Biden-Harris Administration Urges Public to Prepare for Hurricane Lee, Stands Ready to Support

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Release Date:
September 15, 2023

WASHINGTON -- On Sept. 14, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved an emergency declaration for Maine, which allows for federal assistance to supplement the state’s response efforts ahead of potential effects from Hurricane Lee. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell spoke with the governors of Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the leadership of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to discuss their preparedness efforts and offer support if needed. 

The National Hurricane Center forecasts tropical storm conditions across portions of coastal New England this evening. Rainfall from the storm could produce localized urban and small stream flooding.

Residents and visitors in potentially affected areas should learn their evacuation routes now, have a family emergency communications plan, charge their devices and batteries and ensure they are receiving emergency alerts. We encourage everyone that may be affected by Hurricane Lee to check on their neighbors, especially those who are older adults or may need additional assistance.

FEMA is working closely with more than a dozen federal agencies to coordinate a whole-of-government response to serve residents and communities in the potentially affected areas. 

Federal actions include: 

  • Three Urban Search and Rescue teams are staged -- two in New Hampshire and one in Rhode Island -- to provide support at the request of the states. 
  • FEMA deployed three Incident Management Assistance Teams to the affected region and has supplies pre-staged in the area if needed.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has staff on the ground to assist.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in close coordination with the states’ health departments.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing the latest advisory and maritime warning updates at
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has deployed an emergency power team to provide technical assistance and generator assessments.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is monitoring conditions carefully and is providing real-time flight updates at
  • The U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron -- “hurricane hunters” -- has been capturing key images of Hurricane Lee as it approaches New England. 
  • The American Red Cross has deployed disaster teams and supplies, including 25 shelter teams and 40 emergency vehicles. Additional volunteers, emergency supplies and blood products are on standby.
  • The Salvation Army has personnel and supplies prepared, including its “canteen” truck that provides water, comfort and hot meals for 1,200 to 2,500 people.

Prepare Now for Hurricane Lee 

Be prepared for flooding and power outages from Hurricane Lee.

  • Gather Supplies: Supplies for your household should include food, water, medication, disinfectant supplies and pet supplies
  • Evacuating: If you are in potentially affected areas, you should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a family emergency communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have plans for your family members and pets. If you have disabilities, you may need to take additional steps to plan for both your needs and that of your service animal. 
  • 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.
  • Get Emergency Alerts: Sign up to receive weather alerts in your community and stay updated on the latest weather news from the National Weather Service. You can also download the free FEMA App for alerts and updates. 
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