FEMA Urges Gulf Coast Residents to Prepare for Tropical Storm Karen

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Release date: 
October 4, 2013
Release Number: 
HQ-13-111

FEMA also Monitoring Potential Severe Weather in the Central U.S.

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its national response coordination center in Washington, DC and its regional offices in Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Denton, Texas and Kansas City, Mo., is monitoring the conditions of Tropical Storm Karen, and the potential for severe weather in the Central U.S., including severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and hail.

“Residents in areas forecasted for potential severe weather are encouraged to monitor local conditions, review their family emergency plans, and follow the direction of local officials,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “FEMA is staying in close contact with states and local partners and is poised to provide support, if needed.”

Based on applicable legal requirements and consistent with its contingency plan, FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees necessary to serve functions of the agency that protect life and property as they prepare for potential landfall of Tropical Storm Karen and the severe weather in the Central U.S., including parts of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. More than 100 FEMA employees have been recalled from furlough to support response efforts.

FEMA has recalled from furlough and today deployed three incident management assistance teams (IMAT) to potentially affected states. Each IMAT is supported by its defense coordinating element staffed by the Department of Defense.  Liaison officers have also been recalled and are currently positioned in emergency operations centers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi to assist with the coordination of planning and response operations. Regional response coordination centers in Atlanta, Ga. and Denton, Texas are also activated and those in Chicago, Ill. and Kansas City, Mo., are at an enhanced watch. Additional teams are on standby and available for deployment as needed and requested.

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, including in the Gulf Coast region, that are available to state and local partners if needed and requested.  FEMA has recalled staff from furlough to activate our distribution center in Atlanta, Ga.

According to the National Weather Service, a hurricane watch is in effect for Grand Isle, La. to west of Destin, Fla. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within in the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Morgan City, La. to the mouth of the Pearl River.  A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.  Tropical storm watches are in effect for metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Maurepas, Lake Pontchartrain and from Destin to Indian Pass, Fla.  A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible, generally within 48 hours.  

Residents in potentially affected areas are encouraged to:

  • Follow the instructions of local officials. Local officials make decisions on evacuations, shelter openings or sheltering in place.
  • Have important supplies ready to sustain you and your family, if needed. This includes water, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone charger, medicines, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast – Monitor local radio and TV reports, as well as forecasts from the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service.

For more information on preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit www.Ready.gov or www.listo.gov. Information regarding emergency preparedness and what to do before and after a disaster can also be found at m.fema.gov or by downloading the FEMA app from your smartphone’s app store.

Follow FEMA online at blog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema

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.

Last Updated: 
October 4, 2013 - 17:31
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