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July 2, 2014

RE: Weather Warning and Preparedness Reminder

Dear Mayor:

With much of the State under a National Weather Service “Severe Thunderstorm Watch,” and as we track the progress of Tropical Storm Arthur, currently well east of the North Florida Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued an “Intergovernmental Affairs Advisory.”

Noting that FEMA is directing its attention to the Carolinas, at this time, the Advisory states, “Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to move northwest today and then north on Wednesday.  Arthur is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday near the coast of the Carolinas.  Visit www.Hurricanes.gov and www.weather.gov for the latest storm track and local forecasts.
“FEMA urges residents and visitors in potentially affected areas to closely monitor the storm and take steps now to be prepared in advance of severe weather and most importantly, follow the direction of state, tribal and local officials.”

The Advisory also notes, “As the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Arthur serves as a reminder for residents in areas prone to tropical storms and hurricanes to refresh their emergency kits and review family plans.  If you do not have an emergency kit or family plan, or to learn about steps you can take now to prepare your family for severe weather, visit www.ready.gov.

“ At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States, that are available to state and local partners if needed and requested.”

Please share the following with your residents. 

Tropical Storm Safety Tips: 

  • Residents and visitors in potentially affected areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for their pets.  Individuals should visit ready.gov or listo.gov to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
  • Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state and local officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  • Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It poses a significant threat for drowning and can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area. Storm surge can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  • Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you encounter flood waters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • Tropical Storms have the potential for tornado formation. If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued.

For a tropical storm: 

  • A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 MPH or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.

For coastal flooding: 

  • A Coastal Flood Watch is issued when moderate to major coastal flooding is possible.
  • A Coastal Flood Warning is issued when moderate to major coastal flooding is occurring or imminent.
  • A Coastal Flood Advisory is issued when minor or nuisance coastal flooding is occurring or imminent.

More safety tips on hurricanes and tropical storms can be found at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov. And have a safe and happy Fourth.

Very truly yours,

 

Hon. Suzanne M. Walters,
Mayor, Stone Harbor Borough
and President, NJLM
Hon. Timothy McDonough,
Mayor Hope Township and
Chair, League Emergency Management Preparedness Committee

 

 

 

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