Public Urged to Prepare as Severe Weather Threatens the East Coast


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging residents and visitors in the path of a developing tropical storm along the southeastern and mid-Atlantic portions of the United States to prepare now and follow the instructions of local officials. Anyone in the forecast path of the storm should monitor local weather alerts for updates.

The storm, which is expected to become Tropical Storm Ophelia, is forecast to strengthen by the time it reaches North Carolina’s coast and proceeds on a three-day push north. Heavy rain is expected to affect areas of the East Coast and hundreds of miles from the center of the storm. The storm is expected to bring strong winds, potentially hazardous storm surge, flooding, powerful rip currents and dangerous surf. Tornadoes are also possible.

A tropical storm warning stretches from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to the Maryland-Delaware state line. 

The National Hurricane Center is providing updates as the storm develops.

Residents and visitors in potentially affected areas should learn their evacuation routes, have a family emergency communications plan, charge their devices and batteries, ensure they are receiving emergency alerts and check on their neighbors, especially those who are older adults or may need additional assistance. 

Now is the time to prepare:

  • Get Emergency Alerts: Make sure to sign up to receive weather alerts in your community and stay updated on the latest weather news from the National Weather Service. Download the FEMA App to receive real-time weather alerts in your area. 
  • Gather Supplies: Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies and pet supplies. After a tropical storm, you may not have access to these supplies right away.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. Don’t drive or wade through flood waters: 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. Remember, just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Evacuate, if told to do so: If you are in potentially affected areas, familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, have a family emergency communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have plans for your family members and pets. If you have a disability, you may have additional considerations for yourself or a service animal. 
  • Flood insurance: Residents should review their National Flood Insurance Program policy. It can cover and reimburse certain actions residents take to minimize damage to their homes and belongings before a flood.

FEMA encourages everyone to visit or to learn more about how to prepare yourself and your loved ones during emergencies. 

Source: Homeland Security