Hurricane Matthew may not hit Delaware, but DEMA encourages preparation
Predictions from Wednesday morning say Hurricane Matthew may not hit the Delaware coast, but Delaware’s Emergency Management Agency says Delawareans should still be prepared.
Last month, Delaware was spared major effects from the most recent named storm to threaten its coast - Hermine; but DEMA’s Community Relations Officer Gary Laing notes there is no guarantee Delawareans will be as fortunate this time.
"We can’t get complacent about it and say ‘oh it’s not going to happen to us’," Laing said. "We want to make sure that we are prepared, our partners in emergency response are prepared, and most importantly, make sure the public is prepared."
Even if Hurricane Matthew’s changing forecasts take it away from Delaware, Laing says even a brush with its winds and rain could still be problematic after recent heavy rain throughout the state.
"Because the ground is so saturated from last week’s storms, some areas that might not normally flood could experience some high water, and areas that flooded last week will probably flood again," Laing said.
He adds families should always have an emergency kit ready to go in the event of an evacuation. This kit typically includes a radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid kit, among other items.
"We tell people they should be prepared at any time for any type of event, but with a storm like this that’s a possibility, it’s a good opportunity to make sure you are prepared in your home for your safety and for your family’s safety," Laing said.
The latest models show Hurricane Matthew heading east out to sea this weekend before reaching Delaware, but forecasters note that could change over the next few days as the storm gets closer.
More information on emergency preparedness can be found on the state’s relaunched PrepareDE.org.