WASHINGTON – As Hurricane Harvey heads toward Texas and Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remains in close coordination with state, local and tribal officials, and is encouraging residents and visitors in the storm’s path to follow directions from those officials.
FEMA, through its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., regional office in Denton, Texas, and liaisons at the National Hurricane Center in Florida, is monitoring the track of the storm, and anticipated changes to its severity.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Harvey brings the potential for prolonged heavy rains, flooding and storm surge along the Gulf Coast. Additional strengthening is forecast, and the National Hurricane Center has issued watches and warnings for parts of Texas.
“FEMA stands ready to support state, local and tribal officials as they prepare for Hurricane Harvey,” said Administrator Brock Long. “I encourage residents who will be affected to follow directions from their local officials. Know your threats, heed the warnings, and if you’re in the path of the storm, ensure your family is prepared for possible prolonged disruptions to normal services.”
FEMA established an Incident Support Base at Randolph Auxiliary Airfield near Seguin, Texas, to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to the potentially affected areas, should they be needed and requested by the state. State, local, and tribal officials would then be responsible for distributing any supplies to their communities.
Additionally, FEMA Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are in place at Emergency Operations Centers in Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to support any requests for federal assistance.
While no requests for support have been received, FEMA stands ready to assist states, localities and tribes as needed. At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories.
Safety and Preparedness Tips
FEMA recommends visitors and residents in areas potentially affected by Hurricane Harvey take the following actions:
If the storm is expected to affect your area, know your evacuation zone and follow the direction of state, local or tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area. Storm surge poses a significant threat for drowning and can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
Monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials.
There is the potential for flooding and storm surge with Hurricane Harvey. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Nearly half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. Stay safe when in your car by watching for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you encounter floodwaters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish), which provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, directions to open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
Businesses of all sizes should prepare in advance for the approaching storm to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations. Businesses can review and update their business continuity plans and ensure their workforce knows what to do before and during the storm. Resources are available on web sites such as Ready.gov/business and the SBA.gov/disaster-planning.
Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn more about preparing for hurricanes and severe weather.