Hurricane Irene is currently making a turn along the East Coast, and forecasts from the National Hurricane Center project the storm could affect an area from Florida to Maine as it moves further north. We are continuing to closely monitor Irene and are in close contact and coordination with all of our state, tribal and territorial partners in the Caribbean and along the East Coast that have already or could possibly experience impacts from this storm.
As we’ve said all week, if you live along the East Coast (even in inland areas), take the storm seriously and make sure you’re taking steps to get prepared at Ready.gov/hurricanes. Hurricane Irene’s future path is still uncertain, and past experience tells us that hurricanes can change directions unexpectedly. (Administrator Fugate talked about the most important steps to get prepared in an interview with CNN this morning.)
Yesterday, we shared some hurricane safety tips, and today, we wanted to make sure you remember an important point:
- Listen to the direction of local officials, and follow local updates – If local officials give the order to evacuate, do so immediately along your approved evacuation route.
Your local National Weather Service forecast office has the most up-to-date information about the severe weather watches or warnings in your area. Visit weather.gov (mobile.weather.gov on your phone) for information directly from the National Weather Service.
What We’re Doing
In advance of the storm, our Incident Management Assistance Teams have been deployed to areas in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, in anticipation of further deployment to potential impact areas along the east coast of the U.S.
We’re also pre-staging supplies and commodities along the East Coast to supplement state resources if needed - such as bottled water and meals-ready-to-eat. We’ve set up Incident Support Bases along the East Coast to proactively stage commodities closer to areas potentially affected by severe weather, allowing us to quickly move needed supplies throughout affected states, should they be needed and requested.
For more on the federal family’s actions to respond to and prepare for Irene, check out yesterday’s recap blog post.