Senator Carper, FEMA and DEMA Host Hurricane Preparedness Event in Sussex County

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director A.J. Schall and Sussex County Emergency Operations Center Director Joe Thomas joined together today at the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center to highlight how individuals can prepare themselves, their homes and their families for severe weather this hurricane season.

“As climate change continues to fuel more intense hurricane seasons, it’s critical for families and businesses to have emergency preparedness plans in place,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “At the same time, it’s not enough to repair and rebuild after storms—we must address the threat of climate change and invest in more resilient infrastructure. Thanks to historic investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, we are making significant progress in building thriving, resilient communities that run on clean energy and can withstand extreme weather. Still, we must continue our efforts to preserve our one and only planet and ensure the safety of our most vulnerable when disasters strike.”

“It is never too early to prepare for severe weather and the many impacts of hurricanes. Identify your risks, have a plan and act today. The best way to help yourself, your family and your community recover after a disaster is by taking steps now, before it’s too late,” said FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Just because your area may not have been impacted by hurricanes in recent years does not mean it will not happen.”

FEMA works year-round in close partnership with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers to ensure individuals and communities are prepared for when extreme weather strikes. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. The peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season often occurs later in the season, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.

“As we approach the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, it is vitally important that we promote preparedness in our communities,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “We know that many populations are disproportionately impacted by disasters, including older adults. Through our Ready Campaign and preparedness outreach, FEMA continues to evolve the way we are meeting older adults, and many historically disproportionally impacted communities, where they are and getting them the preparedness resources, they need and deserve.”

“Preparedness is a shared responsibility” Tierney added. “It calls for the involvement of everyone — not just the government — in preparedness efforts. By working together, in a whole-of-community approach, everyone can help ensure that our communities stay safe and resilient.”

Some of the tips for residents and businesses include:

  • Know your flood risk. Are you in a flood zone? Find out at If you are, you might be asked to evacuate in advance of a severe weather event. Know what the evacuation plan will be by checking the DelDOT State Evacuation Routes.
  • FEMA’s Ready Campaign recently published a low and no-cost preparedness webpage with tips to help preparedness for a variety of disasters and emergencies.
  • Know how you will receive emergency alerts. Delaware’s primary system for public warnings and emergency alerts, DENS allows local 911 centers or emergency managers to send messages directly to residents affected by an event — but only if you’re registered. Visit for more information.
  • The FEMA App allows you to receive real-time weather alerts, locate emergency shelters in your area, prepare for common hazards, and more.
  • Building your emergency supply kit over time, starting with items you may already have in your home — like a flashlight, extra batteries, copies of important documents, water and non-perishable food.
  • Take family members with access and functional needs into account. For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider individual circumstances and needs to effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters. has additional resources to help in these planning considerations.
  • Storing important documents and items like passports, birth certificates, maps and electronics in a flood-safe place, like a high shelf or upper floor in resealable water-tight plastic bags to help waterproof them.
  • Your pets are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan. has additional considerations for how to prepare your family pets. The DHSS Office of Animal Welfare and Delaware Animal Response Program has resources for animals and emergencies.
  • If you have insurance, now is the time to review your policies. Not all policies are the same, so review them to understand what coverage you have. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance.
  • FEMA’s Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit helps business owners take action to protect employees, protect customers, and help ensure business continuity as well.
  • Visit for specific additional tips to prepare for hurricane systems.