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Tuesday, 09 July 2013 15:06

Ahead of Tropical Storm Chantal FEMA Urges Residents to Take Steps to Prepare, Listen to Local Officials

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Caribbean Area office in Puerto Rico and in coordination with the National Weather Service, is monitoring the conditions of Tropical Storm Chantal.

According to the National Weather Service, a tropical storm watch is in effect for the coastal waters of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours somewhere within the specified areas. Tropical storms often bring storm surge and significant rainfall and flooding.

FEMA urges residents in potentially affected areas to closely monitor the storm and take steps now to be prepared in advance of severe weather and most importantly, follow the direction of commonwealth and territory officials. At this time, it is still too early to know whether the storm could pose an immediate threat to the eastern coast of the United States, but for individuals in areas that could be affected now is the time to refresh your emergency kit and review your family plan. If you do not have an emergency kit or family plan, or to learn about steps you can take now to prepare your family for severe weather, visit www.Ready.gov.

Residents or visitors in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands:

Listen to the instructions of local officials. Local officials make decisions on sheltering in place or going to your pre-designated safe meeting location.

Have important supplies ready to sustain you and your family, if needed. This includes water, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone charger, medicines, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies.

Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast – Follow local radio and TV reports, as well as forecasts from the National Hurricane Center.

FEMA encourages the public to remain vigilant, to continue monitoring Tropical Storm Chantal and to use this opportunity to reassess their readiness for the 2013 hurricane season. For more information on preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit www.Ready.gov or www.listo.gov. Information regarding emergency preparedness and what to do before and after a disaster can also be found at m.fema.gov or by downloading the FEMA app from your smartphone’s app store.