|FEMA Urges Mid-Atlantic Residents to Prepare for Tropical Depression Ida|
|Today, FEMA urged Mid-Atlantic residents to prepare for flooding in the coming days as a result of Tropical Depression Ida. While certain areas will see higher amounts than others, FEMA warns that considerable flash and river flooding will be possible across FEMA Region 3, including parts of Virginia. Individuals should prioritize completing final preparations for flooding and monitor local news for updates and directions provided by local officials. Additionally, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia in response to Tropical Depression Ida. This will allow the Commonwealth of Virginia to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.
To keep yourself safe during flooding: Stay off the roads: Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. 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 flood waters 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, contaminants that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.
To keep yourself safe post-storm: 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-positioned 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, pet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. 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 immunosuppression 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. 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. Use a generator correctly and safely. Keep generators dry and position them outdoors and well away from any structure. Using a generator incorrectly can lead to dangerous situations, including carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get fresh air right away. If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family because some may need more help than others. Additional post-storm safety tips can be found on Ready.gov. For more information on federal Hurricane Ida preparedness and response visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov.