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Hurricane Preparedness Week

[This week (May 23-29) marks the National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The following message was sent by Bob Ryan, the City of College Park’s Public Service Director.]

WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering during National Hurricane Preparedness Week to share valuable hurricane preparedness information.  FEMA continues to work with state, local, tribal, federal and private sector partners to increase preparedness and coordinate response and recovery in the case of a hurricane or disaster.  FEMA also urges Americans to use this week as an annual reminder to assess their personal readiness to respond to emergencies.

President Obama recently designated May 23-29, 2010, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and called upon all Americans, especially those in hurricane-prone areas, to learn more about protecting themselves against hurricanes and to work together to respond to them.

The Presidential Proclamation is available here.

“We never know where the next hurricane or disaster will strike, but we know that the more we do to prepare now, the better the outcome will be,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “FEMA will continue to work with our private sector, local, state, tribal and federal partners to ensure that we are prepared, but it is also important that all Americans take the necessary steps now- like developing a family disaster plan – before a hurricane or disaster strikes.”

“Regardless of the number of storms that may form this season, make your preparation plans with the idea that is the year you will be struck,” said Bill Read, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Everyone, including those living outside of hurricane-risk areas, should check personal preparations such as emergency kit supplies, note messages from local emergency officials, and rehearse emergency evacuation routes.
Important items to have ready in case of an emergency include a battery-powered radio (like a NOAA Weather Radio), flashlight, extra batteries, medicines, non-perishable food, hand-operated can opener, utility knife, and first aid supplies. Copy and store your important documents in a waterproof bag.  These may include medical records, contracts, property deeds, leases, banking records, insurance records, and birth certificates.

This is the time to consider the potential needs of everyone in the household during an emergency. If your household includes a person with a disability, special steps to assist them may be necessary and should be considered now.
Pets also require special handling. They may become agitated during the onset of a storm, so a pet carrier is a must for safe travel.  Pet owners should research pet boarding facilities now within a certain radius of where you may evacuate, since animals may not be welcome in all shelters or hotels.

Take steps now to purchase a flood insurance policy. Not only are homes and businesses in hurricane-prone states at risk for flood, but inland flooding is common in nearby states.  To assess flood risk for your home or find a local agent selling national flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call toll-free at 1-888-379-9531.

FEMA continues to support the coordinated federal response to the BP oil spill, and this season’s hurricane planning has involved consideration of the effects that the BP oil spill could have on the response capabilities and recovery scenarios.

The Atlantic and Central Pacific Hurricane Season run from June 1-November 30. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season started on May 15.

For more preparedness information, please visit www.Ready.gov.

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1 Comment to “Hurricane Preparedness Week”

  1. By Clemente Piercey, May 28, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

    I’m just sick to my stomach by this huge mess. Where can I find an realistic assessment of the real size of the spill? The statistics are widely different from different sources. Thanks for your interesting post.