- The National Hurricane Center is currently forecasting Tropical Storm Dorian may develop into a Category 1 hurricane when it approaches Puerto Rico Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rain and moderate-to-strong winds.
- History shows that storm tracks can change quickly. Island residents should closely monitor weather forecasts and listen to Commonwealth, Territorial, and/or local officials and be prepared to take shelter if ordered to do so.
- As Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue their recovery efforts from the 2017 hurricanes, even a smaller and less severe storm could have a significant impact.
- Disaster response is most effective when it is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. Response and recovery are a whole community effort. It takes everyone being prepared and neighbor helping neighbor.
- FEMA urges everyone to take precautions and prepare for any inclement weather over the next few days. It only takes one storm to change the life of an individual or a community.
Potential for Response on Top of Ongoing Recovery:
- FEMA continues to support the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with their complex and ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria; and, to ensure everyone is better prepared for this hurricane season, at all levels.
- As a result of the 2017 hurricanes, the vast majority of infrastructure throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was significantly damaged. Permanent restoration efforts are ongoing, and repairs are being made to meet current industry standards wherever possible.
- While repaired systems are in a more resilient condition than they were prior to the 2017 hurricanes, there is still more work to be done; therefore, even smaller and less severe storm systems could have a significant impact to infrastructure, individuals, and communities.
FEMA Preparations for Tropical Storm Dorian:
- FEMA is deploying four Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) to both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian. A fifth team is on standby.
- FEMA has nearly 3,000 federal employees in Puerto Rico ready to respond to a new disaster if needed. Through its regional office in New York City and Joint Recovery Office in San Juan, the agency is conducting checks of its primary, secondary and contingency communications systems to ensure the ability to execute emergency-response activities.
- Since 2017, FEMA has prepositioned life sustaining commodities throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to enable an even faster response to events in the Caribbean. The stock levels of these commodities are well above what was in place on-islandin 2017, to include: millions of liters of water and meals, as well as tarps and other necessities.
- 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.
Now is the Time to Prepare:
- Follow instructions from your local officials.
- Should Dorian’s forecast look to impact the islands, and if you believe damage to your residence is possible due to a blue roof or other ongoing repairs, seek out your nearest shelter.
- For a list of shelters and other important information from local officials, visit www.manejodeemergencias.pr.gov or call the Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau at 787-724-0124 to find your nearest shelter.
- Tropical Storm Dorian could cause power outages that last for several days. Plan now for how you will communicate with your family during and immediately after the storm
- Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage may:
- Disrupt communications and transportation;
- Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and other services;
- Cause food spoilage and water contamination; and,
- Prevent use of medical devices.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Have cash on hand for emergency expenses in case ATMs are down.
- Plan how you’ll communicate with family members once the storm passes. You can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, text instead of calling because phone lines are often overloaded.
- More hurricane preparedness information is available at:
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