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NCR News and Information

Hurricane Sandy Threatens – Are You Prepared?

Forecasts from the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service are predicting Hurricane Sandy will bring increasingly strong winds and heavy rains to the National Capital Region, beginning overnight Sunday. This slow moving storm could cause impacts for the region through Tuesday.


FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recently provided some important reminders about this storm.


"As Hurricane Sandy proceeds closer toward southeast Florida, residents should listen to local officials for updates and follow their instructions. As the storm moves northward, it serves as a reminder that we all need to be prepared for severe weather.  Now is the time to update your family communication plans, check your supplies, and stay informed.  A hurricane isn't a point on a map - it's a big storm and its impact will be felt far from the center. FEMA is in contact with states and tribal governments and stands ready to support their preparedness efforts."


High, sustained winds for more than 48 hours are a main concern in areas along Hurricane Sandy’s projected path. Power outages may occur as a result of these winds, possibly leaving residents without electricity for extended periods of time as workers will need to wait for winds to die down below 35-mph to safely address downed lines and trees.


If you have not done so already, it is important to ensure you:

  • Check your family’s emergency supply kit – make certain you have food, water, medications, and other necessities to sustain you, your family and family pets for at least 72 hours.
  • Follow the direction of local officials – evacuation orders may be issued by officials, so follow their guidance. When it comes to swimming, follow local warnings as well. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by storms.
  • Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit ( on your phone) for the latest forecast.
  • Remember food safety – power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.
  • Have an adequate communication plan - be sure friends and family know how to contact you. Teach family members how to use text messaging as text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t get through.


Keep in mind, hurricanes bring heavy rains, storm surges, and possible flooding events. Avoid walking or driving through any flooded areas – it takes only six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!


For those who may be in the path of Sandy, you can get hurricane safety tips right on your phone by downloading these useful apps: 


Hurricane Sandy 


Prepare for Hazards in Your Area

Although you may not be in Sandy’s path, now is a good time to review the potential hazards where you live. Knowing likely risks for your area, whether wildfires, earthquakes, or tornadoes, and knowing what to do when a disaster strikes is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds matter. Local Emergency management offices can help you identify hazards in your community and can outline the local plans and recommendations for each. And be sure to share this information with family, neighbors, colleagues and friends – talking about preparedness helps everyone be ready “just in case.” Use the links below to make your family, business and community safer, more resilient and better prepared for any disaster event.


What to do before, during, and after a hurricane or tropical storm


Latest Sandy forecast from the National Hurricane Center


Community preparedness tools and resources




About the National Capital Region
The National Capital Region (NCR) encompasses the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William in Virginia and Montgomery and Prince George’s in Maryland, which include the municipalities of Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt, Rockville and Takoma Park.