Former FEMA Administration gives tips ahead of Ian; talks about federal government response

“We face many hazards, we face inland flooding..”
A closer connection to communities that need our help the most right now.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the federal government responds to those devastating scenes out of Florida, emergency officials in the Carolinas are preparing for any potential impacts Ian will bring to our area.

WBTV talked to a North Carolina native who once served as a FEMA Administrator for insight into the state and federal responses.

Brock Long served as the leader of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2017 to 2019, responding to numerous natural disasters.

The former FEMA Administrator and current Executive Chairmen of Hagerty Consulting said people should prepare now for any threats Ian will bring to our area.

Although Charlotte is not a coastal area, it has seen its fair share of devastating tropical systems.

After hitting Florida, Ian has its eyes on the Carolinas. “We face many hazards, we face inland flooding along creeks and rivers and streams, we will see inland winds from this event as well, so it’s very important you heed these warnings very quickly and early,” said Brock Long.

Ahead of the wind and flood potential for the Carolinas, people should do the following:

- Take pictures of your property before and after the storm.

- Have their property insurance documents in a reachable place.

- Review your policy to see what’s covered or not.

- Reach out to your agent if you have questions.

You can find more tips on preparing for hurricanes and natural disasters by clicking here.

Long said, “at this point it probably is too late to add anything to your policies and in some cases, check the deductibles of your policies, anytime and in some cases where the National Hurricane Center names a storm, gives the storm a name, that it could actually change or increase the deductible to activate the insurance policy should you see damage at your house.”

Long believes insurance is the first line of defense in natural disasters because all don’t receive help from the federal government.

FEMA plays the role of supporting state and local governments during major disasters by filling gaps and funneling support from the federal level.

Long said, “many of the emergencies and disasters that people face in North Carolina may not be declared by the President or seek federal support, they just don’t rise to that level.”

As parts of our area could see flash flooding from heavy downpours, the former administrator wants people to stay on the lookout for weather watches and warnings.

“Heed those warnings very early and make sure you’re keeping your family safe,” said Long.

The former FEMA administrator urges everyone to find ways right now to get in touch with their local emergency management office and signup for their alerts and notifications so you can stay in the know during the storm.