As the 2008 hurricane season continues, Tropical Storm Hanna is the eighth named storm and the first to impose a potential threat to Delaware. Emergency Management officials encourage the public to use the time before the storm reaches the Delmarva to review their emergency plans and supplies.
According to the National Weather Service, Hanna is not expected to be hurricane strength by the time it reaches Delaware, however, steady rains may start as early as predawn Saturday morning. The rains are expected to continue through Saturday coupled with increasing winds that could be 30 to 40 miles an hour in strength, gusting up to 50 in some coastal areas.
Throughout the state, emergency management officials and related partners in preparedness and response are monitoring the storm’s progress together through conference calls with the National Weather Service. At this time, there are no watches or warnings regarding Hanna on the Delmarva, but the public is urged to follow the storm’s approach and plan accordingly for personal safety and protection of property.
For tips on a family emergency plan, including items for a supply kit, and plans for pets, information is available on dema.delaware.gov, delawarecitizencorps.org, redcrossdelmarva.org and ready.gov.
Included in basic supplies are radios and flashlights that are battery powered or powered by cranking or shaking. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio is handy for 24-hour storm information. As a precaution, families should at all times have enough water and non-perishable food to last for at least three days for each family member, including pets.
Moving outdoor and porch furniture and unsecured lawn ornaments into a garage or shelter will keep them from being damaged or from becoming projectiles if high winds accompany the storm.
It is wise to have some extra cash on hand and to keep vehicles gassed up. Although widespread flooding is not anticipated with Tropical Storm Hanna, a Flood Watch has been issued for parts of northern Delaware for Saturday afternoon through Saturday night. Motorists are reminded that they should never attempt to drive through a flooded area or where there is enough water on the road to restrict visibility of the road surface.
Delaware Emergency Management Agency, along with other state and Delmarva agencies and organizations will continue to monitor the storm throughout the weekend and provide information for the safety of the public.