WASHINGTON – As Tropical Storm Dorian approaches, FEMA urges people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to listen to government officials on the islands and complete final preparations now.
Dorian is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds to communities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands still working to recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria. Residents should take this storm seriously as even smaller and less severe storms could have significant impacts.
Now is the Time to Prepare
A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Puerto Rico. Tropical storm conditions are expected, and hurricane conditions are possible in portions of Puerto Rico on Wednesday. History shows that storm tracks can change quickly. Island residents should closely monitor weather forecasts, follow instructions from commonwealth and local officials, and be prepared to take shelter if ordered to do so.
Follow Instructions from Local Officials
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Puerto Rico residents: for a list of shelters and other important information, visit www.manejodeemergencias.pr.gov or call the Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau at 787-724-0124.
- U.S. Virgin Island residents: for real-time updates on emergencies, register for Alert VI. The link is available on vitema.vi.gov.
Stay Alert and Informed
- Download the FEMA App to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, locate open emergency shelters and community recovery centers, and get additional preparedness information.
- Expect disruptions from utility outages and debris. Government officials urge residents to gather 10-days’ worth of needed supplies.
- Check-in with neighbors if safe to do so. You may be the help they need.
- Avoid flooded areas that can hide hazards such as debris and damaged roads. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Visit Ready.gov and Listo.gov for disaster preparedness information in English and Spanish.
Government Coordinating Efforts to Serve Survivors
An effective disaster response is locally executed, state-managed, and federally supported. FEMA and other federal agencies have staff and commodities in position, ready to support local response efforts as needed.
- Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
- Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) Disaster Emergency Communications are in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Logistics Staging and Transportation Teams are in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support response efforts, if needed.
- Life-sustaining commodities have been pre-positioned throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to enable an even faster response to events in the Caribbean, to include: millions of liters of water and meals, as well as tarps and other necessities.
U.S. Army Corps (USACE)
- USACE has mobilized infrastructure assessment, debris management staff and other experts to Puerto Rico.
- Incident management personnel and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are positioned in Puerto Rico should medical assistance be needed in the Caribbean.
- The Disaster Distress Helpline is available to help cope with stress. To speak with a trained crisis counselor, call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (for Spanish, press 2 or text Hablanos to 66746).
FEMA's mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.twitter.com/FEMAespanol, https://www.facebook.com/FEMA, www.facebook.com/FEMAespanol and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor's activities @FEMA_Pete.
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