a new voluntary Disaster Access and Functional Needs (formerly called fragile populations or special needs) Registry, which allows residents to securely register the nature of their special assistance needs and to do so before a disaster strikes. This database helps the emergency services to check-in with registered residents and to provide transportation to the designated long-term shelter for such residents who may need a ride to get there. This database will also help the emergency services to check-in with registered residents and to provide transportation to the designated long-term shelter for residents who may need a ride to get there. Complete details on this new service and how to register are available HERE.
What should I do if I'm told to evacuate? In most cases, you are given instructions at the time of the evacuation orders. These instructions may be to carry certain things to a shelter with you or in some cases (such as a hazardous material leak), you may be told to leave immediately. It is extremely important that you follow directions at the time you are told to evacuate. You should be told where to go and how to get there. In some cases you may be able to drive your car; if you have special needs and need transportation to the designated emergency shelter, contact Chatham County Emergency Management at 919-542-2811.
How do people get the word? By automated calls from the County Emergency Management Department via CodeRED. Also, listen to the radio for further directions concerning shelter openings: WCHL-AM (1360), WCHL-FM (97.9), WDCG-FM (105.1), WRAL-FM (101.5), WYMY-FM (La Ley 101.1 in Spanish).
- How will I know what roads are impassable? Listen to the public media. Most media outlets work with the Department of Transportation to give road condition reports. Do not call 9-1-1 because they do not have the information readily available. 9-1-1 deals only with local roads for emergency response purposes.
- Can my household pet(s) come with me to the county-established emergency shelter? Service animals for the hearing and visually impaired will be allowed in the shelter. All other animals are welcome at the shelter and Animal Services Staff will be on hand to board pets at the shelter site in the best manner possible.
- What should I do if told to shelter in place? Shelter in place means that you are to stay where you are until advised to do otherwise. This could be at home, an office, at school or somewhere public. One of the best descriptions of sheltering in place and the considerations for sheltering in place at home during a storm is at the Ready North Carolina website.
- How long will my refrigerated and frozen food last after a protracted power shortage? This depends on the type freezer you have (whether upright or chest type). To be safe, consult this excellent FDA GUIDE OF WHEN TO SAVE FOOD AND WHEN TO THROW IT OUT following a protracted power outage.
- Where can I get food and/or water? You should have enough food and water on hand for your family for 72-hours as part of your preparedness. When disasters last longer, disaster control authorities will be bringing in water and setting up food stations. People in the affected areas will be informed as to the location of these two distribution places. For more preparedness suggestions, see our on-line Emergency Preparedness page. That same content can be found on pages 5 and 6 in the 2018 edition of the FHA printed Directory and Handbook.
IMPORTANT: For any village-based emergency response to be effective, we urge all residents to return the completed Voluntary Emergency Information Registration Form (choose one format below). If there have been recent changes in your household regarding the needs and capabilities of any resident(s), be sure to complete and turn in a new form so the content will be up to date!
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Fill in Online.)
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Print and fill in by hand.)
- Also see the information about the FILE OF LIFE, which we encourage ALL residents to have on the regrigerator for easy access by EMT responders. The magnetic FILE OF LIFE envelope and the information card insert is available FREE of charge at the FHA office during business hours.
Tornado Advisory from FEMA on Reinforcing Garage Doors -- Why It's Important to Reinforce Overhead Garage Doors to protect your roof from severe wind storms, and how it can be done. Backgrounder on Preparing for a Tornado.
History: The History of Fearrington Village CERT
The Fearrington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program was developed in 1985 to prepare citizens to help themselves and their neighbors during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. CERT volunteers received 20 hours of basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills that could improve the chances for citizens to survive until professional responders or other assistance arrived. The national CERT program is operated under the guidance of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Homeland Security.
In the past, sixty-four volunteer residents of Fearrington Village completed the 20 hour CERT training program and met regularly to practice skills. The CERT volunteers were trained to canvass their neighborhoods, extinguish small fires, shut-off outside gas/water valves to damaged houses, perform light search and rescue operations, render basic first-aid, assist in opening a shelter, and direct residents who came forward to assist. The CERT program pledge is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. After a disaster, the CERT volunteers are trained to first take care of their family and immediate neighborhood and then report to an Emergency Operations Center, which was planned to be located at the Fearrington Cares building, for assignment with other Village CERT Teams.
History: The Interruption of Fearrington CERT and Rebirthing
The Citizen Corps Program, then-based in Sanford, NC, served Chatham County by providing education and training to help community volunteers be better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters. They trained citizens to perform light search and rescue operations, render basic first-aid, assist in opening a shelter, and direct residents who came forward to assist.
When the Chatham County-based Citizen Corps Program lost its funding in 2010-2011, their service capacity was shifted to another entity in Orange County, after which the systematic formal training ended in Chatham County and here in Fearrington Village. A formal CERT program cannot exist without on-going proper training.
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.
Chatham County Public Health Department to Conduct Community Health Survey March 12-15
To identify and respond to the health needs of residents, the Chatham County Public Health Department is partnering with a number of local organizations, including Chatham Hospital, Partnership for Children, Hispanic Liaison, FVRC, Council on Aging, and many others, to conduct a Community Health Assessment. The assessment will include a health opinion survey of approximately 210 residents across the county. Between March 12th and March 15th (10:00am to 6:00PM each day), surveyors will be conducting randomly selected door-to-door surveys to get resident’s opinions on the most pressing health needs in the community. Survey participants will be asked questions on a variety of community health topics, including nutrition, chronic disease, and access to health care.
Since only a little over 200 county residents will be seleted for this county survey, it is unlikely that many Ferringtonians will be visited by a vounteer from this project; however, in case you are visited, please note that the individuals conducting the survey will from different groups and organizations and they will not be dressed alike nor will their badges be a standard such as size, color, etc. The individuals presenting the survey have been instructed by the Health Department to identify themselves and follow a specific protocol. If you encounter these individuals treat them in the same way you would treat any other stranger that comes to your home, ask for ID, participate in survey if you like, and do not let them in your home (they have been advised not to enter anyone’s home). For more information on the Community Health Assessment, contact Mike Zelek at Michael.email@example.com or visit http://www.chathamnc.org/reports.
An assembly occupancy is defined by the National Fire Protection Association as "An occupancy used for a gathering of 50 or more persons for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation or similar uses."
Since many people enjoy going out, they encounter assembly occupancies on a regular basis. This could include going to a school play, attending a church service, dining at a favorite restaurant or watching a band at a nightclub with friends. In these cases, how often do our community members take the time to stop and consider:
Where Are The Exits?
- How would I get out of here in a fire?
- Are there enough exits for all of these people?
- If they are like most people, the answer is not often enough.
History of Tragedy
Each year, there are tragic news reports of fire and non-fire events in assembly occupancies with shocking death and injury tolls. Some recent incidents include:
- Fire in the KISS nightclub in Brazil, on Jan. 28, killing 233.
- Fire in the Cromagnon Republic nightclub, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 30, 2004, killing 180.
- Fire in the Ycuá Bolaños Botánico Supermarket, Asunción, Paraguay, Aug. 1, 2004, killing 400.
- Fire in The Station Nightclub, West Warwick, R.I., Feb. 20, 2003, killing 100.
- Panic evacuation in the E2 Nightclub, Chicago, Feb. 17, 2003, killing 21.
As you can see, the issue of emergency exiting of public assembly occupancies is not unique to the United States. Here are six suggestions that can be easily performed and help your residents decide if the building may be safe.
- Note the location of emergency exits when they enter a building and ensure that there is an adequate number. If the place has only one way in and out, use it at once.
- Ensure that exits are accessible and not locked or blocked. A business owner that allows an exit to be locked or blocked does not deserve anyone's business.
- See if the building has emergency lighting. If they think the room is dark during the performance, wait until the lights go out in an emergency.
- Gauge the size of the crowd. If the place is packed, they may want to go somewhere else — restroom lines alone can be hazardous.
- Be aware of their surroundings. Many assembly occupancies have dim lighting, and in a fire or power failure, it is a good idea to know where they are.
- Watch the alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can impair judgment and motor skills, which can endanger one's ability to get out of a building in an emergency.
The few minutes needed to scan the building are well worth the time and effort. No one ever heads out thinking tragedy may lie just ahead.
Those who make plans in advance are much better prepared than those who do not. Share these thoughts with your family and neighbors.
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.)
Community Watch In Fearrington Village
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 Lieutenant/Special Services
Jonathan (JT) Thomas, Community Service Officer
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. (Callto 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 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.
For questions, comments, or suggestions related to Fearrington Community Watch and/or our Community Watch web content, please feel free to use this easy on-line form. We value your feedback.
All About CodeRED Emergency Notification
What is CodeRED?
Chatham County has contracted with Emergency Communications Network, Inc., of Ormond Beach, Florida, for its “CodeRED” high-speed telephone emergency notification services. The CodeRED system gives county officials the ability to deliver prerecorded emergency high-speed telephone notification / information messages to targeted areas or to the entire county at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour. This is essentially a reverse 911 system, which can only be activated by designated Chatham county Emergency Management officials, and which is only used for rapid emergency notifications. NEW: Beginning on July 01, 2015, Chatham County will start to use the CodeRED system to issue severe weather alerts. This service will be especially important for those who do not have a smartphone for weather apps.
What Kinds of Emergencies?
The County uses CodeRED to alert residents and businesses of public emergencies or to provide disaster-related information, such as evacuation notices, boil water notices, bio-terriorism events, and severe weather alerts, starting on July 01, 2015. When it is activated, you will receive a clear prerecorded message over your telephone or cell phone.
How Else Can I Get Alerts About Dangerous & Severe Weather Conditions?
In April 2013, WRAL-TV released their totally FREE Weather Alert apps for smartphones. You can download the iPhone version or the Android version. You will receive critical weather alerts via voice and push notifications on your smartphone from WRAL and Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel. Your smartphone will “wake up” with alerts and also track your location to warn you wherever you go. Listen to local weather forecasts while you are on the move. Enjoy the power of a NOAA Weather Radio, with all the convenience and precision of a smart phone. GENERAL FEATURES include:
- Precise Location Alerts. This app ensures you receive an alert only if your device or saved locations fall inside a watch/warning box. That means you aren’t disturbed by alarms not relevant to your location.
- Control: You also have complete control over what types of alerts you receive through your app. Pick just the type of alerts you want from a list.
- Follow Me: Follow me is a critical feature if you are on the go. This app will alert you if you are driving in an area when a watch/warning is issued, without you having to do anything.
- Battery Management: This app uses iOS Location Services to strike a balance between location accuracy and battery usage.
- Audio: This app provides audio alerts in the form of beeps followed by a brief description of the alert type
Other Weather Alert Options: For weather-related alerts and warnings, the County advises residents and businesses to rely on weather alert radios tuned to the National Weather Service (NWS) frequencies, weather coverage on commercial radio and television news and weather programs, and on phone, email, or text messaging weather alert services. Some such services are available free (such as phone and text message alerts from The Weather Channel); however, most are fee-based services, such as the popular $8.00/year phone alert subscription from WRAL-TV's WEATHER CALL, which is based on doppler radar reports and can reference conditions in your own immediate neighborhood.
Do I Need to Register for CodeRED?
The CodeRED administrator for Chatham County has informed us that if you have landline phone service from a telephone company serving this area, you will be automatically enrolled in the CodeRED system. If, for some reason, you do not wish to be enrolled, you must opt-out by completing, signing, and returning this CodeRED Do Not Call Release Form. If you are unsure whether you are properly registered, click on the large Notification Enrollment banner below and see if you are recognized. If you are not recognized, then create a new registration.
If you have a cell phone and wish to include that number to be notified, your cell number will not be automatically registered in this system. You must register cell numbers yourself. Required information includes first and last name, street address, city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. You must provide your actual street address; do not enter Fearrington Post addresses. To register, click on the large Notification Enrollment banner below.
If your phone service is either pure VoIP or Cable VoIP, your phone number will not be automatically registered in this system.You must register VoIP and cable service phone numbers yourself. Required information includes first and last name, street address, city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. You must provide your actual street address; do not enter Fearrington Post addresses.To register, click on the large Notification Enrollment banner below.
This phone system is only as good as the telephone database supporting it. In other words, if your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called. The CodeRED system not only offers faster calling rates and improved message delivery, it also gives individuals and businesses the ability to add and/or to update their own phone numbers directly to the system’s telephone database. Emergency Operations Director Janet Scott emphasizes that this is an extremely important feature. If you register yourself, you must provide your actual street address; do not enter Fearrington Post addresses.
Register for CodeRED by clicking on this logo.
We understand that the County CodeRED system was first activated about three years ago when a Fearrington resident turned up missing after setting out for a walk from his home to the Pool & Croquet mail kiosk and back. A number of the CERT members who had received the call organized to help find him. He was found -- he had become disoriented and had gone into the woods, fell in the creek and was unable to get up.
Recently, it was activated again, when the Chatham County Sheriff's Department triggered an alert for areas around our community to advise citizens that a person who was being held in detention had escaped into the woods and requesting that anyone who might site this person notify them immediately and take no other action themselves.
To register, you may also call the Chatham County Emergency Opeartions office at 919-545-8163, Monday through Friday (8AM – 5PM) to provide this information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address only, no Post Office Boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number. If you receive the message "we are unable to automatically identify your address" while attempting to register online, enter your email address at the bottom of the page and submit. CodeRed will enter the information manually and send an email to you when complete.
If you are not registered with CodeRED, please consider doing so immediately. It's easy. Just click on the Community Notification Enrollment banner located just above on this page.
On-Line Security for All Ages
This cyber safety and security page will be updated frequently with alerts and advice. If you have comments or questions and/or suggestions to contribute to this mission, please use this convenient on-line form to submit them. We will get back to you promptly.
Increasingly, community safety and security is coming to include being safe on-line as well as in the more traditional venues and ways we have all thought about safe communities. Computers are excellent home invasion devices. They contain a lot of information someone else can use to take advantage of anyone, to steal information of value, to stalk a person, etc., and many of us are all too trusting and/or all too poorly informed of the risks and how to guard against them.
The Fearrington Community Watch program includes the responsibility to help village residents be more aware of such risks and how to "harden themselves" by being more aware, more cautious, and less willing to post and submit all kinds of very personal information into the cybersphere with scant concern. Anything posted cannot be retrieved, and you forfeit almost all control over what may be done with the information. Worst of all, the rise of powerful social aggregation sites has opened the door to invasion ever wider at the same time that it has made shopping and sharing so much with friends and others so easy to do. There is a downside to the upside.
Computer SCAM Still Circulating
Community Watch Reminder -- This SCAM is still circulating: Someone may call you claiming to be from Microsoft, Apple, or a private tech support center. They are telling people there has been a security breech and they need to access your home computer to fix the problem. They tell people that if they don’t allow them to access computer to fix the breech, their private information will be compromised, or they may lose all their saved data. Sometimes they ask for money and some claim to be doing it on behalf of the software company for free.
Please advise anyone receiving such a call not to grant the caller any access to their computer and certainly not to provide a charge card number, or pay them anything. If you have any questions contact Chatham County Sheriff's Detective Mike Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-542-2911.
11 Simple Steps to Secure Your PC and On-Line Accounts
Data breaches, hacks, and vulnerable software makes it easier than ever for a hacker to get access to your data. These simple steps can help mitigate it happening in the first place. Read about them here.
Do You Rely On Your Smartphone To Keep Track Of Just About Everything in Your Life?
That’s convenient — but it leaves you vulnerable. Take a few minutes today and protect yourself by protecting your phone.
Smartphones (and tablets) hold access to a range of private data: information in contacts list, apps with saved passwords or credit card numbers, email with confidential discussions, and more.
Protect yourself. In a recent column in the University Times, Sean Sweeney, the University of Pittsburgh's information security officer, outlined some simple steps you can take.
Here are a few of them:
- Lock it. If you do nothing else, use the passcode feature on your smartphone or tablet and set up the phone to lock after X minutes of inactivity. Yes, it’s one more step. It’s worth it.
- Update. Accept updates to operating systems and enable automatic updates; they include updated security features.
- SIM PIN. In addition to protecting your phone or tablet by locking it with a passcode, you should protect your SIM card with a PIN (personal identification number). While your locked smartphone cannot be used, its SIM card could be removed, placed in a different phone and your information exposed.
- Turn off Bluetooth. An open Bluetooth connection leaves you vulnerable to nearby hackers’ efforts. Turn it off when you’re not actively using the connection. (Bonus: Turning off Bluetooth saves your battery.)
- Open WiFi = vulnerable smartphone. Limit use of public hotspots, and never use public hotspots when accessing personal or sensitive information. Your local coffee shop is not a good place to do online banking or place an order with your credit card.
For more tips on how to keep information on your smartphone or tablet secure, see Sean Sweeney’s “Not If, But When.”
Has Your Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail/Outlook email Account(s) Ever Been Hacked?
Has your email account ever been used by some unauthorized or unknown person to send strange SPAM or phishing email to everyone in your email address book and you ended up having to either change your password to a stronger one (and cross your fingers it too would not be broken) or delete the account altogether and open a new one with a stronger password?
If you have any three of the email services listed at the beginning of this message AND if you have a cell phone that can accept text messages (SMS), then you might want to consider turning on Two-factor Authentication for your email accounts. From the Zone Alarm Security Blog, here is a complete step-by-step explanation of how to do that if you use Gmail, Yahoo, and/or Hotmail/Outlook for your email: http://goo.gl/pMBu50
What Apps Have Access to Your Facebook and Twitter?
When was the last time you have checked to see what apps have access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts? If you are like most Internet users, you are probably long overdue for a cleanup. From the Zone Alarm Security Blog, here is a complete step-by-step explanation of how <b>and why</b> to do an audit (how to check) and set those security setting for both services. An audit will let you review all the apps on your account and determine if they should still have access.
On-Line Information Aggregators: A Privacy and Security Threat
During his presentation on Fraud and Security at the FHA Open Board Meeting on January 19, 2012, Deputy White from the Chatham Count Sheriff's Department talked about the privacy and security problems related to social network aggregator sites such as SPOKEO. These sites aggregate data from many online and offline sources (such as phone directories, social networks, photo albums, marketing surveys, mailing lists, government censuses, real estate listings, and business websites).
This aggregated data may include demographic data, social profiles, and estimated property and wealth values AND it is sold and shared with ANYONE who is willing to pay small fess (such as $30 - 40+, depending on what sort of data they are seeking). This can be a serious issue, and he encourages everyone to learn more about these aggregators and the serious personal security issue they generate.
We suggest that you read about such sites by visiting this link as a starting point. Then, if you are concerned about having so much intimate private details available on-line, consider the various ways to opt out as well as ways to keep your information more private. The best way to remain private is not to post much personal information on-line, especially in social networking sites such as Facebook (by far the site with the largest number of users). Start by reading here.
All the growing concern has spawned a new on-line industry devoted to protecting your privacy and reputation. One of the largest of these new businesses is Reputation.com. You may have heard their ads on NPR's All Things Considered program. They offer a free service sweeping the Internet constantly to gather information about you and to report to you what they find. The report is free; however, if you want them to try to remove the information, they charge. Sometimes, you are able to act to get some of it removed yourself.
2012 - 2013 Predicted to See Huge Increases in Cyber Crimes and Scams
FBI ALERT: Issued January 06, 2012:
This is a bona fide, legitimate alert; not one of those we all often receive when someone passes along a cyber legacy urban legend, which they thought was real. Follow the links for the specific details.
A new variant of the notorious Zeus identity-theft Trojan is making the rounds and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says it is capable of defeating common methods of user authentication employed by financial institutions.
The latest strain of the ID-theft malware, called Gameover, begins as a phishing scheme with spam e-mails — purportedly from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), the Federal Reserve Bank, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) — that leads to malware infection and eventual access to the victim’s bank account. Learn how this Trojan could affect you.
For up-to-date information about cyber scams, go to the FBI website and sign up for e-mail alerts.
If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by filing a complaint. This will help to track down cyber criminals.
For more information on e-scams, frauds, and phishing schemes, please visit the following FBI sites. They are excellent and valuable resources, and good starting points for digger deeper.
- FBI's New E-Scams and Warnings Page (Updated frequently)
- FBI's Common Frauds Victimizing Seniors Page
- FBI's Common Fraud Schemes Page
- FBI Warning: Complicated New Phishing Scheme
It is hereby resolved by the FHA Board of Directors that the display of political signs on the private property of Fearrington residents is prohibited earlier than 45 days before the day of the election and later than 7 days after an election day.
THIS DOCUMENT REGULATES OR PROHIBITS THE DISPLAY OF POLITICAL SIGNS
It is hereby resolved by the FHA Board of Directors that the display of political signs on the common areas, easements, and rights-of-way in Fearrington Village is prohibited at all times with the exception of polling places in Fearrington Village under NC law.
THIS DOCUMENT REGULATES OR PROHIBITS THE DISPLAY OF POLITICAL SIGNS
Resolved: April 25, 2012