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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Season: Preparing for Earl


With the hurricane season among us, FEMA is advising us all to take precaution now and heed any evacuation decisions made by state and local officials.

Hurricanes and tropical storms frequently bring flash flooding as well.

The National Weather Service forecasts the center of Hurricane Earl to move into the open Atlantic today, and travel east of the Turks and Caicos Islands later today and tonight. Although no watches or warnings are currently in effect for the mainland United States, history has shown that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Officials are closely monitoring the areas from the Carolinas to New England, and FEMA is coordinating with the Governors and local officials along the East Coast to aggressively prepare for possible severe weather. Severe weather and flash floods can occur miles inland, and are possible even if a hurricane does not make landfall.

FEMA has activated the National Response Coordination Center and its Regional Response Coordination Centers in all four of its regional offices in the eastern United States, located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. FEMA has designated a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) and has personnel on the ground North Carolina at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh supporting the state, and is mobilizing personnel and supplies along the coast.

Earlier today FEMA administrator Craig Fugate briefed  President Obama on the impacts from Hurricane Earl on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which have had FEMA teams on the ground since the weekend supporting the Governors’ efforts related to the storm.

As not to repeat the mistakes five years ago by the last administration during Hurricane Katrina, President Obama stressed to FEMA that they should be prepared for all scenarios -  including the worst case -  and do everything needed to protect the residents and communities along the East Coast, including encouraging residents and visitors in potentially affected areas to follow all evacuation orders issued by local and state officials.

Visit www.ready.gov to learn more about how to prepare for an emergency. A Spanish version of the website is also available at www.listo.gov.

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