Irene prompts precautions in Delaware


With the first hurricane of the season predicted to track up the Atlantic Coast, Delaware emergency management officials are urging the public to take this storm very seriously. Even though it is too early to accurately predict the strength and exact path of Irene by the time it reaches the Delmarva area, everyone is encouraged to be prepared for disruptive weather.

Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director Jamie Turner urges everyone to use this time to review their household emergency plan and to check emergency supplies. He said it is very important for the public to also monitor the weather and be aware of pending effects of a storm well in advance in order to plan and act safely.

“Have a plan, get a kit and stay informed,” Turner said. “We want everyone to have food and water for at least three days, batteries for lights and radios and a means of charging cell phones. Remember that part of your emergency plan is to have a destination in mind if you have to evacuate. If officials instruct you to evacuate, please do it.”

Additional things to consider in planning for an emergency include food and medications for those that might have special dietary or pharmaceutical needs and/or appropriate equipment for family members who might use assistive technology. Families also need to remember the needs of pets and stock adequate food and supplies as well as appropriate carriers or restraints should evacuation be required.

The DEMA Director said a very important component of each household emergency plan is to have important documents like medical records, deeds or leases, insurance records and birth certificates copied and stored where they can be easily accessed and packed in case of evacuation.

Turner reminds people that they can best cooperate and partner with emergency management officials and responders by staying informed and following recommendations and instructions.

DEMA and relevant partners statewide are in communication with the National Weather Service and will continue to regularly monitor conditions, keep the public informed and be ready to take appropriate actions as Irene draws nearer.

FEMA also encourages everyone, regardless of whether they live in a hurricane-prone area, to take steps to ensure their family, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency.

“FEMA, along with the entire federal family, is closely monitoring Hurricane Irene, and is coordinating with all of our state and territorial partners that have or could potentially be impacted by this storm. We encourage residents to continue listening to the instructions of their local officials,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “For residents in states that may be affected later this week, it’s critical that you take this storm seriously and take steps now to prepare your families, homes and businesses.”