FEMA Response Update: Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Storm Beta, Hurricane Sally and Western Wildfires

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
September 22, 2020

WASHINGTON - FEMA continues to support our federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners by mobilizing teams and supplies to support a state-managed, locally executed response to Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf of Mexico, impacts from Hurricane Teddy as it moves north along the East Coast, response efforts to Hurricane Sally in the Gulf Coast and the wildfires in the West. Tropical Storm Beta made landfall last night just north of Port O’Connor, Texas, and is expected to stall inland today then begin to move slowly along the coast of Texas through Wednesday with expected isolated storm totals up to 20 inches. Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy is centered off the northeastern U.S. coast, and is expected to transition to a powerful post-tropical cyclone as it moves near or over portions of Atlantic Canada late today through Thursday.

FEMA urges anyone in the forecast path of the storms to monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and heed local evacuation orders.

Tropical Storm Beta is forecast to bring additional rainfall of 6 to 12 inches with isolated storm totals up to 20 inches expected. Significant flash and urban flooding is occurring and will continue today, we urge everyone to stay focused on safety and encourage to practice the following:

  • Do not return until local officials tell you it is safe to do so. If you have been ordered to shelter in place, please do so until advised it is safe.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water, and other hidden hazards. 
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers can get through.
  • Check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Property and business owners and renters and with a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for property in communities where the general condition of flooding in the area exists or officials have issued evacuation orders can take protective action to minimize flood damage and losses to their buildings and personal property before a flood occurs under the “flood loss avoidance” provision.
    • ​These actions may include sandbags (including the sand to fill them), backfill to create temporary levees, water pumps, plastic sheeting and lumber used in connection with any of these items and the cost of labor.

Response efforts continue along the Gulf Coast, as President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Alabama to provide assistance to the state and survivors of Hurricane Sally. Damage assessments and restoration efforts continue with the federal government fully postured to support state requests for assistance as required, FEMA continues to support the states impacted by Hurricane Sally with commodities, which are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • Over 4 million liters of bottled water
  • 3.2 million meals
  • 289,000 blankets
  • 117,000 tarps
  • 52,500 blue roof sheeting
  • 6,500 cots
  • 23 generators

FEMA has two Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) deployed in response to Hurricane Sally. One team is deployed to Alabama and one to Florida. FEMA also deployed three Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles, one to Alabama and two are in Florida to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed.

As of today, 87 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of Hurricane Sally.

  • National Guard Bureau teams, including search and rescue and logistics operators, are staged throughout the affected areas.
  • Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from the Department of Defense are deployed in support of Florida.

President Trump approved Emergency Declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sally across the Gulf Coast.

Although Sally has moved offshore, there are still risks in areas impacted by the storm. Anyone in the forecast path of the storm should monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and follow evacuation orders from local officials.

  • State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.
  • Alabama residents should call or text 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • The American Red Cross (ARC) is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the ARC website.
  • Individuals in Alabama and Mississippi impacted by Sally may register for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators or while removing debris. Never use generatwww.ors indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
  • If you have been evacuated do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
  • Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Alabama and Florida should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Remember to stay safe, whether you’re a responder or survivor. Wear a mask in public settings especially when social distancing is not possible, and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • FEMA will conduct remote home inspections to expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to applicants based on their eligibility due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans.

If your property has been flooded due to Hurricane Sally or Tropical Storm Beta, call your insurance agent or company to file a claim. Be sure to ask about advance payments. FEMA has nearly $7 billion available to pay flood claims. The agency also has the authority to borrow another $10 billion for claims if necessary.

  • Have the name of your insurance company, your policy number and a telephone number or email address where you can be reached when you place your call.
  • If you need help finding your insurance agent, carrier or policy number, call the Flood Insurance call center at 877-336-2627.
  • Insurance agents and claims adjusters will work closely with you on your claim. With a remote adjustment, it may take several hours or more to document damage. During that time, you'll work with your adjuster to take high-quality photos and detailed measurements.
  • You should also discuss with your adjuster what your policy covers, ask any questions you may have about the claims process and determine your next steps.
  • For additional information, visit floodsmart.gov/start.


FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for wildfires in the West. These commodities are available to each affected state, based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • 227,000 liters of bottled water
  • 208,896 meals
  • 54,735 blankets
  • 6,092 cots
  • Hygiene kits, commonly used shelter items and 27 generators are also staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.

FEMA has obligated more than $18 million in mission assignments and is processing 61 active resource requests in support of Oregon and California. FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are on the ground in California supporting survivor registrations and inquiries. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams have been deployed to Oregon and one team is deployed to California to support state operations.

As of today, 496 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of western wildfires.

  • FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) specialists will be in each Oregon Individual Assistance declared county by Sept. 23.
  • Three Mobile Communication Vehicles (MCVs) have been requested to support field operations. 
  • FEMA Disability Integration and Civil Rights staff are collaborating to ensure DSA and MCV operations are accessible.
  • Housing inspectors and quality control inspectors are completing inspections in all eight Oregon Individual Assistance declared counties.
  • A Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Incident Management Team is operational in on alert.
  • Health and Human Services Mortuary Affairs are deployed to Oregon to provide technical assistance.
  • Two Health and Human Services Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams assessment team deployed to provide forensic assessment and support for US&R in Jackson county in Oregon. 
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA) subject matter expertise, including sourcing available animal response equipment, deployment of one animal care and two (virtual) food and nutrition service subject matter experts to support pet and feeding operations, and deployment of one Veterinary Services IMT Incident Commander to support Oregon Department of Agriculture’s animal and agricultural response coordination. 
  • Civil Air Patrol is capturing aerial imagery today for infrastructure sorties, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is processing current collected imagery.

President Trump approved Major Disaster Declarations for California and Oregon to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to ongoing wildfires throughout the Western U.S. Registration is open for those affected by wildfires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties in Oregon. Apply by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 800-621-3362 or using the FEMA app.

  • Do not wait for a disaster recovery center or other fixed location to register for assistance.
  • Save your receipts and take photos before you begin the clean-up process. Documentation of losses will help FEMA process your claim.
  • Disaster assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Public safety is the No.1 priority: residents in at-risk areas should follow local officials’ instructions and be ready to take action.

  • If you are in a safe place, you can help by staying home and off the road. Due to changes to the landscape, even areas that are not traditionally flood prone are at risk of flash flooding and becoming unsafe,
  • If you are in an evacuation zone, heed warnings, and follow local official recommendations without delay.
  • Stay informed by calling 2-1-1 or 866-698-6155. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211). You can also visit wildfire.oregon.gov for the latest information and resources available to those affected by wildfires.
  • Know your evacuation levels! Level 1 - Be Ready. Level 2 - Be Set. Level 3 - Leave Immediately. DO NOT return the fire area until officials give the OK.
  • For a list of temporary shelters, see the Red Cross Oregon website.
  • If you are affected by the Oregon wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss homeowner insurance policies and wildfire coverage.  The Oregon Insurance Commission has insurance resources available online.
  • Please register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Visit ORVOAD.org to find out how to help Oregonians and donate to response organizations.
  • Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing, and wash hands frequently. 
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters. Call SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a trained crisis counselor.

 For additional preparedness information on all types of disasters, visit Ready.gov and download the FEMA app.

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