WASHINGTON -- Today marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released the 2021 outlook, which predicts another active season.
No matter what the hurricane season outlook predicts, it’s important to remember that it only takes one storm to devastate a community. Now is the time to prepare your home and your family. Remember, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem, so it’s important to know the risks where you live: rain, wind and flooding could happen far from the coast.
“FEMA’s mission to help people before, during and after disasters has never been more critical, given our shared experience during this pandemic,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Even if you’re experiencing disaster fatigue due to your experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, we all must use the lessons learned from it to prepare for potential disasters on the horizon.”
Although FEMA has had a very busy year supporting President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mission and other disasters, the agency is ready to handle future disasters.
“More than 20,000 FEMA employees across the nation stand ready to support our state, local, tribal and territorial partners in hurricane prone areas to provide any help they may need to protect lives and property,” said Administrator Criswell. “The best way to help your community recover from a disaster is by taking steps now to prepare yourself and your family BEFORE a disaster strikes. Visit Ready.gov to start your planning today.”
Consider these actions to start your preparedness today:
- In addition to being prepared for a disaster, ensuring that you and your family are vaccinated against COVID-19 helps your entire community be more resilient before future disasters. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. Vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19, making all our communities safer.
- Everyone can take steps to make sure they’re prepared for any disaster. Visit Ready.gov to learn about how to prepare for disasters that might happen where you live, work or visit.
- Ready.gov has information online for individuals, individuals with disabilities, families, kids, pets and businesses on how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Find updated information from the Centers for Disease Control on how to prepare for the hurricane season during the pandemic.
- Build an emergency kit. If you live in Hawai’i, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, consider having supplies to last at least 10 days.
- Visit Ready.gov/hurricanes for the latest information on being prepared for this hurricane season.
- You can also download the free FEMA App to receive weather alerts and warnings for up to five different locations in the United States.
Last week, Administrator Criswell spent time with officials in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss recovery projects and preparedness efforts for the Caribbean Area Office ahead of hurricane season.
While in Puerto Rico, she toured FEMA’s Caribbean warehouse and distribution center in Caguas, visited the Susana Centeno Community Health Center in Vieques and met with Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón and Speaker of the House Rafael “Tatito” Hernández. While in the U.S. Virgin Islands, she met with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett and toured the Juan F. Luiz Hospital on St. Croix.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (May 26, 2021) -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (center) discusses ongoing recovery and hurricane preparedness efforts with Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi (right).
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (May 25, 2021) -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (left) and Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón (right) tour the FEMA warehouse and distribution facilities in Caguas, Puerto Rico, ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1.
ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (May 28, 2021) -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell meets with U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan ahead of the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season on June 1.