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Prepare for Flooding as Hurricane Florence Approaches

Release date: 
September 12, 2018
Release Number: 

PHILADELPHIA – As Hurricane Florence approaches the coastal United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging those in low lying and flood-risk areas to plan and prepare for potential flooding. Hurricane Florence is forecast to result in potentially catastrophic coastal and inland flooding, and individuals, families, and communities should prepare for flooding in their area.

As of 11:00 AM EDT September 12, 2018, Florence is a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast. Florence is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h). Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. “Hurricane Florence is a very dangerous storm, and we expect significant flooding across multiple states from this storm,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “Whether you live along the coast or inland, flooding could impact your community. Plan now, and take steps to protect you and your family, including moving to higher ground if you live in a high-risk area.” Continue to follow the guidance of local and state officials regarding evacuations, shelter-in-place, and other decisions to keep you and your loved ones safe.

This graphic shows a white car driving on a black road, with rain falling around it. The background is dark blue and the car's headlights are on. The heading,
<p>This graphic is called "3 Fast Flood Facts," and features tips on how to stay safe during flooding. The text reads as follows:</p> Download Original

Flood Safety Tips:

  • It is crucial that residents and visitors in the areas that will be affected by Florence listen to and follow the instructions of local, state and tribal officials.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Several mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders were ordered Tuesday.
  • It is crucial to pay attention to the instructions of local officials.
  • Monitor road conditions to see which roads are open and closed. If you need to travel, plan your route ahead of time to ensure you arrive safely.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website for weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • If you are at risk of flooding, be aware of quickly moving water and flooded roads.
  • Do not drive around barricades, or through high water.
  • Remember, if you encounter flooded roadways, Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • If you live near a dam, follow the guidance of local officials and stay tuned for any updates should flooding occur in your area.
    • If told to leave, do so quickly.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
  • Be prepared for extended power outages – charge your devices, have supplies such as flashlights and water on hand, and stay safe. Do not operate generators inside your home.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

For more information on how to prepare, visit or check with your local, state, or tribal officials for official guidance.


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 Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at and Follow us on Twitter at


Last Updated: 
September 12, 2018 - 17:24