NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local officials, as well as officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and AAA Mid-Atlantic to help Delawareans prepare for extreme weather during hurricane season.
Delaware is a low-lying coastal state, and, as the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons have shown nationally, a hurricane can cause widespread damage. A Category 1 hurricane can cause extensive property damage with wind, water and storm surge, and the impact only gets worse as a hurricane intensifies.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-normal 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season; however, it only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to have a major impact on a community. Pay attention to the forecast tracks for hurricanes and take steps to prepare even if you are outside the cone, because hurricanes and tropical storms can have impacts beyond the cone.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with first responders from FEMA, the National Guard, state and local law enforcement, and the Red Cross. One message I’ve heard over and over again is that proper preparation can help prevent serious damage to homes and property and can even save lives,” said Senator Carper, who serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the U.S. Senate. “We can hope for the best, but, as we’ve seen in recent years, severe weather is becoming more common than ever. That is why last September, I worked across the aisle to coauthor and pass an infrastructure bill that helps communities prepare and recover from extreme weather events. As we continue through another active hurricane season, this legislation is working to help strengthen communities and ecosystems in Delaware and across our country from the worst impacts of these storms."
“We continue to work with all of our partners to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season,” said MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “The past few years have seen hurricanes impact states across the country. Take time to prepare yourself – consider purchasing flood insurance to protect yourself from the financial ruin a flood can cause, know your community’s plans for hurricanes, and plan for what you’ll do if a hurricane is forecast.”
“New Castle County is collaborating with the local fire service, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, the Red Cross and others like never before using the latest technology to respond quickly and effectively during hurricanes and other emergency situations to keep our residents safe,”said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer.
“Preparation is always a vital part in safety, whether you’re protecting your home before a storm arrives or planning an evacuation route to get inland to safety, it’s always best to prepare ahead of time, have an emergency kit, and listen to those responsible for emergency management,” said Ken Grant, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
FEMA Provides the following tips for residents and business owners:
- Know your risk of hurricanes and prepare in advance.
- Plan ahead – know what you’ll do if a hurricane could impact your area, how to contact your family, and any community emergency plans.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Stay tuned for the latest information. Follow the guidance of your local officials and check media and weather reports via official sources, including social media.
- Consider 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.
- Take action to prepare for hurricanes by:
- Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
- Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route and shelter locations.
AAA MidAtlantic Provides the Following Tips for Motorists:
- Check gas tank, tire pressure, windshield wipers, lights, etc.
- Pack vehicle emergency kit.
- Review emergency evacuation route (if needed).
- Charge cell phones.
- Heed local travel/driving warnings and/or restrictions.
- Slow down, increase following distances.
- Turn around, don’t drown! NEVER drive through standing water. Flooding can occur quickly and without warning.
- Safety. Will your trip take you in the path of the storm Will your personal safety be at risk
- Contact your travel agent – they will have access to the latest travel updates/cancellations and can help you explore all of the options available to you.
- Investigate cancellation/rebooking options NOW. (Plan ahead, understand the situation may change quickly as the storm approaches.)
- Understand cancellation requirements and penalties if applicable.
- Know what coverage any purchased travel insurance does/does not provide.
- Continuously monitor the situation as things can change quickly and dramatically.