As Tropical Storm Elsa approaches the Mid-Atlantic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging residents and business owners with interests in the Mid-Atlantic to stay aware of the weather and prepare for possible hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, and power outages. It only takes one storm to change your life, and that storm does not necessarily need to be a hurricane to cause damage.
“Tropical storms and hurricanes are not just a coastal threat. They can bring heavy rain, flooding, and damaging winds far enough inland that the entire Mid-Atlantic is at risk of these impacts,” said FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “FEMA is prepared to respond and support Mid-Atlantic communities. You should take steps to know your risk and prepare for severe weather. You can get started by to your phone to get weather alerts from the National Weather Service and view preparedness tips/checklists.”
*Always follow instructions from your local public safety officials during severe weather emergencies.
*If told to seek shelter or evacuate, do so without delay. Do not allow a fear of COVID-19 to prevent you from seeking shelter with others if that is your only option.
*Have several ways to receive warnings/alerts from the National Weather Service. Do not rely on a single source of weather alert information.
*Make a habit of checking the weather regularly. This could be TV news, a weather app on your smartphone, or an online weather service. Visiting and entering your zip code will always give you an accurate forecast and inform you of any hazards in your area.
Take steps to protect yourself and your property:
*Gather food, water, and other emergency supplies for each member of your family. Don’t forget children and pets! Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. For a full list of emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov/kit
*Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies. Consider using a waterproof container to store the copies.
*Declutter drains and gutters to allow water to flow. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups.
*Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
*Check on your neighbors to make sure they are safe and prepared.
*Document your property in advance, including photographs, in case you need to make an insurance claim.
*When sheltering in your home, find an interior room on the lowest possible level and away from windows. Duck and cover under or next to a sturdy object.
*Know Your Zone! Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route and shelter locations.