FEMA Urges Residents in the Florida Keys and Coastal Areas to Take Steps to Prepare

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Release date: 
August 25, 2012
Release Number: 
HQ-12-078

FEMA and Federal Partners Continue to Monitor Tropical Storm Isaac

WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners, through the FEMA Regional Headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and Denton, Texas, continue to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and remain in close coordination with local officials and emergency management partners in Florida, and other southeastern and Gulf Coast states.  According to NOAA’s National Weather Service at 11:00 a.m., Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane tomorrow as the storm approaches the Florida Keys and parts of Florida. 

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Florida Keys (including the Dry Tortugas), the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach southward to Ocean Reef, and for Florida Bay.  A Hurricane Watch also is in effect for the Florida east coast from Golden Beach southward to Ocean Reef.   A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Florida east coast from Sebastian Inlet southward to Ocean Reef, and for Lake Okeechobee. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Florida east coast north of Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach, and for the Florida West Coast north of Bonita Beach to Tarpon Springs.

“As Tropical Storm Isaac moves closer to Florida, local residents need to be prepared,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “FEMA and its federal partners remain in close coordination with states and tribal governments across the Southeast as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to move out of the Caribbean. Residents in this area should make sure to listen to local officials for updates and information. Check your family plans and emergency supplies, review your evacuation routes and remember that evacuation orders come from local officials. Visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov for more information. FEMA stands ready to support states and tribal governments, if necessary.”

Today, FEMA deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to the Louisiana emergency operations center, and on Thursday, the Agency deployed a liaison to the Florida emergency operations center to assist the state with coordination and any potential requests for assistance. Other teams have been identified and will be mobilized as needed and requested.  FEMA has distribution centers in Atlanta, Ga., and Denton, Texas, and in coordination with U.S. Northern Command, has prepositioned supplies closer to potentially affected areas if needed.  At all times, FEMA maintains commodities including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories, to support states if needed and requested. 

While tropical storms are unpredictable, FEMA encourages those in the possible path of the storm to prepare now. This includes putting together a family emergency plan and emergency kit.  Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include: one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio; flashlight and extra batteries; and First Aid kit.  Having a kit can help area residents better weather the storm. Additional preparedness information can be found at Ready.gov and Listo.gov.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends coastal residents include food safety as part of their preparedness plans.  Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of food borne illness. USDA food safety tips include having a cooler on hand to keep refrigerator food cold in case of power outage, and to group food together in the freezer; this helps the food stay cold longer. Additional food safety preparedness tips can be found at USDA Food Safety Inspection Service’s website www.fsis.usda.gov.

FEMA encourages residents to familiarize themselves with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard.  A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.  A Hurricane Watch, in this case, means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 24-36 hours.  A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.  A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours. 

As is always the case, local officials make decisions on issuing evacuation orders, so FEMA advises residents to remember to listen to the direction of their local officials, and to learn where evacuation routes and sheltering locations are located, in case evacuation orders are given.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
August 25, 2012 - 13:43
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