PHILADELPHIA, PA — During these unprecedented times, it is important to remember disasters won’t wait. As they continue their efforts with the whole of America to respond to and recover from coronavirus (COVID-19), the Federal Emergency Management Agency is also leaning forward and preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha have already been named, and FEMA can’t predict if Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, or Fay will be the next named hurricane to impact the mid-Atlantic in 2020.
“We continue to work with all of our partners to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator. “As past hurricane seasons have shown us, it only takes one major hurricane to impact a community or state and cause widespread damage. Take time to prepare yourself – consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your property, know your community’s plans for hurricanes, and plan for what you’ll do if a hurricane is forecast.”
Additionally, COVID-19 may potentially influence your hurricane evacuation and sheltering plans. It is important that individuals and families act now to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season.
Take action to prepare for hurricanes by:
- Knowing your risk of hurricanes and prepare in advance.
- Planning – know what you’ll do if a hurricane could impact your area, how to contact your family, and any community emergency plans.
- Signing up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Keeping up with the latest information. Follow the guidance of your local officials and check media and weather reports via official sources, including social media.
- Purchasing flood insurance to protect your property from potential flood damage.
- Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
- Flood insurance takes 30 days to become effective – don’t wait until the last minute!
- Visit www.Floodsmart.gov for more information.
- Making your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
Along with their partners, FEMA has also taken steps to prepare for hurricane season in a COVID-19 environment. On May 20, FEMA released “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance can also be used by private sector and non-governmental organizations to gain an understanding of the government’s posture, planning and readiness efforts.
More information on how to prepare may be found at www.Ready.gov/hurricanes.
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