Safety Tips for the 2014 Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30

WILMINGTON, Del. Today, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper joined the American Red Cross, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Delaware Department of Homeland Security to urge Delawareans to prepare themselves, their families, and their businesses for the 2014 hurricane storm season. The Atlantic and Caribbean Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

 “Hurricanes have resulted in real damage to homes and businesses across the state in recent years, but we’ve also limited the damage because of the support we have received from the public in prevention and response efforts” said Governor Jack Markell.  “Our best defense is to be well prepared before any storm arrives and we all have a role to play. Keeping our communities as safe as possible requires advanced coordination and cooperation among state government, the general public and organizations like the Red Cross.”

“If the superstorms of the last several years have taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for everything,” said Sen. Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “Now is the time to protect your homes, businesses and property from severe weather.”

“Being prepared and staying well informed through local media and DEMA’s web site is most important in keeping our families and neighbors safe during severe weather events. Our citizens must prepare now for this year’s hurricane season so that they know what to do before, during and after a hurricane strikes,” said Delaware Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro.

 A 2013 survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel found that few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. Only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they are separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.

 “The importance of maintaining and sustaining your knowledge of your community, hazards, home, neighbors, your planning efforts, and maintaining and sustaining knowledge of storm impacts are the primary areas of consideration that will assist you in making decisions to preserve your personal safety and that of your family and your neighbors, said Jamie Turner, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “Have a plan, have a kit; exercise and update both on an annual basis.”

 “Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Patrick Delaney, CEO, American Red Cross Delmarva Region. “It’s important families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the Red Cross Hurricane App to help make it through the next storm safely.”

 Even communities far inland from the coast can experience hurricanes depending on the course of the storm, often with the threat of powerful winds and widespread flooding. In addition, strong rip currents even at large distances from the storm can threaten those at the beach many miles away.


Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms. They can bring heavy rains that cause major flooding, destructive winds that down power lines, uproot trees and damage homes, and storm surges that travel several miles inland destroying everything in its path.

As hurricane season approaches, it is important to know the difference between the threat levels.

  •  A Hurricane Watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
  •  A Hurricane Warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.

Now is the time for families and individual to build an emergency kit and create an evacuation plan.  For more information, go to or

National Emergency Preparedness Month Urges Delawareans to Think Ahead

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

 SMYRNA, Del. – Today, Governor Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined emergency management leaders from Delaware to urge Delawareans to make sure their homes, businesses and loved ones are prepared for an emergency, as a part of National Emergency Preparedness Month.

Delaware has witnessed two major weather events in the last two years, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy, and being prepared for another emergency event can make all the difference. But not all emergencies in our region are weather related, which is why it is important to have a plan for any sort of event.

“Effective disaster preparedness and response isn’t only about a couple of agencies, or one level of government. It is a coordinated effort,” said Governor Jack Markell. “We partner with federal officials, counties, cities and towns, fire companies, civil air patrol and weather experts to develop our state emergency plans.  Part of what we’re asking Delawareans is to figure out a family emergency plan, so everyone can be better prepared.”fDSCF1490

“I am so thankful to the men and women who risk their lives to respond when emergencies happen,” said Sen. Carper. “As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate, I urge Delawareans and all Americans to be prepared and resilient to avoid the impact of disasters as much as possible.” 

“We are very fortunate in Delaware to have an incredible group of first responders who truly represent the finest emergency personnel in the country,” said Delaware Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Lewis D. Schiliro. “Their job is also made easier through the preparations of our citizens and the fact that Delaware is a state where neighbors look after neighbors.” 

The Red Cross provides the following information for preparing your family, home, business and employees for an emergency:

Get a Kit. Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Make a Plan. It is important to make sure that the entire family is prepared and informed in the event of a disaster or emergency. You may not always be together when these events take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.

Be Informed. Learn the types of disasters or emergencies that may likely occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.

Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” said Patrick Delaney, Regional Executive, American Red Cross Delmarva Region. “National Preparedness Month is a perfect time to create or update your plan.  For a complete guide to building an emergency supply kit and other helpful tips, please visit”

Delawareans can visit for information about developing a disaster preparedness plan.

June 1st Marks the Beginning of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Wilmington, DE, May 31, 2013 — Saturday, June 1, 2013 will mark the beginning of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Last October, the Delmarva Peninsula witnessed the effects of a powerful storm firsthand when Superstorm Sandy came up the Eastern Seaboard and made landfall in our area on October 29, 2012.

The American Red Cross wants the entire community to be prepared for any and all storms that may threaten this year and urges families to take steps now to ensure their safety.  There are three actions everyone can take to prepare for a disaster such as a hurricane:

Get a Kit

Build a kit of emergency supplies and store them in a container that you can take with you should you need to evacuate.  For a complete list of suggested items, visit

Make a Plan

Identify two meeting places for your family members should a disaster occur.  Assign a place right outside your home and assign a second meeting place outside of your neighborhood in the event you need to evacuate.

Be Informed

Become aware of the various disasters or emergencies that may occur in your area.  In the event of a summer storm, tropical storm, hurricane or other weather-related disasters, listen to weather advisories and follow the instructions of local authorities.

“Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane.  We encourage everyone to get trained and learn how to prepare your families, your employees, your neighbors, and yourselves.  Knowing what to do in the face of an emergency can make a world of difference.” –Patrick Delaney, Regional Executive, American Red Cross Delmarva Region

Governor Markell also urges residents to prepare.  “We have learned that hurricane threats in Delaware can be very real,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “The best we can do is to prepare as much as possible.   The Red Cross is a valuable resource ready and willing to help families plan in advance, which increases everyone’s chances of staying safe in a storm.

“Take care of your neighbors.  Before and after the storm, look in on neighbors, especially the elderly or homebound in your community,” said Jamie Turner, Director, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

“Last year, Hurricane Sandy provided us all with a stark reminder of the importance of preparing for natural disasters. As we quickly come upon hurricane season this year, it is vital that all Delawareans know the threats associated with living in a coastal state and understand how to keep their families and homes safe in the event of a hurricane,” said Sen. Carper. “A little bit of prevention can go a long way toward avoiding serious damage to homes or property and can even save the lives of our loved ones. I hope all Delawareans will use the resources provided by the Red Cross and take the time to create a plan and prepare for hurricane season.”

“It is most important that our citizens make time now to prepare their families and businesses for the unexpected. Preparation and keeping well informed is the key to providing for the safety of our families and neighbors during weather events,” Delaware Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro said.