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Preparing for Hurricane Season

After our long cold winter, we’re all enjoying well deserved summer weather.  But, along with the long summer days comes the possibility of hurricanes.  Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 of each year.

Now is the time to check your emergency preparedness kit, refresh items, and check to see if there are things you need to add or safeguard.  Check ready.gov/hurricanes for tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. Keep an eye on the National Weather Service, and if a hurricane is coming, visit the National Hurricane Center for the latest details.

When a hurricane strikes, we may have limited access to the internet, television or radio.  We may need to rely more heavily on cell phones, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has considered that possibility and created an emergency preparedness smart phone app.  The FEMA emergency preparedness app will ensure you receive timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events, making all the difference in knowing how and when to take action to be safe.

Get prepared for a disaster now by downloading the FEMA app to your smart phone.  The FEMA App contains:
• Disaster safety tips
• An interactive emergency kit list
• Emergency meeting location information
• A map with open shelters
• Open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA has also created a list of 15 free mobile apps that would be useful in any emergency situation.  Most of these apps have offline capabilities, so even if you do not have internet access you would still be able to access the content.

When an emergency occurs, most of us reach for the phone to check on loved ones and, if needed, call for help. Yet in past disasters, some forms of communications—and the electricity that powers them—have been disrupted for days or even weeks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working with providers and communities to make communications more reliable, but there are some actions that only you can take.  So with hurricane season in full swing, now is a good time to review FCC tips to help you stay connected when disaster strikes.  

GSA also provides our federal clients with assistance on facilities, travel, damaged vehicles, GSA hot lines, and more.  Please visit GSA’s Emergency Response pages to learn more about topics such as supplies and equipment available to support disaster relief and emergency preparedness through GSAAdvantage!, asset management practices and authorities, who to contact regarding damaged GSA fleet, and information on exceptions to existing per diem rates for travel to impacted areas.

We hope that you will never need to use these emergency resources—either for personal or work related emergencies.  However, as Benjamin Franklin told us many years ago, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”


This article is part of the Summer 2014 issue of the FOCUS newsletter. Please visit the Focus Newsletter page to read our newsletter. To subscribe to FOCUS, complete the online subscription form.

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