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Prepare for Hurricane Florence Impacts in Mid-Atlantic

Release date: 
September 14, 2018
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PHILADELPHIA – As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III is urging those in the potential storm’s path to prepare for flooding and extensive rain through the weekend into next week. Take steps to prepare yourself and your loved ones for potentially heavy rain in areas already inundated from previous rain events.

At 05:00 AM EDT on September 14, 2018, Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h). On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds have remain near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight. “It is too early to breathe a sigh of relief with this storm,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “There will be impacts, including heavy rain in already saturated areas, so we are asking people to remain vigilant, know your flood risk, and take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your property.” Take steps to be safe, and follow the guidance of your local officials when it comes to changes in the forecast and potential impacts from Hurricane Florence.

Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (right) addresses the FEMA Incident Management Teams in the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Emergency Operations Center following his press conference and Hurricane Florence briefing. Photo courtesy of Jack Mayer.
<p>Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (right) addresses the FEMA Incident Management Teams in the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Emergency Operations Center following his press conference and Hurricane Florence briefing.</p> Download Original

Residents in the potential storms’ path should:

  • Stay safe and take shelter.  Everyone should be making final preparations this morning as Hurricane Florence moves towards the United States.
  • Communicate with friends and family. Tell them where you are riding out the storm, and how you will let them know you’re safe. You can call, text, email, or use social media.
  • Stay informed. Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website for weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Keep away from windows. Close storm shutters; flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Prepare for power outages. Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting, and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to check food temperature when the power is restored.

FEMA Support to the Mid-Atlantic

Since last week, FEMA Region III has been supporting Virginia, Delaware, Washington, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. On Monday, September 10, 2018 Region III activated their Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC), bringing in staff to support and coordinate with our state partners as we tracked Hurricane Florence. This includes critical support from multiple other federal agencies, nonprofits, the private sector, and others to support the needs of those who may be impacted by Florence.

FEMA continues to work with federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and other partners to prepare for the potential impacts. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams are in Virginia, working jointly with the Commonwealth to support readiness and response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs. FEMA has Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams and the U.S. Coast Guard positioned in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia to quickly mobilize to support search and rescue efforts as requested by potentially affected states. FEMA has mobile communications resources in Virginia with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support states’ emergency response communications needs.

In addition, FEMA has prepositioned at Fort Lee and Fort A.P. Hill:

  • 200 trucks carrying meals, water, generators and other commonly used shelter items
  • A United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Power Restoration team at A.P. Hill
  • Fuel trucks, including a high water capable truck
  • Six US&R Teams that are water capable
  • 100 ambulances with approximately 400 paramedic and general medical staff members

As Hurricane Florence approaches, the chance for extensive inland flooding remains high for already saturated areas. FEMA encourages those in the Mid-Atlantic to stay aware of this storm and take actions to be safe as Florence makes landfall.


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 15, 2018 - 12:10