WASHINGTON – As three separate weather systems threaten the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific, FEMA continues working with our state, commonwealth, tribal and local emergency management partners and is ready to assist with any federal resource requests.
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor has been in contact with National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham about the tropical activity and predictions. He also contacted both Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ahead of Hurricane Douglas and Tropical Storm Hanna to discuss federal coordination efforts and available support, especially with heightened alerts around COVID-19.
FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington D.C., remains activated at a Level 1 for COVID-19 response efforts and is integrating hurricane response into the ongoing activities. FEMA staff were already in both Hawaii and Texas prior to these tropical systems.
Hawaii In addition to FEMA staff already in place, FEMA’s Region 9 Incident Management Assistance Team of 13 personnel, and an Urban Search and Rescue team along with an additional support team with more than 50 personnel are deploying to Hawaii ahead of Hurricane Douglas. Logistics support and communication teams are also deploying with approximately 20 personnel.
FEMA’s distribution center on Oahu has meals, water, cots, blankets, tents, emergency generators, tarps, plastic sheeting and other life-saving and life-sustaining items to assist the state and counties if the state requests resources. FEMA maintains a staging management team in Hawaii to assist in movement of commodities and equipment. More than 5 million meals and 1.2 million liters of water are on the island, which is above historic stock levels.
Additional search and rescue teams are operational and ready to be deployed from Riverside, California.
Texas FEMA staff are already in Austin working COVID-19 response missions. Additionally, FEMA’s Region 6 Incident Management Assistance Team will deploy Saturday to provide support to the state ahead of Tropical Storm Hanna. No evacuation orders have been issued by local or state officials, but Texas has search and rescue teams on standby.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands FEMA continues to monitor Tropical Storm Gonzalo and remains in close contact with officials in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We encourage all residents to follow the direction of local and territorial officials.
Residents Should Take Precautions Now Tropical weather has the capacity to cause significant infrastructure damage to power, water and road systems. Residents in any areas that may be affected by these storms should pay attention to local officials and follow their instructions
FEMA also reminds everyone to please follow COVID-19 safety measures and local public health guidance. Check on neighbors and family members who may need help finalizing preparations. The actions you take now can save lives and reduce damage.
Visit Ready.gov for additional information on steps you can take now before a storm occurs. Earlier this year, the Ready Campaign released new videos and graphics about being prepared for various disasters during the coronavirus. Those items are available in English and Spanish.
Download the FEMA App (English and Spanish) for more preparedness tips, shelter information and weather alerts. Some tips include:
- When the power goes out due to the storm, expect it to be out for many days.
- Residents are encouraged to have supplies for up to several days, including: prescription medication, items to care for infants and toddlers, pet supplies, water and non-perishable food.
- Individuals should refresh their emergency supply kits with non-perishable food and water, prescriptions, flashlights and portable radios, extra batteries and other items.
- Residents, tourists and visitors in the path of a tropical storm must heed all emergency guidance provided by local officials.
- People living in coastal and low-lying areas (including those protected by levee systems) should expect to evacuate to safer ground when ordered.
- Have your evacuation plan ready, and if ordered by local officials, EVACUATE!