Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011 Hurricane Preparedness Advisory

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has forecast an above-normal 2011 hurricane season, which officially begins on June 1, and runs through November 30, 2011. The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season is predicted to have 9 to 18 "named" storms with winds averaging 39 mph or higher (70% chance). Six to ten storms could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), and three to six are predicted to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

To ensure our personal readiness we need to begin to prepare now. If you have not already developed a family plan, now is the time to prepare! It only takes one hurricane (or tropical storm) to cause a disaster, and while federal, state and District emergency officials are fully engaged in preparation for storms and flooding, the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DC HSEMA) strongly recommends that each individual take ownership of their personal safety and the safety of others by preparing now, during National Hurricane Week. Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.

"We have witnessed unprecedented catastrophic weather to the south and west of us. Such occurrences should serve as a reminder that each and every one of us needs to begin to take emergency preparedness seriously -- doing so will help to save lives and protect property,” said Millicent West, Director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
District residents, business owners, commuters and visitors, are urged to pay close attention to weather forecasts during hurricane season. The impacts of a hurricane are not limited to the coastline; residual hazards that hurricanes can bring often pose a threat across inland areas as well. When hurricanes move inland and weaken into tropical storms, they bring torrential rains and high winds over large areas, which intensify the risk of flooding.

View* a chronology of hurricane events impacting the District since 1827.

Personal Preparedness Pointers
Personal preparedness is vital. Individuals and families should be ready to take protective actions even before a storm is forecast. DC HSEMA wants the public to make sure it has provisions for at least 72 hours after a storm strikes. This includes food and water as well as other needed supplies.

By the Start of Hurricane Season you should:
When a Watch is issued you should:
  • Check your Disaster Supply Kit. Make sure nothing is missing. Determine if there is anything you need to supplement your kit. Replenish your water.
  • Activate your Family Disaster Plan. Protective measures should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time (for example, securing a boat or leaving a barrier island).
When a Warning is issued you should:
  • Ready you’re Disaster Supply Kit for use. If you need to evacuate, you should bring your Disaster Supply Kit with you.
  • Use your Family Disaster Plan. Your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.
Businesses have a vital role in preparedness as well.  Developing a disaster plan now will increase the likelihood that your company may recover from a disaster faster. Ready Business outlines commonsense measures business owners and managers can take to begin the process of preparing employees and ensuring the safety of facilities.

To obtain a Hurricane Fact Sheet visit*

For more information on preparing for all disasters and emergencies, please visit and

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