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A Message from FEMA – National Hurricane Preparedness

FEMA Region 6 is joining thousands around the country who pledge to prepare and are taking action to be ready for the potentially negative impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms this hurricane season. National Hurricane Preparedness Week begins on May 26 and extends through June 1. It highlights the importance of planning ahead to protect our families, homes and communities in advance of the upcoming hurricane season.  Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and extends through Nov. 30. As we saw last year with hurricanes Isaac and Sandy, these storms ravaged communities in the gulf and all along the east coast and inland from Maine to West Virginia leading to 13 presidentially declared disasters for Sandy alone.

Even as long-term recovery efforts continue from these storms, we must prepare now for this year’s approaching hurricane season.  More than ever, it takes the whole community’s engagement to build resilient neighborhoods.  Being prepared begins by knowing your risk and taking the appropriate actions before, during and after a hurricane strikes. You can start by visiting www.ready.gov/hurricanes.  Hurricanes are powerful storms that can bring with them severe coastal and inland flooding, dangerous storm surges, high winds, tornados, and heavy rainfall that can trigger evacuations and prolonged power outages. The effects of these storms can be devastating to entire communities and can have long-lasting consequences, including loss of life and property. 

With these risks in mind, you can join your friends, neighbors, businesses and community in pledging to be prepared for hurricane season by: 

  • Knowing your risk: Understand how hurricanes and tropical storms can affect where you live, work, play and worship.  Check weather forecasts regularly during times of increased likelihood.  Sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Taking action: Actions can be small, simple, and quick. One way is to pledge to develop an emergency plan and practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed by your emergency management officials.  Sit down with your family and create an emergency communications plans. If you are a business, post your plan where your employees can see it and rehearse it by conducting drills.  Pledging also provides information on how to strengthen your home and business against hurricanes. You can also download FEMA’s mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.  Understand the National Hurricane Center warning and alerts
  • Being an example: Once you have pledged and taken action, be an example by talking to your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors about what you have done to prepare.  Also, inspire others by posting your story on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter account. Or you can even post the Hurricane Widget on your social media profiles.  It could save a life.

Join us today and pledge to prepare at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov

By: Tony Robinson, FEMA Region 6 Administrator – 940-898-5454