Prepare for Possibility of Severe Weekend Weather
NOTICE FROM DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency
District of Columbia Prepares for Possibility of Severe Weekend Weather
Agencies staging equipment and supplies in anticipation of storm
Jo’Ellen G. Countee
September 4, 2008
(Washington, D.C.) District of Columbia government agencies are mobilizing personnel, equipment and other resources in anticipation of possible severe weather this weekend. The National Weather Service reports that the District could be affected by wind and rain related to tropical storm Hanna. The current forecast indicates the possibility that the western edge of the storm may impact the District with minimal wind and rain on Saturday and Sunday.
In response to the current forecast, HSEMA has issued a citizen’s alert through the city’s Alert DC emergency text alert system and posted information on city websites, including 72hours.dc.gov and hsema.dc.gov, informing citizens about protective actions and referring them to additional sources of preparedness information. The agency is also conducting daily conference calls with lead District Response Plan (DRP) agencies to ensure that all agencies are prepared to respond to the storm if necessary and is developing a “storm plan” that outlines preparations and catalogs assets and resources that each agency will utilize if they need to respond.
All emergency response agencies are inventorying and staging supplies, equipment and other resources and developing personnel deployment schedules.
“Just as we advise citizens to prepare in advance for emergencies, the District government also is taking steps in advance to prepare in case the city needs to respond to the storm,” said HSEMA Director Darrell Darnell. “In addition to our daily calls with DRP lead and support agencies, we also have daily conference calls with the National Weather Service and with FEMA Region III, which includes the mid-Atlantic region. We are making certain we are ready to respond if the District is impacted by the storm.”
· The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is staging generators and portable stop signs for rapid deployment to critical intersection and other vulnerable locations. Traffic control officers are on stand-by in the event they are needed to direct traffic at critical intersections.
· The D. C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) is checking and cleaning catch basins in neighborhoods with repetitive flooding issues such as the Bloomingdale neighborhood in northwest. The authority also has portable pumps and generators that will be pre-staged at problem areas.
· The Department of Public Works has equipment ready to assist with debris removal and is stockpiling sandbags for possible distribution in the event of localized flooding.
· Both the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department have personnel and apparatus on standby, including inflatable boats, in the event they need to perform water rescues or deal with other storm-related incidents.
City residents are encouraged to review their emergency plans and make sure all information is up-to-date and correct. They should also check the status of their emergency kit and replenish any items that may be low. Water and non-perishable food to last for at least 72 hours for each household member is recommended along with any medical supplies or other specialized items such as diapers. For more information about how to make an emergency kit or a family emergency plan, visit 72hours.dc.gov.
In the event of an emergency or for more information, citizens should call 311.
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