Isaac Update: While it looks like Isaac may not hit the Tampa Bay area directly, it is still important for all Florida residents and visitors to use caution as they travel in and around the Sunshine State. Federal, state and local officials and their partners are ready for the storm, and individuals, families and businesses should prepare, as well. For hurricane preparedness tips, click here .
Tropical Storm Debby Update: Florida's State Emergency Response Team and the Federal Emergency Management Agency community relations teams are in the 11 declared counties going door to door with disaster assistance information to help survivors recover from Tropical Storm Debby. Survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or using the FEMA app or m.FEMA.gov with a smartphone or tablet. Read more by clicking here.
A disaster recovery center is open in Pasco County to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by Tropical Storm Debby. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Representatives from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid. The disaster recovery center is located at the following address: Trouble Creek Square Shopping Center, 4444 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, FL 34652
During a natural disaster, households and governments must be as prepared as possible to respond and rebuild after a major catastrophe strikes. Hurricane season begins June 1, and it is imperative that we all do our best to prepare for what is expected to be an "above normal" storm year.
Federal, state, and local governments should be taking the necessary steps to ensure they are prepared for what disasters may occur.
However, disaster readiness should not solely lie on the shoulders of the government. Individuals must properly prepare themselves for the worst case scenario. Everyone should develop family disaster plans and create supply kits. I urge Floridians to stock up on potential life-saving items like flashlights, radios and batteries in the coming days. It also is important to follow local weather forecasts and heed any emergency hurricane warnings.
I have been named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications for the 112th Congress, where I will oversee efforts of disaster preparedness and response. This role is pivotal for citizens of Florida's 9th Congressional District, who face the potential threat of hurricanes each year.
Below you can find links to both Federal and local websites that provide useful information to help protect your home, family and pets before, during and after a storm.
Hurricane Preparedness Information
Federal and State Resources
Local Evacuation Levels
Local Emergency Management Offices
2313 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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