WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, through its regional offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Denton, Texas; Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, is closely monitoring the storm system that is forecast to affect the upper Ohio Valley southward to the central Gulf Coast and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast coast.
FEMA has been in touch with its state counterparts, and also is in close contact with federal partners at the National Weather Service. The severe weather is forecast to include the threat of widespread damaging winds, along with the possibility of tornadoes, through the evening and overnight hours.
Although there have been no requests for federal assistance at this time, FEMA encourages all individuals in areas where severe weather is expected to monitor NOAA Weather Radio, and local news for severe weather updates and warnings and to always follow the direction provided by local officials. When natural disasters like severe weather and tornadoes strike, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups who provide emergency assistance required to protect the public's health and safety and to meet immediate human needs.
Everyone should become familiar with the terms used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Some of the more common terms used to describe severe weather and tornado hazards include the following:
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.
- Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
- Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
For a complete listing of weather-related forecasts in your area, visit www.weather.gov
If you are in an area that is in the track of the storm system but has not yet been affected by the severe weather, it’s never too early to prepare:
- Keep up to date with local conditions – Follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit www.weather.gov (http://mobile.weather.gov on your phone) for the latest forecast.
- Check your family’s emergency supply kit – Make sure you have food, water, medications, and other necessities to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. This includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone charger, medicines, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies.
- Listen to the instructions of local officials. Local officials make decisions on sheltering in place or going to your pre-designated safe meeting location.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
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.