Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CDC's Winter Weather Checklists

Winter Weather Checklists

Extreme Cold - A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
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Stock up on emergency supplies for communication, food, safety, heating, and car in case a storm hits.

Communication Checklist

  • Make sure you have at least one of the following in case there is a power failure:
    • Battery-powered radio (for listening to local emergency instructions). Have extra batteries.
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio receiver (for listening to National Weather Service broadcasts).
  • Find out how your community warns the public about severe weather:
    • Siren
    • Radio
    • Television
  • Listen to emergency broadcasts.
  • Know what winter storm warning terms mean:
    • Winter Weather Advisory: Expect winter weather conditions to cause inconvenience and hazards.
    • Frost/Freeze Warning: Expect below-freezing temperatures.
    • Winter Storm Watch: Be alert; a storm is likely.
    • Winter Storm Warning: Take action; the storm is in or entering the area.
    • Blizzard Warning: Seek refuge immediately! Snow and strong winds, near-zero visibility, deep snow drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.

Food and Safety Checklist

Have a week’s worth of food and safety supplies. If you live far from other people, have more supplies on hand.
  • Drinking water
  • Canned/no-cook food (bread, crackers, dried fruits)
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Baby food and formula (if baby in the household)
  • Prescription drugs and other medicine
  • First-aid kit
  • Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Supply of cat litter or bag of sand to add traction on walkways
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered lamps or lanterns
    (To prevent the risk of fire, avoid using candles.)

Water Checklist

Keep a water supply. Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes break.
  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Allow more heated air near pipes. Open kitchen cabinet doors under the kitchen sink.
  • If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Thaw the pipes slowly with warm air from an electric hair dryer.
  • If you cannot thaw your pipes, or if the pipes have broken open, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor’s home.
  • Have bottled water on hand.
  • In an emergency—if no other water is available—snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs but won’t get rid of chemicals sometimes found in snow.

Heating Checklist

  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
    • Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or gas log fireplace
    • Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters
  • Check with your local fire department to make sure that kerosene heaters are legal in your area.
  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
  • Use electric space heaters with
    • automatic shut-off switches and
    • nonglowing elements.
  • Keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • Have the following safety equipment:
    • Chemical fire extinguisher
    • Smoke alarm in working order (Check once a month and change batteries once a year.)
    • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near the air intake of your home because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:
    • Do not use the generator or appliances if they are wet.
    • Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.
    • Use individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords to plug in other appliances.

Cooking and Lighting Checklist

  • Never use charcoal grills or portable gas camp stove indoors—the fumes are deadly.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns.
  • Avoid using candles.
  • Never leave lit candles alone.

Car and Emergency Checklist

  • Cell phone; portable charger and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Extra hats, coats, mittens
  • Blankets
  • Chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (emergency tire repair)
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright colored flag; help signs
  • First aid kit
  • Tool kit
  • Road maps
  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches and a can (to melt snow for water)
  • Paper towels

Thursday, December 6, 2012

FEMA Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers Involved in the Response and Recovery to Hurricane Sandy

Citizen Corps Volunteers Make a Difference in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Alongside interagency, state, local, and volunteer partners, FEMA and the emergency management team are working long hours each day to ensure the needs of communities affected by Sandy are identified and addressed.

While FEMA has provided more than $1.04 billion in assistance, as of December 6, 2012, to communities and individuals affected by the disaster, our whole community partners also remain committed to survivors. 

The dedication of volunteers supporting the response and recovery has made a tremendous impact on our effectiveness.  

“Federal response to disasters is only one part of the equation," said FEMA Administrator Fugate." Groups like Citizen Corps Councils and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs provide front-line support to first responders and community members during disasters. FEMA is proud to work alongside our Citizen Corps partners. I extend a thank you and acknowledgement for all that they contribute.”

As the recovery continues, we will feature best practices and stories of triumph from our counterparts in the affected states. Key to the response in ravaged areas were New Jersey and New York volunteers.  

New Jersey Citizen Corps Council helped coordinate volunteers across the state and sprung into action immediately. During the height of the storm, a communications repeater went down in the Hoboken Fire Department. Thinking quickly on their feet, the Hoboken CERT utilized its amateur radio repeaters as the primary means of communication for shelter operations, shuttle bus communications, and volunteer interactions.

Again, in the Hoboken area, establishing relationships with CVS and Doctors Without Borders prior to the disaster led to smooth coordination between the programs when assistance was needed. CERT members were able to recruit doctors and nurses to provide seniors with the aid and medication they required. Additionally, CERT volunteers transported seniors to local shelters to ensure their safety.  

Not far across the Hudson River, 1,200 New York CERT volunteers also worked around the clock, providing homecare for residents and ensuring food, water, blankets and emergency care were provided in hundreds of shelters throughout NYC and surrounding areas. CERT volunteers were so integrated into the day-to-day oversight of these shelters, US Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius requested a briefing from a NY CERT team member working in Brooklyn with the Special Medical Needs Shelter. Additionally, a local American Red Cross volunteer touted the efforts of CERT and its volunteers noting the shelter wouldn’t have run as smoothly without them. 

In addition to assisting the needs of survivors, NY CERT volunteers supported those impacted by the fuel shortage and various public transportation obstacles. At the request of the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Home-Based Healthcare Alliance, NY CERT volunteers transported nurses and healthcare practitioners to local hospitals, throughout various communities to see homecare patients and developed a strategy to ensure residents requiring someone to check on them, would be seen.

NY CERT team members also pumped fuel from tankers at Floyd Bennett Field and in the Rockaways. This assistance provided fuel for hundreds of emergency vehicles in storm damaged areas. Most importantly, through the work of these CERTs, the support provided to emergency responders and emergency vehicles were able to respond and transport those in need to open hospitals.

Administrator Craig Fugate, the Individual and Community Preparedness Division and the entire FEMA family want to thank the team of emergency management professionals and volunteers for their efforts over the past several weeks. Thank you for your time and commitment to the mission of making communities safe, secure and more resilient to withstand disaster.

To learn more about NJ CERT visit their website and click here to learn more about NY CERT.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Preparedness Message Isn’t Reaching the Public

Here is an article by Jim Mckay that is worth reading. I would love to hear some feed back.
And thanks Sean Jones/CERT 57, for finding this article.
The other articles in this newsletter are also worth reading.

November's FFX OEM Emergency Preparedness Newsletter

Hope your Thanksgiving was great. Hoping there were no unfortunate turkey frying incidents.
Now that we are full on into the Holiday season with all the parties, winter weather, travel and shopping, here is the link to the FFX OEM Emergency Preparedness Newsletter.

Here are some highlights:

Cyber security
check your 72-hour kits and have one for your vehicle. (remember snowmagadon!)
winter weather forecast

When the snow does arrive, remember to clear three feet around and to the street, the fire hydrants in your neighborhood. This might be a good blurb in your community's newsletter.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Near Normal Forecast for Snow and Cold Temperatures

New post on Fairfax County Emergency Information


Posted at 12:22 p.m.
According to the Capital Weather Gang blog, this coming winter will be both colder and snowier than last year, however, they do recognize that last winter brought us record seasonal warm temperatures and low snowfall. "We do not expect this to be an epic snowy winter," they added.
Generally we can expect 6-7 accumulating (more than a trace) snow events this winter with around 4 events of an inch or more. The outlying suburbs to the north and west may experience a couple additional events.
The most we can say is that we favor the highest impact events to occur in our chilliest months, January and February, especially the latter. We’re calling for February to be our coldest month with respect to normal and also our coldest outright. December and January should be on the warm side of normal.
The Capital Weather Gang reports that the odds are not high for a massive, crippling “Snowmageddon”-like storm, "but a 6-10 inch (or modestly higher) storm is certainly not out of the question."
So whether we have lots of snow at once, i.e. a big storm, or lots of little snowfall events, we should expect the white stuff this winter. Be sure you and your family are ready.
Over the past couple of weeks we've highlighted several steps you should take -- and more tips will follow for the next several weeks. If you haven't done so yet, subscribe to our blog by email (sign-up at right) and be sure to register for free emergency alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN). You can get general emergency alerts, but with winter on the way, you'll want to make sure you specifically sign-up for weather alerts.
fairfaxcounty | November 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Tags: Capital Weather Gang, snow, winter weather | Categories: Prepare, Winter | URL:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mike's LEGEN.....wait for it......DARY , "be careful when frying a turkey" post!

Fry me to the moon

I apologize for posting this so late this year, I hope this short blog post does not ruin your menu planning for this year’s feast, but I have to get this message out one more time.  This is it, the (in)famous,  "be careful when frying a turkey" post! I want to make sure if you are planning to fry a turkey, you do so safely. Turkey Fryer fires are extremely dangerous and I want to see everyone enjoy their holiday, no have it end in tears, or worse.




Have you thought about how you might be cooking your Thanksgiving turkey? What the heck does this have to do with CERT, safety or anything other than a cooking class or something on the Food Network? Has Mike gone completely crazy? Has cooking with Emeril Lagasse gone to his head? Good questions all! Over the past few years there has been a growing trend of people frying their turkeys. I have to say, fried turkey sure do taste good, this is a fact. Unfortunately, if you are novice, or even have experience frying a turkey, it is a serious and dangerous prospect.



There are many reasons a deep fryer can be dangerous. Since using the typical pedestal type turkey fryer SHOULD NEVER BE DONE INDOORS (this includes a garage or barn, even if is not entirely closed in), making sure you have the space and equipment to do this outdoors is important. Also bear in mind, the weather; if it is windy, raining or snowing, this could affect your fryer. In order to fry your turkey you will need to get the oil in the fryer up to at least 350 degrees ...350 degrees, which, if you did not know, IS REALLY HOT!



Working with an unstable product such as blazing hot oil over an open flame is dangerous, even if you know what you are doing. Other safety issues include:


* If the burner is not on level ground, the units can easily tip over, spilling hot oil (3-5 gallons of hot oil at 350 degrees!!!) onto the burner and creating a LARGE, FAST fire.


* If the pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill over when the turkey is lowered into the pot. Oil will hit the flames on the burner and engulf the burner with fire. There are ways to measure out the right amount of oil, which is imperative to ensure you do not have the pot overfilled.


* Water and hot oil do not go together. Partially frozen turkeys contain water of course, so if you lower a partially frozen turkey into a fryer, expect an extensive fire. Heaven help you if you place a frozen turkey in the fryer; to help defrost it....this will cause an explosion as the water expands in the hot (350 degrees ) oil. DON'T do it.


* The outdoor fryers have no thermostat controls, so they can overheat quickly and cause the oil to boil over the sides of the pot before you can react.


* The pot and handles get EXTREMELY hot (remember, 350 degrees of boiling oil), posing severe burn hazards.



I am sure there is someone out there saying to themselves, "I won't let Mike yuck my yum, I am going to fry a turkey anyway". It won't be the first time someone did not listen to what I said. You still want to fry that turkey? Ok, fine. Please, remember these things as you go about frying. These are not guaranteed to stop a fire or keep you from getting burned, but they may help in mitigating a larger disaster (such as burning your house down):


* Never use a turkey fryer on a wooden deck or inside a garage, home, or within any structure.


* Place the fryer a safe distance away from any building ( if you place it in the grass, the grass should not be overly dry, nor overly wet. Also count on the grass dying and never growing back).


* Fryers should be used on a firm, flat surface to prevent them from tipping over. Try the middle of a parking lot....not the sloping driveway in front of your house next to your car.


* Once the pot is filled with the recommended amount of oil (probably peanut oil) and the burner is ignited, you should NEVER leave the fryer unattended. This also means do not cook if you are under the influence. Please, don't drink and fry.


* Keep pets inside and keep children at a safe distance. A safe distance being somewhere where they will never see the fryer, because once they do, they will want to get close.


* Use well-insulated gloves or oven mitts and wear safety glasses (I think I know where you might have a pair laying around) to guard against oil splatters.


* Do not wear loose clothing as these may ignite if you get too close to the flame or the oil, or both. If your clothes do catch on fire, remember, Stop, Drop and Roll!


*Turkeys must be thoroughly thawed. While very tasty, be very careful of injecting marinades into your turkey. The extra liquid in the bird may cause the oil to spill over.


*Keep a portable dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use a water type extinguisher to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Do not deploy the garden hose to assist with your turkey fryer fire, this will do MUCH, MUCH more harm than good.


* If your fryer does catch fire call 9-1-1 immediately!



Finally, remember the oil inside the pot will remain hot for hours after your turkey has been removed. DO NOT bring it indoors and again, keep children and pets away from the pot. For more information on some of the hazards of cooking fires (not just the turkey fryer fires), please visit the United States Fire Administration's website for a copy of: Behavioral Mitigation of Cooking Fires by going here:



For a short demo on a fryer fire, go here:



Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!







Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Spot a Dangerous Tree and What to Do

You may have read this when it was first out, but it's just as timely because of Hurricane Sandy.
Please, be safe out there. Who is the most important person??? I AM!! Remember your buddy system whenever doing anything remotely dangerous. And size-up first.

How to Spot a Dangerous Tree and What to Do

July 18, 2012

News Highlights
*          Private property owners are responsible for maintaining their trees, and they should have a certified arborist inspect their trees regularly.
*          There are signs that a tree may be in danger of toppling, but it's not always obvious when a tree is in poor health. This is why it's important to have a certified tree care professional inspect your trees.
*          County officials ask residents to report potentially dangerous trees on public properties.

Following the severe thunderstorms that struck our area more than two weeks ago, Fairfax County residents should have a certified arborist examine their trees to see if they present a danger. The derecho storm may have weakened trees that are already in poor health, putting them in greater danger of toppling.

While it may not always be obvious when a tree could pose a hazard, these are signs that may indicate that a tree may be in danger of falling:

*       Dead branches in the tree or on the ground near the tree

*       Mushrooms near the base of the tree

*       Excessive leaf loss or dead leaves at the top of the tree

*       Cavities, cracks or seams in the tree or areas of rotten wood

*       Nearby trees are dead or have significant damage

*       A change in how the tree leans

*       Ground is heaving or cracked near the base of the tree

*       The surrounding ground is damaged from construction, erosion or storms

Residents who are concerned about a hazardous tree should take these steps:

*       If a tree presents an immediate life-threatening hazard, including falling onto electric wires, or it is blocking a public road, call 9-1-1.

*       If a tree falls onto utility lines, call your power company: Dominion Power at 1-888-667-3000, TTY 711, or NOVEC at 703-335-0500, TTY 711. Never approach or touch trees or limbs that contact power lines, as may be energized, and extremely dangerous!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How is our CERT family?

Morning Folks,

This is the only way I can check on our CERT family. I don't have the master list of all the CERT members, Dana and Jeffrey do.
So, how have you fared? How did Hurricane Sandy affect you? Do you have any damage to your home or vehicles? Have you or a family member been injured? Do you need some help?
Did your CERT skills come into play during or after the storm?
Let us know.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Media Opportunityy: Fairfax County Virginia Task Force One at 10:30 a.m.


Media Availability

10:30 a.m.

14725 Flint Lee Drive, Chantilly, VA

Fairfax County, Virginia Task Force One—Urban Search and Rescue

Status: Activated and mobilized, but not deployed.

Media are welcome to visit the staging area for video, photos, and interviews.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy Approaches, FEMA Urges Residents to Follow Directions of Local Officials

WASHINGTON - At the direction of President Obama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coordinating the federal government's assistance and preparations to support states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Today, the President joined an operations briefing at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. During the briefing the President received an update on preparedness activities underway from Administrator Craig Fugate and FEMA Regional Administrators, and an update on the storm from National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb. The President continues to direct Administrator Fugate to ensure that federal partners continue to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local responders in potentially affected areas along the East Coast as they prepare for severe weather. FEMA has already deployed teams and has pre-staged resources to potentially affected states and areas ahead of the storm and FEMA continues to urge residents in potentially affected areas to be prepared.

"As conditions worsen along the Mid-Atlantic and other parts of the East Coast, residents need to listen to the direction of local officials," urged Fugate. "This is a large storm and the potential impacts from wind, coastal flooding, inland flooding, rain and snow will affect many states.  If you're on the coast, it's time to act and follow evacuation orders. If you're inland, now is the time to make final preparations.  Be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies."

Today, the President declared an emergency for the State of Maryland.  The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to provide assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety in the City of Baltimore and all counties in the State of Maryland.

FEMA and its federal partners remain in close coordination with states and tribal governments and continue to coordinate resources to provide support as needed. FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams and liaison officers have deployed to potentially affected states along the East Coast to support preparedness activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.  Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and teams are in place or are en route to Delaware, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania to support the states with secure and non-secure voice, video, and information services, operations, and logistics support to state response operations, and with any potential requests for assistance.

According to the NOAA National Weather Service 2 p.m. advisory, hurricane force winds are expected along portions of the coast between Chincoteague, Va. And Chatham, Mass.  Tropical Storm force winds are expected north of Chatham to Merrimack River, Mass., the lower Chesapeake Bay and south of Chincoteague to Duck, North Carolina.  Hurricane Sandy is expected to produce significant precipitation over widespread areas causing inland flooding, coastal storm surge, snow, and possible power outages. 

Individuals in the region should continue to monitor NOAA Weather Radio and their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials.  State and local officials make determinations and announcements about evacuations. We urge the public to listen to the instructions of officials, and if told to evacuate - evacuate.

The FEMA smartphone app provides safety tips and displays open shelter information at To find an open Red Cross shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane app or visit

To support potential pre- and post storm evacuations, in coordination with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through Emergency Support Function 8, FEMA has the capability to activate ambulance contracts to support state requirements to evacuate patients if needed and requested.

In anticipation of the potential impact from the storm, the American Red Cross mobilized hundreds of disaster workers, readying shelters and coordinating efforts with community partners in potentially affected states and the Department of Health and Human Services has two 50-person disaster medical assistance teams pre-staged in the mid-Atlantic, prepared to deploy quickly along the East Coast if needed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deployed temporary emergency power teams along the East Coast.  Power teams consist of planning and response teams and resource support staff to assist with critical infrastructure. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) is working closely with FEMA, and in support of state and local officials who are responsible for working with utilities as they prepare for storms, deployed emergency response personnel to FEMA Regional Response Coordination Centers (RRCC) in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, and additional personnel are on standby to assist.  DOE is working with states and local partners as the electric industry begins the process of pre-mobilizing storm and field personnel to assist in power restoration efforts. 

U.S. Northern Command deployed Regional Defense Coordinating Officers (DCO), and portions of the Defense Coordinating Element (DCE), in advance of the storm, to validate, plan and coordinate potential Department of Defense (DOD) support of FEMA's response operations and to facilitate DOD support of life-saving and response operations.  FEMA and DOD are establishing Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. and Lakehurst, New Jersey to position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas, should they be needed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is monitoring the storm and will take steps to prepare and protect FAA facilities and equipment that are in the projected path of the storm, including control towers, radars and navigational aids. The FAA's top operational priority is to quickly re-establish air traffic service to support disaster relief efforts. The FAA Air Traffic System Command Center will maintain constant communications with the airlines, the military, business aviation and airports in the storm's path. They will advise the FAA about their flight schedules and plans to evacuate aircraft from affected areas and the FAA will share information about the status of the air traffic control system and availability of air routes.

Preparedness Actions

Take Action. Time is limited to prepare your family, home or business to lessen the impact of severe weather.  Coastal and inland residents should ensure that their families have an emergency plan and emergency kits in their homes and cars.  Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include: one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio; flashlight and extra batteries; and First Aid kit. 

Those in areas where the storm is expected to produce snow should also have supplies in their emergency kits such as rock salt or environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways, snow shovels, adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm and heating fuel like dry, seasoned wood for the fireplace or wood-burning stove. Both hurricanes and winter storms often cause power outages, take steps now to ensure you can sustain yourself for at least 72 hours if needed.  

More information about what to do before, during and after a disaster can also be found visiting and The FEMA mobile site (, smartphone app (, and text messages ( also provide regular updates. Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed. Follow FEMA online at, and

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Friday, October 26, 2012

CERT Pot Luck

CERT Pot Luck

When: November 4, 2012, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Where: Annandale Volunteer Fire Station, FS 408

            7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale VA

We are holding our first CERT Pot Luck social for all old, new and future CERT volunteers, family, and friends.

Please RSVP and let us know how many plan to attend and what you plan to bring as a dish, drink or dessert.

 We would suggest that if your last name starts with the letter A to G then you could bring a main dish, no time to make something? Bring a bucket of chicken; if it starts with a G to P, then you can bring dessert and P to Z, refreshments.

Plan to come celebrate being a volunteer in the CERT program of Fairfax County.

To RSVP, please email your response directly to Paul D. at

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Preparedness info from Fairfax County OEM

3 Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Posted 4:44 p.m.

Hurricane Sandy continues its move north and the National Weather Service reports it will impact the Washington region. However, the exact impact and timing are not yet known. The range of impacts could be low, such as minor coastal flooding, to significant if there’s a direct hit, which is still within the cone of uncertainty. With a direct hit, we would experience significant flooding, power outages and tropical storm winds.

At conference call with regional governments this afternoon, the National Weather Service says the most likely scenario for our area right now is a slow, long-lasting system with tropical storm winds, heavy rain/flooding and moderate tidal flooding. The National Weather Service will not have a definitive scenario until at least Saturday.

So while it’s too early to identify path and impacts, it’s never too early to get ready, especially with the uncertainty surrounding this storm.

There are a few things you can do now in advance of the storm. We need the whole community — families, businesses, nonprofits, faith communities and other key groups — to prepare:

1.) Get Emergency Supplies

  • Buy extra water. One gallon of water per person (and pet) per day is recommended for drinking and sanitation.
  • Buy an extra bag (or cans) of food for your pet.
  • Withdraw some extra cash from your bank or ask for cash back at a grocery store so you can make purchases in case there are power outages.
  • Review your infant and young children supplies essential to you as a parent or someone who may be taking care of a young child.
  • Pickup an extra package or two of the most commonly used batteries in your home.
  • Purchase extra over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or children’s medications you frequently use.

2.) Clear Leaves From Storm Drains.

It’s fall and our trees are showing off their reds and oranges, but many leaves have hit the ground. Keep storm drains clear in case we receive inches of rain. If you live within a homeowner’s association or apartment complex check in to see if they plan to clear common areas.

3.) Stay Informed
  • Sign up for our Community Emergency Alert Network text/email updates that will provide weather alerts and other critical information.
  • If you use social media sites, then follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Be an information ambassador for us and share/retweet updates. If using Twitter, help us see local tweets by using the hashtag #ffxstorm
  • Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit ( on your phone) for the latest forecast.
  • Download our county mobile apps with emergency information and get the American Red Cross “Hurricane” appAndroid, Apple.
For more tips, visit

FEMA Closely Monitoring Hurricane Sandy


Through our regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, we continue to closely monitor Hurricane Sandy as it moves north in the Atlantic Ocean. We remain in close coordination with state and tribal emergency management partners in Florida and the potentially affected southeast, Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Administrator Craig Fugate provided some important reminders earlier today.

"As Hurricane Sandy proceeds closer toward southeast Florida, residents should listen to local officials for updates and follow their instructions. As the storm moves northward, it serves as a reminder that we all need to be prepared for severe weather. Now is the time to update your family communication plans, check your supplies, and stay informed. A hurricane isn't a point on a map - it's a big storm and its impact will be felt far from the center. FEMA is in contact with states and tribal governments and stands ready to support their preparedness efforts."

I’d like to emphasize the Administrator’s last point about the size of these storms. The storm’s future path is still uncertain, but National Weather Service forecasts show that Hurricane Sandy may impact additional states throughout the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast into early next week. This means millions along the East Coast should closely watch the progression of Hurricane Sandy as it moves northward. Going into tonight and tomorrow, the Florida Keys, southeast and east-central Florida are expected to experience heavy rainfall and high winds.

As Hurricane Sandy moves northward and closer to Florida, we encourage residents to prepare now for tropical storm and hurricane conditions. Here are a few safety tips if you are in the potentially affected area:

·         For the severe weather forecast for your area, listen to your NOAA Weather Radio, local media and forecast reports.

·         Check on the items in your family’s emergency kit - Remember to include items like a flashlight, hand-crank radio, and a solar powered cell phone charger to your emergency kit. Hurricanes often bring power outages, so be sure your emergency kit can sustain your family for at least 72 hours after the storm.

·         Make a plan for how you will contact friends and family in the event of an emergency.

·         Flooding is often the most significant threat from hurricanes and tropical storms - avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.

·         As always, follow the direction of local officials. Don’t put yourself at risk, if they give the order to evacuate, do so immediately.

Visit for more tips on preparing your home and family for the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Last Updated:

10/25/2012 - 18:05

Posted on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:55