PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With Hurricane Florence trending on Twitter and Facebook, rumors about the storm have begun to go viral.
That’s why FEMA created a Hurricane Florence Rumor Control webpage to dispel false information circulating about the storm.
We have created a rumor control page for Hurricane #Florence that will be updated regularly. During disasters, it’s critical to avoid spreading false information. Always check with official sources before sharing. https://t.co/PAjGQZJ1Nt pic.twitter.com/z4L0r1YjAT— FEMA (@fema) September 12, 2018
The first rumor to be posted to the page on Wednesday was one that 10 On Your Side debunked earlier this week: That federal law passed following Hurricane Katrina mandates all shelters and hotels to accommodate pets during an evacuation.
This rumor is not true.
According to FEMA, the only animals that hotels and shelters are required to accept are service animals because of the Americans with Disability Act.
There are pet friendly hotels and shelters in the Hampton Roads area. To find them, visit Pet Welcome’s website or check out 10 On Your Side’s Hurricane Florence shelter guide.
We also have tips for preparing your pet for a hurricane in our hurricane ready guide.
Other rumors have been added to the page as Hurricane Florence moves closer to land:
- FEMA has a role in enforcing evacuation orders: Only public safety and emergency management officials can issue evacuations.
- Beach sand should be used if sand bag distribution sites run out of sand: Beach sand acts as a barrier against storms and should not be removed from the environment.
- Service animals aren’t allowed in shelters: Service animals are the only animals that cannot be denied by shelters and hotels per the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
- About $10 million was taken from FEMA’s hurricane relief fund and put toward U.S. immigration and customs enforcement: Although less than 1 percent of FEMA’s budget was diverted, none of it went to ICE. The money was put toward travel, training, public engagement and information and technology.
- FEMA doesn’t have enough commodities on the ground for Hurricane Florence: Supplies are continuously moving through the agency, and FEMA has already sending meals, water, cots and blankets to locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.