Satellite image of Hurricane Irene from August 23, 2011. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)
As Hurricane Irene continues to move through the Atlantic, we continue to be in close contact and coordination with all of our state and territorial partners in the Caribbean and along the East Coast that have already or could possibly experience impacts from this storm. At this time, Hurricane Irene is a category three hurricane, according to the Staffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
What You Can Do
Yesterday, we emphasized that those along the East Coast should get prepared since Irene’s future path is uncertain. As Irene continues its approach toward the continental U.S., here are a few reminders:
- Stay informed of the latest forecast – the National Hurricane Center continues to be the official source for Hurricane Irene forecasts and updates, which you can find at www.hurricanes.gov or on your phone at http://hurricanes.gov/mobile. If the storm approaches your community, your local National Weather Service forecast office is the best place to find any severe weather watches/warnings for your area (www.weather.gov or on your phone at http://mobile.weather.gov).
- Know your evacuation plan – contact your local emergency management office to find out if you live in an evacuation zone and what the proper route would be if evacuation orders are given by local officials.
- Have your emergency kit ready – make sure your emergency kit is capable of sustaining your family members (including pets) for at least 72 hours. Remember to include important documents, prescription medications, and other essentials for children and pets.
- Review and practice your family’s emergency plan – make sure family members know how they will get in touch after a disaster, or where safe meeting locations are both in town and out-of-town. For more tips on making your family’s emergency plan, visit Ready.gov.
What We’re Doing
In advance preparation for the storm, FEMA National Incident Management Assistance Teams have been deployed to staging areas in Georgia and Virginia, in anticipation of further deployment to potential impact areas along the east coast of the U.S.
Earlier this week, Irene passed over Puerto Rico, causing widespread power and water outages for many on the island – which should act as an important reminder for those along the East Coast to get prepared. We’re continuing to work with commonwealth and local officials to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments, as weather permits, to help the governor determine whether additional federal assistance is needed.