The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III office is making preparations for an above-normal hurricane season, which officially begins on June 1 and runs through November 30. Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Residents, particularly those in coastal areas, are urged to pay close attention to weather forecasts during hurricane season. While federal, state and local emergency officials are fully engaged in preparation for storms and flooding, FEMA strongly recommends individuals take ownership of their safety by preparing now during National Hurricane Awareness Week. Being prepared is everyone’s responsibility.
“When hurricanes affect our area, they present regional challenges — evacuations, displaced populations, sustained winds, flooding, and power outages can affect all our states and jurisdictions,” said MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region III. “Citizens and all levels of governments must prepare for this upcoming hurricane season.”
If a storm is predicted to strike Region III, FEMA will do the following: Work in conjunction with state and local partners to pre-position life-saving and life-sustaining supplies within the mid-Atlantic region. Food, water, cots, blankets, and tarps will be pre-positioned to reach impacted areas as quickly as possible. Activate the 24-hour Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) to oversee the response effort and to monitor the needs of the impacted state. Federal agencies assigned to Emergency Support Functions will be activated to work in the RRCC to help fulfill requests for assistance. Through mission assignments, support can range from helicopters, generators and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams. Deploy personnel and teams, such as Liaison Officers and Incident Management Assistance Teams to facilitate operational planning between the regional office and state agencies. Place Preliminary Damage Assessment Teams on standby. These teams work jointly with state officials to conduct damage assessments that will determine eligibility for a presidential disaster declaration, which triggers the release of federal disaster funds. Place Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) on standby. DRCs are temporary facilities that provide on-site disaster assistance to victims, allowing them to register for temporary housing, grants and other aid.