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DPH encouraging residents to prepare as peak hurricane season heats up


Hurricane Harvey already struck the U.S., causing devastation in Texas and the Gulf Coast region. Now, Hurricane Irma is churning in the Atlantic with it’s track - for now - appearing to take it toward Florida.


But the state’s Division of Public Health is encouraging First State residents to prepare now for this storm or others that could appear during this hurricane season.

DPH Communications Director Emily Knearl says hurricanes are they are fundamentally unpredictable - making it best to prepare for worst and that means making a plan now.


"Whether we're hit by Irma or another storm, or even a heavy rainstorms, things like Make A Plan, Have A Kit, Stay Informed and be ready to Access Resources on the website can help you be ready," said Knearl.


The Division of Public Health also recommends those with more complex needs make sure they have a Preparedness Buddy. Knearl says how to do that can be found online at


It's actually a brochure. It’s downloadable and it’s printable and it’s a great template for people who might have complex needs, that they can talk over their needs with a relative to make sure they’re met,” said Knearl.


Knearl adds food safety during storms is also important and everyone should make sure they have a large supply of sanitary drinking water, enough for a few days for everyone in the household.


Here's a rundown of how can help you:

  • Make A Plan: The site provides communication plan templates for parents and a separate one for children, commuters, pets and evacuations, Most importantly, practice you 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 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. Registers for DENS at
  • Access Resources: This page contains videos showing you how to make a plan, a kit and lists training opportunities available to you.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.