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FEMA Tracks Henri Effects in the Northeast

Release Date Release Number
HQ-21-168
Release Date:
August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON -- FEMA is tracking the remnants of Henri, as it continues to bring heavy rainfall to portions of the Northeast and New England, which may lead to flash, urban and small stream flooding along with minor to isolated moderate river flooding.

Emergency and Major Declarations

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved an emergency declaration for the state of Rhode Island on Saturday and for the state of Connecticut, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the states of New York and Vermont on Sunday.  The President’s action authorizes FEMA to provide and coordinate all disaster relief efforts, including using equipment, staff and other resources to save lives, protect property and provide funding for evacuation and sheltering.

FEMA staff are also working with Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to ensure the state has all federal resources necessary as search and rescue efforts continue in areas affected by the tragic flooding this weekend. Administrator Criswell held a call last night with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to discuss the state’s needs.

FEMA contines working with its federal, state and local partners as well as non-governmental agencies to support needs of areas affected by Henri. The agency has supplies such as meals, water and generators to assist states with impacts from this system. FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Teams and liaison officers are in place. Other teams remain on standby for deployment if necessary.

Residents and visitors to these areas are encouraged to remain vigilant to continuing threats from this storm, including high rainfall totals and extended power outages.

Download the free FEMA app (available in English and Spanish) to receive emergency alerts and real-time safety notifications, emergency preparedness tips and disaster resources. The app is available for Apple and Android devices. Visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov for tips to stay safe before, during and after a disaster.

Federal and Non-Governmental Organization Response

  • Temporary Emergency Power Teams are in place to support state needs. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that electric companies in the path of Henri activated their emergency response plans and continue to pre-position equipment, resources and thousands of mutual assistance workers from at least 31 states, the District of Columbia and Canada to assist in storm response as conditions allow. ​ 
  • Mobile Emergency Response Support and Mobile Communications and Operation Vehicles have deployed to support communications needs as they arise.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) search and rescue teams are prepared to help those in need following Henri. USCG is also tracking port conditions and will assess needs as conditions permit. 
  • Urban Search and Rescue teams are deployed or standing by to support areas affected by Henri.
  • The National Guard Bureau and Department of Defense have aircraft and high-water vehicles available in affected states.
  • American Red Cross shelters remain open throughout the affected areas.

Report Damages and Stay Safe During Clean-Up

  • Report your flood loss and damage immediately. Contact your insurance agent or carrier and be sure to ask them about advance payments. For help finding your insurance agent or carrier, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-336-2627.
  • Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.

Stay Safe During Power Outages

  • Use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices should never be used inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. These should only be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. 
  • Use a generator safely. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
  • Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.
  • Power Outages can impact the safety of food in your refrigerator and freezer.
    • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary.
    • Throw away any food that has been exposed to a temperature of 40°Fahrenheit (4° Celsius) or higher for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
    • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, heat-resistant bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly.

Keep Yourself Safe Before and After Flooding

  • Stay off the roads: Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Check on neighbors who may require assistance if it is safe to do so. This includes individuals with infants, children as well as older adults, people with disabilities and others with access and functional need.
  • Don’t drive through flood waters: Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay out of floodwater. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines or contain hazards such as human and livestock waste, dangerous debris, contaminates that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.

 

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Last updated August 23, 2021