Each year, we witness the devastating impacts that hurricanes can cause. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property.
As Hurricanes Matthew and Harvey remind us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to worry about, but all hurricanes have the ability to cause significant damage.
FEMA and NCEM are committed to safety and preparedness and is calling on you to prepare with us. Knowing your risk, getting prepared, and staying informed are just a few steps you can take to get ready.
Now is the time for everyone on the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a potentially dangerous storm system. Irma is impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are possible. There is an increasing chance of seeing impacts from Irma in parts of Florida and other states later this week.
Update your disaster kit. Make sure to have a three-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water, a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, cash, medicines, a first-aid kit, pet foods and important family documents.
Know your evacuation routes and prepare options for overnight lodging. Storm surge can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area. If you encounter floodwaters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
Develop an emergency communication plan, which includes the telephone number of a family member or friend outside the area—a point of contact—in the event your family is separated when a storm hits.
Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Residents and visitors in areas potentially affected by the severe weather should continue to monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov for more severe weather and hurricane preparedness information and resources.