The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging residents in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee to closely monitor the potential for significant flooding, follow the direction of state, local and tribal officials, and review their household emergency preparedness plans.
Many portions of the eastern U.S. are currently experiencing heavy rains and gusty winds associated with a frontal system, according to the National Weather Service. These heavy rains are likely to continue for the next few days, even if the center of Hurricane Joaquin stays offshore.
“Significant rainfall is expected to cause flooding in areas along the East Coast,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Flash floods can happen with little warning and are the top cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Take this severe weather seriously – make preparations now and follow the directions of local officials. Remember, if you encounter flood waters on the road: turn around, don’t drown.”
FEMA is advising residents of potentially affected states to take the following actions:
- Know how and where to evacuate, if told to do so.
- If you encounter flood waters on a roadway, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- Check your flood insurance policy. Know what is covered and what you need to file a claim. If you do not have a flood insurance policy, talk with your flood insurance agent about purchasing coverage for future losses - coverage usually does not become effective until 30-days after purchase.
- Prepare your home for a flood. Move essential items to an upper floor, bring in outdoor furniture, disconnect electrical appliances and be prepared to turn off the gas, electricity and water.
- Check on your neighbor – make sure they’re ready too.
Be prepared to receive updates and communicate with family members:
- Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today. Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
- Bookmark your local emergency management website now for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
- Follow official social media channels by visiting FEMA’s social hub. Download the FEMA Mobile App.
- Wireless Emergency Alerts may be sent directly to cell phones on participating wireless carriers’ networks. These alerts are sent by public safety officials such as the National Weather Service, and are designed to get your attention and to provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather. Take the alert seriously and follow instructions. More information on Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at www.ready.gov/alerts.
- Ensure your NOAA Weather Radio is in working order and you have extra batteries in case the power goes out
FEMA encourages everyone to visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn more about how to be better prepared and how to protect your family during emergencies.