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  • FEMA Urges Residents to Remain Vigilant in Preparation for Hurricane Dorian

    • Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, dangerous winds and significant infrastructure damage to much of the Florida peninsula beginning Monday. Evacuations have begun to be issued in Florida, and additional evacuation orders may follow. Fill your tank, stock your vehicle with supplies, and if ordered to evacuate, go.
    • The forecasted track for Dorian can change quickly.  If you’re anywhere in the forecasted path of Hurricane Dorian, take steps to prepare now.
    • Hurricane Dorian is a big storm, and the federal, state and tribal governments are preparing for a big response.

    Follow Instructions from Local Officials:

    • Dorian is currently forecasted to make impacts along Florida’s Atlantic coast as a major hurricane, which means it could cause significant damage to power, water and road systems.
    • Remember: storm surge and related inland flooding is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane.
    • Monitor the storm closely and follow the guidance of your local officials.  Be ready to leave, have a plan for where you will go, and if ordered to evacuate, go.
    • Florida residents and visitors are warned to heed all emergency guidance provided by local officials and avoid any areas under evacuation.

    Now is the Time to Prepare:

    • Download the FEMA App for preparedness tips, shelter information and weather alerts.
    • Residents are encouraged to have supplies for up to seven days, including: prescription medication, items to care for infants and toddlers, pet supplies, water and non-perishable food.
    • You should refill any necessary prescriptions today.  Florida’s state of emergency allows you to obtain a 30-day refill of your prescription medication.
    • Make sure you have cash on hand and collect important papers such as property deeds, birth certificates, and rental leases - or create password-protected digital copies.
    • Fill up your gas tank, stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and know your evacuation routes.
    • Visit Ready.gov for more information on what you can do ahead of this dangerous storm.
    • Floridians can visit FloridaDisaster.Org to find information on emergency preparedness, shelters, road closures and evacuation routes and download the FL511 Mobile App for updated road and traffic conditions.

    It’s a Big Storm and We’re Preparing for a Big Response:

    BIG STORM - Wind Speed
    Probabilities
    • FEMA, through the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and its regional offices, is monitoring the effects and track of Hurricane Dorian and remains in contact with state and tribal emergency management officials.
    • Personnel and resources are moving to incident support bases to be ready to support response activities as requested by the state.
    • The NRCC and FEMA Region IV’s Regional Response Coordination Center are both conducting 24-hour operations.
    • FEMA’s Hurricane Liaison Team is working jointly with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, and an Incident Support Base is established at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
    • Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
    • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency for several counties in Georgia ahead of any potential impacts from Dorian.
    • The Seminole Tribe of Florida has declared a state of emergency as well.

    Declarations:

    • On  Aug. 30, President Trump approved Florida’s request for an emergency declaration allowing direct federal assistance for emergency and life-safety actions taken ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
    • FEMA received Chairman Marcellus Osceola’s request for an emergency declaration for the Seminole Tribe of Florida on Aug. 30.  The request is currently under review.
    • President Trump approved emergency declarations for Puerto Rico on Aug. 27 and the USVI on Aug. 28, making federal funding available to assist those territories with emergency and life-safety actions taken ahead of Dorian.
  • How High-Speed Winds Can Damage Your Home

    Here is the Midst of Hurricane Season, and heading toward National Preparedness Month we want to remind you to Prepare... Before or After isn't a viable question - get ready now.

    While your home may not be shattered, a lot of damage can occur - some not immediately apparent.

    It is important to educate yourself on all matters, especially when it comes to one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime — your home. To protect your family and your belongings, fully understanding how the structural frame of your home can be affected by high-speed winds or a hurricane is just the beginning.

    For more background reading, see these articles (or continue with this post below):

    Here are four of the most common types of damage that can occur from high-speed wind situations:

    palms at hurricane1. Uplifting

    During windstorms, both the speed and direction of winds can fluctuate, which can put pressure on all parts of your home. The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your house. As wind flows over the roof it creates a strong lifting effect, similar to air flowing over an airplane wing. If the connection between the roof and walls is not strong enough, the entire roof may detach from the rest of the structure. This is known as an uplift.

    To help prevent this from happening, it is important to have your roof professionally inspected to ensure the roof sheathing is properly installed and that nails are correctly penetrating the rafters or trusses. Depending on your location, it may also be a good idea to install specially designed metal connectors.

    2. Racking

    When wind exerts horizontal pressure on the house, causing the structure to tilt or lean, this is referred to as racking.

    3. Sliding

    Sliding occurs when horizontal pressure forces the house to slide off the foundation.

    4. Overturning

    If the house is unable to rack or slide, the lateral forces from the wind may cause the house to completely rotate off its foundation.

    While an uplift might be a more common occurrence during high-speed windstorms, it is important for you to have your entire home checked and inspected if you live in an area where storms are common. Speak with a representative about the residential building codes in your area to ensure you meet all the minimum building requirements.

    To avoid or better protect your home against high-speed wind damage, consider speaking with your builder or remodeler about making adjustments to your home such as creating a continuous load path, which is a method of construction that ties your entire house together from top to bottom. By connecting and strengthening the structural frame of the house, along with the use of storm shutters and impact-resistant windows, your home will be better equipped to handle future high-speed windstorms.

    Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you involve yourself in the entire process from start to finish so that you and your family understand what's being done and how this will protect your home. Don't be afraid to ask questions and get recommendations.

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