July 22, 2010

HQ-10-139

Contact: FEMA News Desk 202-646-3272

News Release

FEMA CONTINUES TO MONITOR TROPICAL STORM BONNIE, ENCOURAGES AMERICANS TO BE PREPARED

Visit Ready.gov to Learn Simple Steps You and Your Family Should Take

WASHINGTON – This evening, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced that the tropical depression has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Bonnie with sustained winds of 40 mph, to become the second named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to monitor the storm and stands ready to support state, territory and local officials in the region and the Gulf Coast to ensure they have the resources to respond should a storm strike.  FEMA also is urging everyone in the region to take steps now to ensure they are prepared for possible severe weather.

The NHC has issued a tropical storm warning for the east coast of Florida from Golden Beach Southward, including the entire Florida Keys and Florida Bay and along the west coast of Florida, northward to Bonita Beach.  The NHC has also issued a tropical storm watch for the entire east coast of Florida north of Golden Beach to Jupiter inlet, including Lake Okeechobee.  A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.  A watch means that the conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

“We continue to monitor the storm and FEMA personnel continue to work closely with state, territory, and local officials to ensure they have the support they need,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “The most important thing for people living in the area to do right now is to ensure their family is prepared and to follow the instructions of local officials.  For more information and helpful tips, anyone can visit www.Ready.gov.”

FEMA has life-saving and life-sustaining commodities and supplies strategically located across the country to support states in their response.  These supplies, including water, meals, tarps, blankets, generators and other essential items, can be replenished through the national logistics supply chain.  

In Florida and locations around the Gulf Coast alone, more than one million liters of water, 1.8 million meals, 70,000 rolls of plastic sheeting, 260,000 tarps, 250,000 blankets, 60,000 cots and 300 generators are available for use as needed.  FEMA has conducted resource support planning and preparations with all hurricane-prone states and territories for the current hurricane season to ensure a coordinated disaster response, if needed. 

The storm’s tract is currently moving west-northwestward toward the Gulf of Mexico.  FEMA also remains in close contact with our federal partners at the National Hurricane Center and the U.S. Coast Guard.  If the tract continues in that direction, the Unified Area Command will make any decisions regarding the movement of assets and workers involved with the BP Deepwater Horizon Operations.

The National Weather Service remains the source of official severe weather watches and warnings, including flash flooding which can take only a few minutes to develop in the case of heavy rains.  Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and surrounding areas have already been receiving heavy rainfall.  FEMA encourages all individuals in the region to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for severe weather updates, and to follow the directions provided by their local officials.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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