WASHINGTON — FEMA and its federal partners are actively coordinating the federal response to Hurricane Zeta, a late-developing storm that is taking aim for the central Gulf Coast states. According to the National Hurricane Center, Zeta is an active and dangerous storm that will produce storm surge, very heavy rain, inland flooding and river flooding. FEMA is already on the ground to support states potentially impacted by Zeta.

Support Mobilized for Response to Hurricane Zeta

  • FEMA is leaning forward with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to mobilize teams and supplies to support a state managed, locally executed response to impacts from Hurricane Zeta.
  • FEMA is still supporting survivors throughout the Gulf Coast with more than 1,300 staff supporting virtually or in person throughout southwest Louisiana and Alabama.
    • In Louisiana, FEMA has awarded more than $180 million in grants and $24 million in flood insurance claims to survivors from hurricanes Laura and Delta. The U.S. Small Business Administration also approved more than $351 million in low-interest loans to Louisiana survivors.
    • FEMA has awarded more than $51 million in assistance to individuals in Alabama and has paid more than $26 million for flood insurance claims in Alabama for Hurricane Sally. The U.S. Small Business Administration also approved more than $56.4 million in low-interest loans to Alabama survivors.

Commodities

  • FEMA has pre-staged over 5 million meals, more than 4 million liters of bottled water and 45 generators near the expected areas of Hurricane Zeta impacts.
    • Blankets, tarps, blue-roof sheeting and cots are staged and available to support affected states based on need and requests to FEMA.
    • Shuttle drivers and empty trailers are onsite where these commodities are staged and ready for transport to fulfill state requests.

Personnel Deployed

  • A Region 4 Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) is enroute to Mississippi’s Emergency Operations Center.
  • Additional IMATs are available to deploy in response to Hurricane Zeta, as needed.
  • Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles are standing by to support regions 4 and 6 to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed.

Key Messages

  • Anyone in the forecast path of the storm should complete final preparations as soon as possible.
  • Hurricane Zeta will affect areas already impacted by other hurricanes, further increasing the threat of dangerous flooding. Flooding from a previous storm could be worsened with additional rainfall from this storm system.
  • If you’re in the storm’s predicted path, focus on storm impacts such as storm surge, rain, wind and tornadoes more than the exact track of the storm.
  • Every storm is different, so even if you have experienced a hurricane, or been under a hurricane warning this year it’s important to monitor your local news for updates and directions provided by local officials and heed local evacuation orders.
  • FEMA adapted its plans to the realities of responding during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure we can serve Americans while protecting their safety and that of FEMA employees.

Gulf Coast Residents: Final Preparedness Actions Should be Completed Today; Heed Local Officials’ Instructions

  • The storm is forecast to bring hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Storm surge, wind and rainfall impacts could be felt from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
  • Residents in the path of Hurricane Zeta should be rushing to complete preparedness efforts and following guidance from officials in their localities.
    • State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.
    • Residents in Louisiana should call 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • The American Red Cross is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the website.
  • FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program will cover and reimburse policy holders up to $1,000 for certain actions taken to minimize damage to your home and belongings before a flood. Make sure to save your receipts for any of these expenses. Flood loss avoidance eligible expenses include:
    • Sandbags.
    • Water pumps.
    • Building a temporary levee.
    • Moving and storage expenses for personal belongings.
    • Lumber and plastic sheeting.
    • Labor costs for loss avoidance work.
  • For more information and to learn about what’s covered, view the fact sheet Understanding Flood Loss Avoidance or reference the NFIP Claims Manual.
  • Hurricane Laura and Sally survivors can still register for federal assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or through the FEMA mobile app.

Responding During COVID-19

  • FEMA will continue to work with our state, tribal and local partners as they plan for execution of evacuation and sheltering operations in a COVID-19 environment. Finding shelter is critical in times of disaster. Shelter outside of the hazard area could include staying with family or friends, seeking a hotel room or staying in a mass shelter.
  • FEMA, other federal agencies and the American Red Cross have modified policies and planning and have taken actions to ensure the federal government can respond to any disaster during our continued coronavirus response efforts.
  • In alignment with FEMA’s Pandemic Operational Guidance, FEMA is leveraging technology to deliver the agency’s programs at the highest level possible, while preserving our workforce and survivors. These methods include virtual damage assessments and inspections for FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs, as well as National Flood Insurance Program claims.
  • While some aspects of program delivery may look different this year, our commitment to helping people before, during and after disaster remains our full focus and we are ready to deliver on our mission.
  • In advance of hurricane and wildfire season, FEMA expanded the capacity of its National Response Coordination Center, response centers around the country and trained additional staff to be postured to respond to multiple on-going incidents.

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