Governor Carney, Delaware Delegation Release Joint Statement on Hurricane Relief Efforts

Governor, delegation call on Trump Administration to ramp up relief efforts in Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester on Friday released the following joint statement regarding relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands:

“The devastation that has affected the lives of millions of Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is heartbreaking. These men, women and children may be thousands of miles away from Delaware, but they are our neighbors and we have a responsibility to help them recover and rebuild. The President has taken an important first step that temporarily makes it easier to ship aid and supplies to Puerto Rico, and we’re glad Congress has approved a first installment of disaster assistance, but there’s much more work to be done.

“The Delaware National Guard has deployed troops and flown two dozen relief missions, but we are ready and willing to do more. We have more guard units specialized in communications, engineering, aviation, security, medical, and heavy truck driving that are ready and eager to assist the emergency response efforts.

“We are committed to doing everything in our power to help, but the Trump Administration has the critical responsibility of taking the lead and activating the full force of the federal government to help these people. It must start by issuing a full disaster declaration for the entire island of Puerto Rico to ensure they can make use of all the assistance our country can give.”

 

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UPDATE – Delaware National Guard Hurricane Support

Providing C-130 Evacuation Transport and Staff Assistance

New Castle, Del. – Two Delaware National Guard C-130s and flight crews returned this week from a five-day mission assisting with hurricane relief efforts in the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. While deployed, Delaware National Guard Airmen flew a total of more than 60 hours, transported 100 personnel, and more than 50 tons of cargo. These two crews remain on duty and on standby for follow-on missions.

One aircraft flew to Minnesota to pick up a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability package (JISCC, which is a portable, turn-key satellite communications system), a team of operators, military vehicles, and a pallet of equipment. This mission went to assist in Puerto Rico.

Another mission to assist Puerto Rico involved delivering vehicles, generators, emergency aid personnel, and medical equipment. This aircraft also evacuated about 40 people stranded in Puerto Rico, and transported them safely to Savannah, Ga.
“The National Guard has the expertise in supporting the Homeland, and this is just another example of citizen-Soldiers and Airmen at their best,” said Maj. Gen. Carol Timmons, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard. “We are leaning forward as much as possible. We have hundreds of troops who are prepared and eager to answer the call.”

However, the Delaware National Guard cannot unilaterally send support. This is a nationally coordinated response and Delaware can only be tasked by the National Guard Bureau (NGB), using federal funds, or through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), using state funds. The Delaware National Guard is in close communication with NGB for federal taskings, and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency for support through EMAC.

“Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico are suffering, and Delaware continues to stand ready to assist them,” said Governor John Carney. “We will continue to look for ways to send needed resources and personnel to help our fellow citizens in need. Thank you to members of our Delaware National Guard for their important service.”

For the past month, tens of thousands of Citizen-Soldiers, Airmen, and women have answered the call in supporting the homeland – and Delaware is a strong partner. Since the end of August, about 50 Delaware National Guardsmen and women have deployed to support the relief effort.

 

At the end of August, the Delaware National Guard sent about a dozen Soldiers and Airmen to the National Guard Bureau to assist in staffing the NGB Joint Operations Center. These positions include experts in communications, operations, intelligence, logistics, and public affairs. We also launched a C-130 and flight crew to Texas. That team flew 11 sorties, transported 31 emergency aid personnel, more than 24 tons of cargo, and evacuated 183 people to safety.

 

On Labor Day Weekend, we deployed a team from our 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron via C-130 aircraft to help in Texas. This team is comprised of flight nurses, aeromedical evacuation technicians, and a health services administrator. Fortunately, the team was not needed for any medical emergencies and returned home safely.

 

We currently have about 30 on duty and hundreds ready to support engineering, aviation, communications, transportation, vehicle and equipment maintenance, security, and medical needs.

 

* Please take a look at our Facebook page (Delaware National Guard) and our Instagram (#Delawarenationalguard) to view photos both the devastation and support efforts in Texas and the Caribbean. These photos are released and available for media use. We will continue to provide updates, and continue to post photos on our social media sites.

 

** Delaware National Guard will continue to provide updates as the event continues.

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DPH Encourages Residents to Prepare Now for Emergencies as Peak Hurricane Season Begins

DOVER – In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through late October. Though Delaware has never experienced a direct hit from a hurricane, it has experienced impacts from some passing by, and just as often, the intense effects from tropical storms and nor’easters. The impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas is a tragic example of how rain—even after a hurricane is over—can cause catastrophic loss of life and damage. Hazards from hurricanes and other storms include storm surge and severe flooding, along with high winds. These weather impacts can affect your drinking water, your ability to remain in your home, and your pets’ safety as well. If a hurricane or significant storm were on track to hit Delaware, would you know what to do?

The Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging everyone to prepare and make your plans now so that you’re ready in the event of a natural disaster or other type of emergency. Visit PrepareDE.org to get started. The website provides information about different types of disasters, such as damaging storms, flooding, severe heat or cold events, chemical leaks, and terrorist attacks. It also starts you on the right track to prepare with the below four basic steps:

  • Make a Plan: The site provides communication plan templates for parents and a separate one for children, commuters, pets and evacuations. Most importantly, practice your plan.
  • Make a Kit: After a major disaster, relief workers will be on the scene, but it may take time for them to get to you. You should prepare to take care of yourself and your family for up to three days by making emergency kits and a go bag. Here you’ll find out how much food, water, and what other supplies you’ll need to keep on hand to keep your family going.
  • Stay Informed: The Delaware Emergency Notification System (DENS) is the primary system for public warning and emergency protective action information in Delaware. The system allows local 911 centers or emergency managers to send messages to the specific street, neighborhood, or larger areas affected by the event. Register for DENS at PrepareDE.org.
  • Access Resources: This page contains videos showing you how to make a plan, a kit and lists training opportunities available to you.

During a hurricane or strong Atlantic storm, flooding could make drinking water unsafe, and high winds may take out power. DPH wants you to keep the following tips in mind before any potential problems arise:

Persons With Complex Needs
DPH recommends printing out a copy of the “Preparedness Buddy” brochure, and filling it out. This downloadable and printable brochure is a great template for helping people with access and functional needs to identify a Preparedness Buddy to help them prepare to manage through emergencies and develop a personal emergency plan. The brochure asks you to list such important information as medications you are taking, food and drug allergies, medical supplies and equipment, medical and personal caregivers or disability service providers, primary care physician, communication and mobility challenges, and your specific transportation needs. A copy of the completed brochure should go to your Buddy so they are prepared in case of an emergency to assist you. You should also identify and send a copy of the brochure to an out-of-state Preparedness Buddy. The Preparedness Buddy brochure can be found online at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/preparednessbuddy.html in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

Food Safety
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends stocking a three-day supply of non-perishable food. If you lose electrical power, be very cautious with refrigerated foods. Keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40 degrees F for two or more hours.

If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish or eggs kept at safe temperatures, cook the food thoroughly to the proper temperature to kill bacteria. Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. Discard canned foods with swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or dents that prevent normal stacking or opening.

Safe Drinking Water
Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water. FEMA recommends stocking one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. If you are advised to boil your drinking water, heat water at the highest possible temperature so that it bubbles constantly (a rolling boil). Continue to boil water for one minute, and then let it cool. Store in clean, covered containers. Residents can also disinfect water using household bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before using it. Bottled water is another safe alternative.

For bottle feeding infants, use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. When using concentrated or powdered formulas, prepare with bottled water if the local tap water source is potentially contaminated. Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

For information on safe drinking water, visit the DPH website at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/i-floodrecovery.html.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide
A common source of fatalities during and after storms is carbon monoxide poisoning. Released from gasoline-powered generators, camp stoves, grills, lanterns and charcoal-burning devices are designed for outdoor use only. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can be lethal at high levels. If combustion devices are used indoors, dangerous CO levels can build up rapidly with no warning. Never use them inside and always ensure that any outside use is well-ventilated.

Pet Safety
Create an emergency pet supply kit in a waterproof tote. Include enough food, water, medications or other necessities for each of your pets to last at least three days. Also include a copy of your pet’s medical records so you will have everything you need to sustain your pets in the event you and your pets need to evacuate quickly in an emergency. Pets should be wearing collars with tags that include your address and phone number.

Identify a safe room in your home for you and your pets, away from windows. Create a comfortable area for your pets with bedding and toys. If necessary, separate dogs and cats within the room or in separate rooms to minimize stress or conflict.

Bring all your pets inside immediately at the first sign or warning of a storm or severe weather, and keep them inside with you. Pets can become frightened, run away or hide during severe weather. As a result, they can become lost, injured or killed. Take precautions to ensure your pets are not able to exit the home without supervision.

September is National Preparedness Month. For more information about emergency preparedness throughout the year, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Power of Preparedness webpage. Also stay up to date on social media @CDCemergency or by searching #NatlPrep. You can also Support the Thunderclap for #SafeAndWellSelfie which invites you to take a #SafeAndWellSelfie with your family—pets included—at an emergency meeting place. Participation is easy:

1. Identify an emergency meeting place in your neighborhood.
2. Have a fire drill—evacuate your home and go to the meeting place.
3. Take a selfie and post it to Twitter and/or Facebook with the hashtag #SafeAndWellSelfie.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Delaware Emergency Management Agency Monitoring Joaquin

Smyrna – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is monitoring Hurricane Joaquin, and is in communication with its partners at the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center.

The forecast track for Joaquin is uncertain at this time, but it is reasonably sure that the tropical system will have an impact of some kind on Delaware over the weekend.  It is too early to tell exactly what that impact will be.

Here is the latest from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, NJ…

“A dangerous weather pattern is developing for our region. Threats include very heavy rainfall, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. These impacts will be felt this week from a storm system affecting the region. There is now also the potential for major impacts from Hurricane Joaquin affecting the region this weekend into early next week.”

“Many locations saw one to two inches from last night’s rainfall. Additional rainfall amounts over the next seven days of 4 to 10 inches are possible for the region, with some locations seeing locally higher amounts.”

“Additional rainfall amounts of 4 to 10 inches will result in a greatly increased threat of flash flooding as well as inland river flooding. If we get the higher rainfall amounts, some of the flooding will be severe.”

“Starting Thursday, winds will become northeast and intensify. Wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph are possible over inland locations. Wind gusts of 45+ mph are possible in coastal areas. If Hurricane Joaquin directly affects the region, hurricane force winds are possible.”

“Moderate coastal flooding is possible on Thursday. Moderate to major coastal flooding is now possible on Friday with the strong northeast winds. This is in advance of any impacts from Hurricane Joaquin. If Hurricane Joaquin directly affects the region, major to record coastal flooding is possible.”

“Heavy rainfall will impact the region again Thursday night into Friday, along with the risk of inland river flooding and major coastal flooding. The most likely timeframe for impacts from Hurricane Joaquin affecting the region is Sunday into Monday.

Never…never ever drive into flooded roadways. Take action now to mitigate the effects of flooding…check storm drains and sewer grates along curbs near your property to assure that they are clear of leaves debris that could cause backups and flooding.

While it is not raining, check rain gutters and spouts on your home to make sure they are cleared of leaves and small branches.

High winds are also on the way so make sure that loose items in the yard are secured.

Check and update your Home Emergency Kit. It’s a good idea to have a radio capable of receiving NOAA forecasts.

For tips on how to prepare, log on to ready.gov.

DEMA will send updates as they become available.


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.

 PREPARE BEFORE THE STORM

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 http://www.ready.gov/american-red-cross or www.dema.delaware.gov.