Posted by: Rachel Racusen, Director, Public Affairs
It’s the start of a new week – and we're closely monitoring a major winter storm that is expected to hit many states, in many regions throughout the week. As of now, forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy snow and ice to the Midwest and as far south as Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas early this week, and to the Northeast later in the week.
Through our regional offices in Kansas City (Missouri), Denton (Texas), Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, we are in constant contact with our state and local partners in all of the areas that could be impacted, as well as the National Weather Service. There have not been any requests for federal assistance yet, but we stand ready to assist state and local emergency response efforts if needed.
The storm's first impact, in the Midwest, could include heavy snow, destructive ice, tornadoes and bitter cold, and according to meteorologists "When everything is said and done, the storm may very well impact a third of the population of the United States; approximately 100 million people." Read more about the storm's path and expected conditions.
A storm of this size and scope needs to be taken seriously. It's important to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information. We urge all residents in areas that could be affected to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
And as anyone in the South, the Northeast, or other parts of the country that have already been hit with severe storms this winter can tell you, being prepared can make a world of difference when dealing with heavy snow, power outages, or icy roads. If you haven’t already, visit www.ready.gov for simple tips to help you get ready for the coming storm. And don’t forget to check on your neighbors, especially if they’re elderly or very young.
If you are a Twitter user, FEMA's Twitter accounts (including Administrator Fugate) are a great place to get updates on the developing storm, in addition to this blog.