Private Sector Advisory – August 28th, 2019

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Public-Private Partnerships Team
Office of External Affairs
FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov

 

Private Sector Advisory

FEMA Continues to Monitor Tropical Storm Dorian for Potential Impacts to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

August 28, 2019

  • The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Heavy rainfall could produce flash flooding over the next few days.
  • Additionally, the threat of tropical storm or hurricane conditions along portions of the east coast of Florida has increased.  Residents should monitor the progress of Dorian and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.
  • All residents and visitors to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are advised to listen to the directions of Commonwealth, Territorial, and local officials.
  • TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!  Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
  • President Donald Trump approved an Emergency Declaration Tuesday night that makes federal funding available to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to assist with emergency and life-safety actions taken ahead of Dorian. This assistance is for all 78 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • FEMA response resources are on the ground to support the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The response to Tropical Storm Dorian will be on top of a complex recovery effort.  Even a smaller and less severe storm could have significant impact.

Follow Instructions From Local Officials:

  • Response and recovery are a whole community effort.  It takes everyone being prepared and neighbor helping neighbor.
  • Residents should closely monitor weather forecasts, follow instructions from Commonwealth, Territorial, and local officials, and be prepared to take shelter if ordered to do so.
  • Puerto Rico residents: for a list of shelters and other important information, visit www.manejodeemergencias.pr.gov or call the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau at 787-724-0124.
  • U.S. Virgin Island residents: for real-time updates on emergencies, register for Alert VI.  The link is available on vitema.vi.gov.
  • Tropical Storm Dorian could cause power outages that last for several days.
  • All Caribbean residents should have 10 days’ worth of emergency supplies to include food, water, extra batteries and supplies for pets.  In addition, have cash on hand for emergency expenses in case ATMs are down.
  • Plan how you’ll communicate with family members once the storm passes.  Remember that during disasters, text instead of calling because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Residents who believe their home might be damaged by the storm due to a blue roof or other ongoing repairs, should seek out their nearest shelter.
  • In addition to local, Territorial, and Commonwealth resources, more hurricane preparedness information is available at:

Stay Alert and Informed:

  • Download the FEMA App to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, locate open emergency shelters and community recovery centers, and get additional preparedness information.
  • Check-in with neighbors if safe to do so.  You may be the help they need.
  • Avoid flooded areas that can hide hazards such as debris and damaged roads.  Be aware that flash flooding can occur in minutes and with little notice.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.  Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be prepared to take detours and adjust your route due to road closures if there is standing water.  Do not drive through flood water.  Just 12 inches of floodwater can float a car or small SUV.  TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN! 

FEMA Preparations for Tropical Storm Dorian Are on the Ground:

  • An effective disaster response is locally executed, state managed and federally supported.  In support of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA has taken the following preparations for Tropical Storm Dorian:
    • On August 28, FEMA activated its National Response Coordination Center to Level I.
    • An Urban Search & Rescue Team and two Disaster Medical Assistance Teams deployed to Puerto Rico, prepared to respond if needed.
    • FEMA deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams to Puerto Rico ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian that are based in San Juan, Ponce and Aguadilla.  A team is also in the U.S. Virgin Islands and additional teams are on standby.
    • FEMA’s Mobile Emergency Response Support Disaster Emergency Communications are in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help support local emergency communication systems.  Staff are prepared with communications equipment to ensure connectivity even if power or cell towers are impacted by the storm.
    • FEMA logistics staging and transportation teams are in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support response efforts.
  • Life-sustaining commodities have been pre-positioned throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to enable an even faster response to events in the Caribbean, to include millions of liters of water and meals, as well as tarps and other necessities.  The stock levels of these commodities are well above what was in place on-island in 2017.
  • Additionally, FEMA and Puerto Rico emergency management officials participated in a Caribbean Hurricane Season Exercise this past July to help strengthen the island’s hurricane response capabilities and establish processes for logistics and supply chain management.

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