We’re closely watching Tropical Storm Debby as she continues to make predicting her path difficult due to conflicting forecast models based on computer simulations. With their latest forecast, officials have indicated that this is a very difficult and highly uncertain forecast. Because of this uncertainty, we are urging residents all along the Gulf to be focusing on their preparedness efforts.
The Administration, through FEMA and our federal, state and local partners is closely monitoring the storm and its potential impacts. We remain in close contact with emergency officials in states all across the gulf coast to ensure there are no unmet needs.
History has proven that tropical systems don’t necessarily follow what forecasters think they would or should do even with sophisticated modeling. Recent examples are Hurricane Jeanne which looped around in the Atlantic before striking Florida in 2004, and Ivan, also in 2004, that managed to make landfall on three occasions.
With the potential changes in the forecast, what do you need to know most? As tropical waves or tropical storms can bring heavy rains and high winds, we urge coastal residents to monitor weather conditions by listening to your local radio and television news outlets, or by listening to NOAA Weather Radio. You can check your local forecast at //www.weather.gov/ & //www.hurricanes.gov/ and on your phone at mobile.weather.gov & www.hurricanes.gov/mobile.
It’s vitally important that you take steps to prepare your property and family, and you should take steps now to get prepared for potential severe weather. Visit Ready.gov/hurricanes (Listo.gov para español) to learn how to prepare your home and family for a hurricane or tropical storm, including building an emergency supply kit and creating a family emergency plan.`
Everyone should also familiarize themselves with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a tropical storm watch or warning is issued in your area. Terms used to describe severe tropical weather include the following:
• A Tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible, in this case within 24 hours.
• A Tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.
• A Hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
• A Hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.
We’ll continue to monitor the storm and provide updates as it warrants, and if you are in the potential areas, please listen to and follow the instructions of local officials. We’ll also provide updates on Twitter and Facebook, so you can follow us there too.