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Irene Update 19: Stay Safe, Follow Direction of Local Officials

Posted by FEMA Public Affairs

Get the latest updates from the FEMA Blog.


The latest forecast map from the National Hurricane Center.  For severe weather watches/warnings in your area, visit weather.gov.

As Hurricane Irene makes landfall on the North Carolina coast, we’re continuing to support our federal, state, local and tribal partners in the areas already affected, and those areas that may be impacted by the storm. If your community is under an imminent threat, it is critical that residents and businesses listen to the instructions of their local officials, closely follow news and weather reports, and evacuate, if told to do so.

While the “category” of a storm can fluctuate throughout a storm – the bottom line is this is a large and dangerous storm, and you don’t need to be directly in its path to be affected by the deadly hazards posed by hurricanes, such as coastal surges, inland flooding, tornadoes, flash flooding and high winds. Don’t put yourself at risk if the storm is affecting your area:

  • If sheltering in place, go to an interior room and stay away from windows and glass doors.
  • Make sure to have your family’s emergency kit with you, whether you’re told to evacuate or shelter in place. Your emergency kit should be able to sustain you and your family (including pets) for at least 72 hours.
  • Since heavy rains may occur, remember to stay away from flooded roadways and don’t try to walk through flooded areas. As we often say, turn around, don’t drown.
(Here's our full list of hurricane safety tips.)

What we’re doing
In advance preparation for the storm, FEMA and our federal partners have deployed support teams, resources and commodities into and near areas that could be affected by Hurricane Irene. President Obama has declared a federal state of emergency in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island – making additional federal resources available, if needed.

We have also proactively positioned eighteen Incident Management Assistance Teams along the coast to coordinate with state, tribal and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls affecting potential disaster response and recovery. Six national urban search and rescue teams have also been placed on alert in the event that search and rescue support is needed.

For a more detailed list of the actions of the federal family, check out today’s recap on the blog.

An important point to remember is that FEMA is just one part of our national emergency management team – state and local emergency management agencies and first responders up and down the east coast are also preparing for this storm, along with the entire federal family, state, tribal and municipal governments, the faith-based and non-profit communities, the private sector and most importantly the public.

Find your local severe weather watches/warnings at www.weather.gov or on your phone at mobile.weather.gov, and visit Ready.gov/hurricanes for tips on keeping your family safe.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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