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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preparedness Tips for Those Bracing for Hurricane Isaac

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has been involved in emergency preparedness, disaster management, and recovery since 2003. As a part our ongoing efforts, NCD is distributing the following information regarding response to Hurricane Isaac by FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination as the category 1 hurricane heads toward New Orleans and the Louisiana coast. Isaac is expected to make landfall Tuesday night.

FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination has been organizing their response to Hurricane Isaac with state partners across the Gulf of Mexico. Please see below for a brief summary of the federal response to Hurricane Isaac as of 7pm Tuesday August 28, 2012:

• On Monday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and National Hurricane Director Dr. Rick Knabb briefed President Obama about the storm track and preparations underway to support communities that may be impacted by the storm.

• FEMA maintains strategically-located commodities at all times, including millions of liters of water, and a similar amount of meals and blankets, at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories to support potential state requests for assistance.

•In advance of the storm, FEMA proactively deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams to state emergency operations centers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. Additional teams are ready to be mobilized as needed and requested.

In addition, FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination recommends the following preparedness actions for those in the watch and warning areas of Hurricane Isaac:

•FEMA urges residents in the southeastern states to monitor your NOAA Weather Radio and local news stations for updates and severe weather warnings. Communities should remain alert and take all required actions resulting from local evacuation orders, high wind warnings, and identified flood risks, including flash flood warnings.

• State and local officials make the decisions to issue evacuation orders so residents should follow all instructions from local emergency management officials.

• If your area is ordered to evacuate, be sure to know your evacuation route in advance and have a plan for where you will stay.

• Prepare your family, home, or business now to lessen the impact of severe weather. Review your ‘go kit’ to make sure you have your home and personal insurance information as well as the latest prescriptions or medical supplies you or your family members may need. Identify a location to meet up with family and friends should you become separated or need to move to a local emergency shelter.

• Now is a good time to fill up your vehicles with gas and get cash from the ATM in case these resources become unavailable after the storm due to power loss. If you have pets, check with local officials as to which shelters accept animals and prepare supplies to bring as needed.
• Please visit
http://www.ready.gov (Listo.gov para espaƱol) to learn more about the simple steps you can take to be prepared.

Coastal and inland residents in areas that may be affected by the storm should familiarize themselves with tornado hazard terminology.

• A Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible. Stay alert for storms, watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

• A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

• If a tornado is possible in your area, go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Do not open windows.

• Remember flooding, and especially flash flooding, are a major risk during tropical weather and small mistakes can lead to deadly results.
Never drive your car through standing water or around emergency barricades, and do not try to walk through more than two inches of running water.

• Power outages and flooding that can result from weather emergencies can compromise the safety of stored food, plan
ahead to minimize the risk of food-borne illness.

• A closed refrigerator will keep food safely for about four hours and a closed, full freezer can keep food safe about 48 hours.

• Remember for meat, poultry, fish and eggs, “when in doubt, throw it out.” Have a cooler on hand to keep refrigerator food cold in case of power outage, and grouping food together in the freezer; this helps the food stay cold longer.

Additional food safety preparedness tips can be found at USDA Food Safety Inspection Service’s website
http://www.fsis.usda.gov

If you have any questions about this advisory, please contact FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at: fema-disability-integration-coordination@dhs.gov

Additional Resources:

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs (American Red Cross)
http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240199_A4497.pdf

Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For People With Disabilities (Ready.gov) http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/PrinterFriendly_Disabilities_1.pdf

Video (captioned): Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs (FEMA)http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7028

Posted for the
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
202-272-2004 Voice
Website:
http://www.ncd.gov

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