PHILADELPHIA – As Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen and make its way towards the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging everyone to prepare for potential impacts from the storm. As the Mid-Atlantic continues to manage rain events related to the remnants of Gordon, everyone should prepare for potential power outages, road closures, damages from the storm, flooding, and other hazards.
As of 11:00 AM EST September 10, 2018, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday, with potential impacts to the East Coast by Thursday night. “The Mid-Atlantic is already saturated from previous rain events – this storm has the potential to cause devastating flooding throughout the region,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “Be prepared to evacuate if asked to do so by local officials and be ready for extended power outages by having several days’ of supplies on hand. Do not wait to prepare.”
Below are some safety tips for power outages and flooding. Take time to prepare yourselves, your families, and others for this storm and stay tuned for the latest information from your local officials.
Power Outage Preparation
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, including personal medical equipment.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems, including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
- Monitor weather reports for the latest on the storm’s forecast.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Check on your neighbors – make sure they are safe and prepared.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
- Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
- Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding. Evacuate if told to do so, move to higher ground or a higher floor, or stay where you are.
- Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- Listen to Emergency Alert System (EAS), NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. 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.