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Friday, November 26, 2021
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FEMA Urges Residents to Stay Alert to Continuing Risks from Ida

Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Ida continues to bring dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and life-threatening flash, urban and river flooding over portions of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

FEMA continues to track Ida, which made landfall as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane near Port Fourchon, La., on Sunday afternoon. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Ida continues to bring dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and life-threatening flash, urban and river flooding over portions of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi today.

“FEMA’s priorities are to support effected states by providing life-saving and life-sustaining actions,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Areas inland will continue to experience dangerous weather conditions, so please be safe and listen to local emergency management officials.”

On Aug. 29, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved a Major Declaration for the State of Louisiana. The declaration authorizes Individual and Public Assistance for 25 parishes, Public Assistance for 39 parishes and hazard mitigation statewide.

Survivors in parishes approved for individual assistance can apply for disaster assistance. The fastest way to apply is through DisasterAssistance.gov. They can also apply by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or through the FEMA mobile app.

President Biden approved Louisiana’s request for an emergency declaration on Aug. 27, and Mississippi’s request on Aug. 28. The declarations authorize FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts in support of the states by identifying, mobilizing and providing equipment and resources necessary to alleviate hardship and suffering of the local population. Additionally, the declarations authorize FEMA to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety in all 64 Louisiana parishes and 24 Mississippi counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

FEMA received Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ request for an amendment to the emergency declaration to include all 84 counties for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance. The request is under review.

  • As the storm moves inland, anyone in the forecast path should rush to complete final preparations. Monitor your local news for updates and directions provided by local officials, and please check on your people, if it is safe to do so.
  • Put your health and safety first: be careful walking around damaged areas. If you evacuated, only return when officials say it is safe to do so.
  • Please be safe and listen to local emergency management officials and watch for emergency alerts and real-time safety notifications on evacuations.
  • If you have storm damage, take photographs or video to document it.
  • Use a generator safely. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
    • Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
  • Visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov for information and resources available for residents in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. The page is available in French, Haitian Creole, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Federal Actions to Support Areas Affected by Hurricane Ida

  • FEMA is working with its federal, state and local partners as well as non-governmental agencies to support needs of areas affected by Ida. The agency positioned supplies such as meals, water and generators to assist states with impacts from this storm.
  • More than 3,600 FEMA employees are deployed to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and are ready to provide additional support as needed.
  • Seven FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida: four in Louisiana, one in Alabama and two in Mississippi.
  • FEMA liaison officers are deployed to Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.
  • Incident Support Bases have been established in Alexandria, La., and Montgomery and Selma, Ala. Commodities, equipment and personnel are being pre-positioned to rapidly deploy post-storm, as needed. This includes:
  • Mobile Emergency Response Support assets, including emergency operations vehicles, are deployed to support Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • FEMA assigned additional personnel from the federal government, including the Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide support as needed.
  • HHS is deploying a 250-bed federal medical shelter to Alexandria, La.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard has 27 rotary or fixed wing assets, and the Department of Defense has 60 high-water vehicles and 14 rotary wing assets prepositioned to assist with search and rescue.
  • Forty-eight shelters are open in affected areas throughout the Gulf Coast.

Keep Yourself, Family and Neighbors Safe Before and After Flooding

  • Stay off the roads. Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Check on neighbors who may require assistance, if it is safe to do so. This includes individuals with infants, children as well as older adults, people with disabilities and others who may need help.
  • Don’t drive through flood waters. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low-lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay out of floodwater. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines or contain hazards such as human and animal waste, dangerous debris, contaminates that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.

Stay Safe from Post-Storm Hazards

  • If you need to evacuate post-storm, be extremely careful driving as roads may be damaged or blocked. If you go to a community or group shelter, remember to follow the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19. FEMA is prepared and activated to respond to disasters in states in a COVID-19 environment and is well postured to handle this upcoming storm despite the Delta surge.
  • Check local media for a list of shelters, including those who can accommodate pets. If you are staying in a hotel, Please call before you go and ask if pets are permitted.
  • If you are in the path of Ida as it moves inland, gather supplies. Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies, face maskspet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or weeks.
  • If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
  • Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines. They may be live with deadly voltage. Stay far away and report them immediately to your power company.
  • Stay informed. Individuals in Louisiana can text IDA to 67283 for storm updates from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or visit GOHSEP > GOHSEP (la.gov). Individuals in Alabama should follow the guidance of local officials or visit ema.alabama.gov/. For storm updates in Mississippi, visit Hurricane Ida – MEMA (msema.org).
  • Stay put. Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. If you evacuated, do not return home until local officials say it is safe.
  • Don’t drive through flood waters. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Check on friends and family. If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family because some may need more help than others.

Stay Safe During Power Outages

  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices should never be used inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. These should only be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.
  • Use a generator safely. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
  • Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
  • Use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.
  • Power outages can impact the safety of food in your refrigerator and freezer.
    • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary.
    • Throw away any food that has been exposed to a temperature of 40°Fahrenheit (4° Celsius) or higher for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
    • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, heat-resistant bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly.

Read more at FEMA

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