PHILADELPHIA – Over the past two years, our region has seen numerous major hurricanes and tropical storms. In 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee brought fierce winds, and heavy rains. Last year Hurricane Sandy brought battering storm surge to coastal and bay areas, and heavy snows to inland areas. All areas of our region saw the various effects that hurricanes and tropical storms can have.
As the 2013 Hurricane Season approaches, FEMA Region III continues to proactively work with its state, local, and federal partners to increase preparedness, coordinate response and recovery capabilities, and empower individuals to take an active role in their community’s emergency management team.
Starting on June 1st, hurricane season lasts until November; the greatest potential for storm activity is the months of August and September. A great time for the Whole Community to begin planning for hurricane season is Hurricane Preparedness Week designated May 26 – June 1, 2013.
Everyone should take time to ensure that their family, household, and/or business is properly prepared for a potential hurricane or tropical storm. Residents should also communicate and interact with their local emergency officials. By talking to local officials, citizens gain valuable insight, lend input, and develop relationships for planning and communications before a storm.
FEMA recommends that everyone have enough supplies to last at least 72 hours. Emergency supply kits should include essential items like bottled water, battery-powered radio, flashlight, batteries, medicines, toiletries, non-perishable food items, manual can opener, and first aid supplies. Copy and store your important documents in a waterproof bag. These may include medical records, deeds, leases, banking records, insurance policies, and birth certificates.
When planning, think about the potential needs of everyone in the household during an emergency. If your household includes a person with a disability, an infant, or a senior citizen, be sure to take the necessary steps to assist and make them comfortable during an emergency.
Pets are part of the family too! It is up to pet owners to research pet boarding options and pet friendly emergency shelters within your area in case of an evacuation. Be aware that animals may not always be welcome at some public shelter facilities.
Finally, hurricane season is an appropriate time to assess your risk of flooding and consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Most homeowners’ policies do not cover flooding, so evaluate whether a flood policy is right for you. Don’t delay though, flood insurance policies take thirty days to take effect. To assess flood risk for your home or find a local agent selling national flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov or call toll-free at 888-379-9531.
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 Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.
Media Contact: (215) 931-5597 FEMAR3NewsDesk@fema.dhs.gov