Encourages the public to take safety precautions
|Following catastrophic impacts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hurricane Irma continues to progress towards the Bahamas. In the aftermath, various elements coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are prepositioned in the Caribbean to provide support as needed to survivors of the disaster.
FEMA teams deployed to the Caribbean in advance of the storm include urban search and rescue teams, incident management assistance teams, as well as commodities – meals and water on Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John – pre-staged and available for use by Commonwealth and territory officials as soon as the weather cleared.
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available (in English and Spanish) and open to the public. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English. To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).
As of this morning, FEMA had nearly 11 million liters of water and nearly 7.5 million meals, as well as cots, blankets, generators, durable medical equipment, infant care kits, plastic sheeting and tarps for roofs, staged at the Incident Support Base at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Additionally, FEMA has staged more than 500,000 meals and more than 1 million liters of water in Selma, Alabama.
Now is the time for all those in potentially affected areas to listen to the directions of state, local, territorial, and tribal officials. If told to evacuate, evacuate.
Storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Don’t be caught unaware. Take advantage of advance warning to get yourself and your family safe before it becomes too dangerous to do so.
If told to evacuate:
Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, directions to open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov for additional severe weather and hurricane preparedness information and resources.