FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2005
CONTACT: FEMA/Florida News Desk 407-858-6207
SERT Public Information 850-921-0384
FEMA Supports Florida State Officials in Urging Preparedness as Hurricane Wilma
ORLANDO, Fla. – As Hurricane Wilma heads for the west
coast of Florida, the State Emergency Response Team has activated
its Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, where they are
monitoring the storm and beginning to put response measures into
place. State and local officials are working to implement evacuation
orders as they are issued. The U.S. Department of Homeland
Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency supports state and
local officials in their efforts, and stands ready to provide
federal assistance should it be required.
“This is a dangerous storm and we urge all Floridians to review
family preparedness plans and be ready to take immediate action,”
said Florida Emergency Management Director Craig Fugate. “As Florida
faces another hurricane, the relationship we have developed with our
partners on the local and federal levels will ensure the necessary
steps are taken – yet again – to respond to the needs of our
First and foremost, individuals are urged to pay attention to the
storm information and follow all advisories issued by local
“As always, we encourage families to listen to state and local
and take the necessary precautionary measures for Wilma’s arrival,”
said FEMA’s Long Term Recovery Director Scott R. Morris. “FEMA is
ready to step
up, once again, and assist our partners at the state and local
FEMA is preparing for Hurricane Wilma by pre-positioning supplies
commodities in areas surrounding potential landfall of the storm.
Commodities of ice, water, meals, and tarps, as well as Disaster
Assistance Teams and Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces are
across the State of Florida. In addition, FEMA has offered its
state and local officials in ensuring that families who are still
temporary housing due to last year’s hurricanes receive information
any evacuation orders issued by local officials.
Following is a list of actions that individuals should undertake
supplies to gather before Wilma’s anticipated landfall.
Before a Hurricane Strikes:
Plan a safe evacuation route and identify safe shelter space within
area. Those in storm surge zones, in flood zones, or in
housing should be especially vigilant in preparing disaster plans.
Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Flashlight, portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Emergency food and water (including a non-electric can opener)
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes and a change of clothing
- Copies of important papers (bank statements, insurance records, deeds, etc.)
When a Hurricane Watch or Warning is Issued:
- Listen to hurricane progress reports. Follow instructions if ordered
- Check your emergency supplies. Store drinking water in clean
bathtubs, jugs, bottles and available cooking pots.
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden
tools; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but that could
- Secure your home by installing hurricane shutters or precut plywood.
Trim dead branches from trees.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings if not
instructed by officials to turn off utilities.
- Fuel your car. Review evacuation routes and gather your disaster
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.
- Review your family disaster plan.
If You Are Told To Evacuate:
- If officials order evacuation, leave as soon as possible. Avoid
flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
- Secure your home. Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the
main water valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it
from flooding or move it to a higher floor.
- Take your pre-assembled emergency supplies and protective clothing.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal
recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also
mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and
emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program
the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S.
Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
For information on SERT go to
www.floridadisaster.org ; For FEMA,
go to www.fema.gov .