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FEMA Continues Supporting Hurricane Ian Response

WASHINGTON — FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and the National Hurricane Center’s Acting Director Jamie Rhome will conduct a press briefing at the center in Miami to discuss the latest forecast and expected impacts for Hurricane Ian and FEMA’s response activities already underway.

The NHC issued Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches for a portion of the west coast of Florida and may issue additional watches today. Hurricane Ian is expected to bring life-threating storm surge, hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the panhandle by the middle of the week.

On Sept. 24, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s request for an emergency declaration. The declaration authorizes FEMA to support the state’s response efforts ahead of Ian. Florida activated 2,500 National Guard members to support the state’s response.  

Now is the time for residents in Florida to have hurricane plans in place and closely monitor local media for forecast updates, directions provided by their local officials and to heed local evacuation orders.

Evacuate if you are told to do so. Learn your evacuation routes, and have a family emergency plan. Make sure you plan for your pets, as not all evacuation shelters accept pets. You can also search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362. Example: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply).

Prepare Now for a Hurricane

  • Now is the time to plan. It’s not too late to create a plan with your family. Visit Ready.gov/plan and use the new “Make A Plan” fillable form to make your plan and easily save an electronic copy to share with family members.
  • Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the recently updated free FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) to receive real-time emergency alerts from the National Weather Service and find a nearby shelter.
  • Manufactured homes are extremely vulnerable. If you live in a manufactured home, determine where you will go before the storm hits, as these types of structures may not withstand hurricane wind or surge damage.  
  • Visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov to learn how you can keep yourself, your family and your pets safe. 
  • Prepare or update your emergency supply kit. Your kit should include supplies you and your family would  need for several days, including prescription medications or special medical devices. Make sure you include any needed pet supplies. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or weeks.
  • Check on neighbors. As you prepare your family and loved ones for a disaster, check on neighbors and folks in your community to see if they are doing the same or help them get started.
    • People with access and functional needs, including older adults, may need extra assistance to prepare for the storm. For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider circumstances and needs to effectively prepare. Visit Individuals with Disabilities | Ready.gov to learn more.
    • Determine if you need any special assistance before or after a storm. If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.  
  • Flood Insurance: Your National Flood Insurance Program policy will cover and reimburse certain actions you take to minimize damage to your home and belongings before a flood.

Federal Actions Ahead of Ian

  • FEMA is prepositioning supplies and personnel to strategic locations in Florida and Alabama. This will allow us to get help where it needs to be as soon as possible. Supplies being staged at Maxwell Airforce Base include 3.5 million liters of water and 3.6 million meals. Supplies in Alabama include more than a million liters of water, more than 480,000 meals and more than 7,200 cots. Additional supplies are en route.
  • The agency has more than 4,000 reservists available to deploy to support any future disasters. Additionally, more than 7,500 Surge Capacity Force members are rostered to deploy if needed. The agency is establishing a personnel mobilization center to expedite forward movement when needed.
  • The National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. and the Region 4 Response Coordination Center in Atlanta are activated. This will help us coordinate federal, state, local, territorial and tribal activity.
  • FEMA deployed three Incident Management Teams to Atlanta. Another team and a Mobile Emergency Response Support team are in Tallahassee to support any state coordination needs.  Three other Mobile Communications Operation Vehicles are in route to Maxwell Airforce Base in Montgomery, Alabama. 
  • Two Urban Search and Rescue Teams and an Incident Support Team are in Florida, and one is in Montgomery, Alabama to support Florida response efforts.
  • A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers power restoration team is deploying to Craig Field in Alabama ahead of the storm. FEMA ordered four generator packs, with a total of 117 units. Additional fuel supplies are also being staged at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
  • FEMA activated a National Medical Transport Support contract for 52 ambulances and 100 paratransit seats. These resources will stage at Orange County Convention Center in Florida.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed a National Disaster Medical System and two health and medical task forces to Florida. Additional DMATs are on alert to deploy as needed.

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