Category Archives: Government

Hurricane Harvey Hits Texas, August 2017

From FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Friday, President Donald J. Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Texas, making federal funding available for emergency work and to affected individuals and businesses owners who sustain damage as a result of the storm.

Shelters are open across the affected and surrounding areas. Download the FEMA mobile app for shelter information, weather alerts, and safety tips. The app (available in English and Spanish) provides directions to open shelters, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

The federal coordination is fully-activated, geared up, and providing support to states, local communities, and tribes as needed.  FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. and Regional Response Coordination Center in Denton, Texas, are operating 24-hours a day.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog,www.twitter.com/femawww.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema 

From BEMA (Black Emergency Managers Association)

In December 2016 NAACP HQ renewed disaster assistance memorandum of agreement (MOA) with FEMA.  Additional assistance during time of response & recovery is available from your local NAACP chapter. For an updated MOA contact your local NAACP office.

Hurricane Harvey Activated Shelter Map

Map of Activated Shelters

 

FEMA Working with Federal Partners to Support States and Tribes

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FEMA Working with Federal Partners to Support States and Tribes

Seeking Assistance due to Hurricane Matthew Impacts

October 8, 2016

FEMA is working with its federal partners at the Regional Response Coordination Center in Atlanta, as well as the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to help coordinate any requests for assistance from the affected states and tribes as a result of impacts from Hurricane Matthew. These centers bring together partners from the federal family to closely coordinate federal resources that may be requested from the affected state and tribal governments.

As Hurricane Matthew continues to move through the southeast, FEMA is encouraging coastal and inland residents to monitor weather conditions and follow the directions of state, tribal, and local officials in the impacted area. If residents are evacuating, continue to listen to the directions of state, tribal, and local officials before returning home.

According to the National Weather Service, hurricane and tropical storm conditions will continue along coastal Georgia and South Carolina today and spread northward toward coastal North Carolina later today intotonight. Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches near and east of Interstate 95 in South Carolina and North Carolina, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches Matthew is expected to produce 2 to 6 inches of rain over central South Carolina, western North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia. Significant flooding is expected over portions of northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia into the weekend as a result of the combination of both storm surge/tidal flooding and freshwater/rainfall.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. There is danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida northeast coast, Georgia and South Carolina coasts, and portions of the North Carolina coast. The depth of water could reach 6 to 9 feet above normally dry ground during times of high tide from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, including part of the St. Johns River, which is already experiencing flooding.

FEMA has ten Urban Search & Rescue teams on the ground to support anticipated search and rescue efforts as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Two teams are in Florida, four teams are in South Carolina, three teams are in Georgia, and one team is in North Carolina. Three additional teams are scheduled to arrive in Georgia today.

FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are on the ground in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These teams are in place to support preparation and anticipated response activities, and ensure there are no unmet needs. Additional teams from around the country are ready to deploy to affected states and tribes as necessary.

As of this morning, 6 FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSAT) are deployed to help federal, state, local and tribal partners gather detailed information on the affected communities during the critical days and weeks. DSATs will address immediate and emerging needs of disaster survivors including: on-the-spot needs assessments, requests for disability related accommodations and access to partners offering survivor services.

As of this morning, more than 680 FEMA staff (including DSATs and IMATs) are deployed to impacted states in support of response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Matthew.

In support of the response to Hurricane Matthew, FEMA has made available more than 1,427,000 meals, more than 958,000 liters of water, and more than 48,000 blankets for state, tribal, and local officials to distribute to individuals.  These points of distribution are centralized locations established by state or local officials where supplies are delivered. The public travels to the site to pick up commodities following a disaster or emergency.

As of this morning, FEMA made available more than 71,000 meals and 341,000 liters of water to the state and tribes in Florida; more than 535,000 meals, more than 617,000 liters of water, and more than 17,000 blankets to the state and tribes in Georgia; more than 570,000 meals and more than 26,000 blankets to the state and tribes in North Carolina; and more than 250,000 meals and 4,500 blankets to the state and tribes in South Carolina.

Incident Support Bases (ISB) are staffed and operational in Albany, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. ISBs are established to pre-position commodities and resources closer to potentially affected areas. Additional supplies continue to arrive from FEMA’s distribution centers around the country.

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Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are in the Albany, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina ISBs, including five Mobile Communications Office Vehicles (MCOV) in Fort Bragg, and two in Albany, to assist states and tribes with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs. Additionally, there are 3 MCOVs in Florida to support state and tribal governments with communications needs.

Shelters are open across the affected areas. Download the FEMA mobile app for shelter information, disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips, in English and in Spanish. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

Use internet websites like Facebook or Twitter to let friends and family know you’re safe or to inquire about your loved ones. Register with the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well website (www.redcross.org/safeandwell) to let family know you are safe or looking for loved ones.

To report a missing child, please contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-866-908-9570. Anyone who finds an unaccompanied child who may have been separated from his/her parents or caregivers because of the hurricane can enter basic information and/or a photo into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Unaccompanied Minors Registry (UMR): http://umr.missingkids.org or call1-866-908-9570.

As images of Hurricane Matthew’s impact make their way around the country, and you want to help those impacted, contact your local volunteer organization to help with requests for volunteers, cash, food, clothing and blood donations.

Any individuals on the ground in the impacted areas looking to help or assist with response and recovery efforts should contact their American Red Cross chapter or their local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) chapter to connect to many organizations working on the ground that are in need of volunteers. To get in touch with the local VOAD currently in affected areas, visit

 

Emergency Declarations for States and Tribes

  • Governor Rick Scott of Florida submitted a request for an expedited Major Disaster declaration, on October 7, 2016, for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance, for Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia counties and Hazard Mitigation statewide as a result of Hurricane Matthew. The request is currently under review.
  • On October 7, 2016, President Obama declared an emergency for 56 counties in the State of Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s impact, authorizing FEMA to support the state in its efforts to prepare for, and to respond to the incident.
  • On October 6, 2016, President Obama declared an emergency for 28 counties in the State of Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s impact, authorizing FEMA to support the state in its efforts to prepare for, and to respond to the incident.
  • On October 6, 2016, President Obama declared an emergency for 30 counties in the State of Georgia in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s impact, authorizing FEMA to support the state in its efforts to prepare for, and to respond to the incident.                     
  • On October 6, 2016, President Obama declared an emergency for all 46 counties, and the Catawba Indian Nation in the State of South Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s impact, authorizing FEMA to support the state in its efforts to prepare for, and to respond to the incident.
  • These pre-disaster emergency declarations make Direct Federal Assistance available to save lives and protect property.

 

Federal/Private Sector Coordination Efforts

  • The American Red Cross has shelters open throughout Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. These shelters include accommodations for those with medical, and/or access and functional needs.
  • S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has approved the early release of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for October and November in the 28 counties that received the federal emergency declaration in Florida.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is prepared to conduct Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in the affected areas to aid with damage assessments.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) deployed storm surge sensors and rapid deployment gauges to potentially affected areas and continues to monitor riverine flooding.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring and inspecting dams operated by the Army Corps as well as non-federal dams that are being requested to be inspected by state partners and/or by FEMA. Additionally, temporary Roofing Subject Matter Experts are deployed to Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to provide Technical Assistance to states and tribes.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard continues to assess and advise the status of ports along the storm’s path.
  • The S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed eight Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, two National Veterinary Response Teams, a Public Health System Deployment Force team, disaster mortuary assessment personnel and an Incident Response Coordination Team.
  • National Park Service (NPS) personnel are currently staged at Ft. Bragg, NC including three water rescue teams to assist with search and rescue efforts.
  • The National Business Emergency Operations Center is coordinating with affected states and tribes to work with private sector companies, preparing for landfall and coordinating on evacuation orders, potential transportation impacts, and access/re-entry permits ahead of the storm.

 

Safety and Preparedness Tips

  • With extensive loss of power across the impacted areas, FEMA reminds residents
    • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
    • Be especially careful during a loss of electrical power, as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire increases at that time.
    • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
    • Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
    • If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
    • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
  • Residents and visitors throughout at risk areas in the southeast, including inland areas, are urged to monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials.
  • Hurricane Matthew is producing life-threatening rain, wind and storm surge. This serves as a reminder for residents in areas at-risk of being affected by this storm to refresh their emergency kits and review family plans. If you do not have an emergency kit or family plan, to learn about steps you can take now to prepare your family for severe weather, visit gov.
  • Those in impacted areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for their pets before the storm affects your area. If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
  • Individuals should visit Ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Businesses of all sizes should prepare for all hazards including severe weather to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations.
    • Review and update your business continuity plan and ensure your workforce knows what to do during severe weather. Resources are available on web sites such as gov/business and the Sba.gov/disaster-planning.
    • Encourage your employees to update their family emergency plan to stay connected during severe weather while at work and develop alternate methods of communication.
  • Hurricane Matthew is producing dangerous flooding. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you encounter flood waters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued:
  • For a hurricane:
    • A Hurricane Watch is issued when a tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 74 MPH poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
    • A Hurricane Warning is issued when sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
  • For a tropical storm:
    • A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 MPH or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
    • A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.
  • For flooding:
    • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.
    • A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.                                                                                                              

Flood Insurance

If you have flood insurance, there are additional steps you can take to be prepared before the storm affects your area:

  • Safeguard your possessions
    • Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:
    • A copy of your insurance policies with your agent contact information.
    • A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.
    • Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.
  • Prepare your house
    • First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. If you already have a battery backup, install fresh batteries. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
    • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. Clear storm drains in the street or near your home of leaves and debris.:
    • Move electronics, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
    • Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store them on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.
    • Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.
    • If you incur expenses due to protecting your home in preparation for coming storms and flooding – such as purchasing sandbags – you may be able to file a claim against your NFIP flood policy for reimbursement. Call your insurance agent to discuss your coverage and learn more.
    • If your community is flooded, and your property or home has suffered flood damage, you will be asked to provide a list and photographs of items that were damaged. If possible, take time before the storm to make a list of items in your home, including their age and value, and photos of these items. Should your home experience flood damage, this information will help your adjustor to calculate the value of the damage and prepare a repair estimate.

If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.

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Download the FEMA App to locate and get directions to open shelters across the state, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema,www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities atwww.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. 

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

 

Hurricane Matthew FEMA Advisory

NOTE:  DOWNLOAD THE FEMA APP TO STAY INFORMED AT:  https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app

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Intergovernmental Affairs Advisory

FEMA Working with Federal Partners to Coordinate Potential Requests for Assistance

FEMA is working with its federal partners at the Regional Response Coordination Centers in Atlanta and Philadelphia, as well as the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, DC to help coordinate any requests for assistance from states affected by Hurricane Matthew. These centers bring together partners from the federal family to closely coordinate federal resources that may be requested from the affected state and tribal governments

Evacuations for coastal counties in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are in effect. FEMA encourages residents to listen to the directions of state, tribal, and local officials in their area. If instructed to evacuate, don’t wait, evacuate.

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According to the National Weather Service, hurricane conditions (winds 74 mph or greater) are expected to first reach the east coast of Florida between Golden Beach to Fernandina Beach by this evening, and will spread northward along the Florida coast overnight into Friday. Tropical storm conditions are first expected on the east coast of Florida late this morning.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast from Deerfield Beach to Altamaha Sound. The depth of water could reach 3 to 5 feet above ground level during times of high tide.

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Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall of 4 to 8 inches with isolated amounts up to 12 inches along coastal eastern Florida, today and Friday. Heavy rain is expected to move north into coastal Georgia and South Carolina, possibly North Carolina, Friday into the weekend.

FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are deployed to emergency operations centers (EOC) in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. These teams are in place to support preparation activities and ensure there are no unmet needs. Additional teams from around the country are ready to deploy to affected states and tribes as necessary.

A FEMA liaison is co-located at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to assist the state’s response to Hurricane Matthew.

Incident Support Bases (ISB) are staffed and operational in Albany, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. ISBs are established to pre-position commodities and resources closer to potentially affected areas. As of this morning, there were more than 255,000 liters of water, more than 441,000 meals, more than 8,000 blankets, and more than 3,500 cots at the ISB in Ft. Bragg. Additionally, there are more than 189,000 liters of water, more than 72,700 meals, and more than 17,100 cots are at the ISB in Albany, Georgia.

Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are in the Albany, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina ISBs to support the state with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs.

FEMA established a Federal Staging Area (FSA) in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. As of this morning more than 137,000 meals and 193,000 liters of water are en route to the FSA. More than 600 cots and 1,200 gallons of fuel are available at the FSA for the state. FSAs are established to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas, should they be needed and requested by states. State and local officials are responsible for distributing supplies to the community.

Shelters are beginning to open across the potentially impacted states. Download the FEMA mobile app for shelter information, disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips, in English and in Spanish. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. FEMA is encouraging coastal residents to monitor weather conditions and take steps to prepare.

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State Requests for Assistance

  • Governor Rick Scott of Florida submitted a request for a federal pre-disaster emergency declaration, on October 5, 2016, for 28 counties in anticipation of potential storm surge, strong winds, and rainfall beginning on October 4, 2016. The request is currently under review. The Governor is asking for unmet emergency needs through Direct Federal Assistance (DFA) through Category B Emergency Protective measures. Such DFA may include, but is not limited to, personnel, equipment, supplies, and evacuation assistance.
  • Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina submitted a request for a federal pre-disaster emergency declaration, on October 4, 2016, for 66 counties in anticipation of potential storm surge, strong winds, and rainfall beginning on October 4, 2016. The request is currently under review. The Governor is asking for unmet emergency needs through Direct Federal Assistance (DFA) through Category B Emergency Protective measures. Such DFA may include, but is not limited to, personnel, equipment, supplies, and evacuation assistance.
  • Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina submitted a request for a federal pre-disaster emergency declaration, on October 4, 2016, for all counties in anticipation of potential storm surge, strong winds, and rainfall beginning on October 4, 2016. The request is currently under review. The Governor is asking for unmet emergency needs through Direct Federal Assistance (DFA) through Category B Emergency Protective measures. Such DFA may include, but is not limited to, personnel, equipment, supplies, and evacuation assistance.

Federal Coordination Efforts

  • The U.S. Coast Guard continues to assess and advise the status of ports along the storm’s path. Port Canaveral, West Palm Beach, and Miami, Florida ports are closed.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring and inspecting dams operated by the Army Corps as well as non-federal dams that are being requested to be inspected by state partners and/or by FEMA.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has prepositioned Emergency Medical specialists in Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) in Georgia to assist potentially affected communities.

rescue-teams-continue-to-to-evacuate-people-from-their-homes-after-storm-desmond-caused-flooding

Safety and Preparedness Tips

  • Residents and visitors from Florida through the mid-Atlantic in potentially at risk areas, including inland areas, are urged to monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials.   If the storm is expected to affect your area, know your evacuation zone and follow the direction of local or tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  • Hurricane Matthew has potential for life-threatening rain, wind and storm surge. This serves as a reminder for residents in areas at-risk to be affected by this storm to refresh their emergency kits and review family plans. If you do not have an emergency kit or family plan, or to learn about steps you can take now to prepare your family for severe weather, visit ready.gov.
  • Those in potentially affected areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for their pets. If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
  • Individuals should visit www.Ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Businesses of all sizes should prepare for all hazards including severe weather to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations.
    • Review and update your business continuity plan and ensure your workforce knows what to do during severe weather. Resources are available on web sites such as Ready.gov/businessand the Sba.gov/disaster-planning.
    • Encourage your employees to update their family emergency plan to stay connected during severe weather while at work and develop alternate methods of communication.
  • There is the potential for flooding with this storm. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you encounter flood waters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued:

For a hurricane:

  • A Hurricane Watch is issued when a tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 74 MPH poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
  • A Hurricane Warning is issued when sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

For a tropical storm:

  • A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 MPH or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.

For flooding:

  • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.
  • A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.                                                                                                              

Flood Insurance

 

If you have flood insurance, there are additional steps you can take to be prepared before the storm:

  • Safeguard your possessions

o   Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

o   A copy of your insurance policies with your agent contact information.

o   A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.

o   Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

Prepare your house

  • First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. If you already have a battery backup, install fresh batteries. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. Clear storm drains in the street or near your home of leaves and debris.
  • Move electronics, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
  • Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store them on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.
  • Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.
  • If you incur expenses due to protecting your home in preparation for coming storms and flooding – such as purchasing sandbags – you may be able to file a claim against your NFIP flood policy for reimbursement. Call your insurance agent to discuss your coverage and learn more.
  • If your community is flooded, and your property or home has suffered flood damage, you will be asked to provide a list and photographs of items that were damaged. If possible, take time before the storm to make a list of items in your home, including their age and value, and photos of these items. Should your home experience flood damage, this information will help your adjustor to calculate the value of the damage and prepare a repair estimate.

161006121104-02-hurricane-matthew-haiti-1006-super-169

If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or atFEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.

 

Download the FEMA App to locate and get directions to open shelters across the state, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema andwww.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. 

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Isis Attacks In Paris

Compliments of Mirror 

An ‘Islamic State’ killer has stabbed a top cop and his wife to death in their Paris home.

Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, a police commander, suffered nine stomach wounds in the ‘terror attack’ at his suburban house in the Yvelines department, north of Paris, shortly after 8.30pm.

His wife’s body was found in the property after elite RAID commandos stormed the building and killed the attacker.

The only survivor was the couple’s three-year-old son.

Islamic State’s terror group’s Amaq news agency said the attacker was an “Islamic State fighter”.

There were also unconfirmed claims that the attacker had discussed his “affiliation to ISIS”during negotiations with the police.

An ‘Islamic State’ killer has stabbed a top cop and his wife to death in their Paris home.

Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, a police commander, suffered nine stomach wounds in the ‘terror attack’ at his suburban house in the Yvelines department, north of Paris, shortly after 8.30pm.

His wife’s body was found in the property after elite RAID commandos stormed the building and killed the attacker.

The only survivor was the couple’s three-year-old son.

Islamic State’s terror group’s Amaq news agency said the attacker was an “Islamic State fighter”.

There were also unconfirmed claims that the attacker had discussed his “affiliation to ISIS”during negotiations with the police.

Read More 

Common Species of Mosquito May Be Carrying Zika Virus.

By Ophelia Eden

Scientists believe the virus is now being carried by a more common species of mosquito. A confined species of mosquito called the Aedes Aegypt mosquito (who primarily are confined to the tropics) was thought to be the sole carrier of the virus.

However, new data from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, Pernambuco State, suggests a more common species called the Culex mosquito may also be transmitting the virus. The Zika virus can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. In some cases the virus can also cause Guillain Barre syndrome, a disease where the immune system attacks the nervous system, or microcephaly ( a condition where children are born with abnormally small heads) in babies who were carried by infected mothers.

The ratio of Culex mosquitoes to the Aedes species is over 20 times. Culex Mosquitoes can be found in the Americas, parts of Africa, and parts of Asia. Increasing the chances of a worldwide outbreak. At this time there is no known vaccine or cure for the virus, however scientists are stepping up the efforts to develop one.

Source: Sky News 

Zika Virus: Outbreak ‘Likely to Spread Across Americas’ Says WHO

Compliments of BBC

The Zika virus is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas, the World Health Organization has warned.

The infection, which causes symptoms including mild fever, conjunctivitis and headache, has already been found in 21 countries in the Caribbean, North and South America.

It has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains and some countries have advised women not to get pregnant.

No treatment or vaccine is available.

The virus was first detected in 1947 in monkeys in Africa. There have since been small, short-lived outbreaks in people on the continent, parts of Asia and in the Pacific Islands.

Zika spread

But it has spread on a massive scale in the Americas, where transmission was first detected in Brazil in May 2015.

Large numbers of the mosquitoes which carry the virus and a lack of any natural immunity is thought to be helping the infection to spread rapidly.

Mosquito

Zika is transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, which are found in all countries in the region except Canada and Chile.

In a statement, The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional office of the WHO, said: “PAHO anticipates that Zika virus will continue to spread and will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.”

PAHO is advising people to protect themselves from the mosquitoes, which also spread dengue fever and chikungunya.

It also confirmed the virus had been detected in semen and there was “one case of possible person-to-person sexual transmission” but further evidence was still needed.

Around 80% of infections do not result in symptoms.

But the biggest concern is the potential impact on babies developing in the womb. There have been around 3,500 reported cases of microcephaly – babies born with tiny brains – in Brazil alone since October.

PAHO warned pregnant women to be “especially careful” and to see their doctor before and after visiting areas affected by the virus.

Graphic showing babies' head size

Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica last week recommended women delay pregnancies until more was known about the virus.

Although officially PAHO says “any decision to defer pregnancy is an individual one between a woman, her partner and her healthcare provider”.

Maria Conceicao Queiroz said there was a sense of fear where she lives near the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro: “Every one is at risk, we’re all scared of getting Zika.

“We’re surrounded with dirty water, polluted water, but what can we do but put repellent on, to try to keep the mosquitoes away.”

Global threat

Prof Laura Rodrigues, a fellow of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said some data suggested that up to one-in-fifty babies had birth defects in one of the worst hit areas – Pernambuco state in Brazil.

She said: “Until November we knew nothing, this has caught us by surprise and we’re trying to learn as fast as we can.

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Tuberculosis Outbreak in Papua New Guinea Worsens, as Health Workers Plead for Promised Funding

Compliments of ABC 

More than 160 of the 15,000 people living on the island of Daru, near the PNG–Australia border, have drug-resistant tuberculosis — the highest rate in the world.

The PNG Government has not yet delivered on promised funding for an emergency response, and a prevailing dry weather pattern is intensifying the problem, as sick people can no longer travel for treatment.

“We’re seeing an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis that we haven’t seen the scale of before,” Brendan Crabb from the Burnet Institute, a communicable disease research centre in Melbourne, said.

Poverty, overcrowding and people failing to complete their treatment are adding to the problem, but researchers are now wondering if those are the only factors.

“So, is that an environmental factor that’s allowed that to happen, or more worryingly, is that a bacterial factor?” Professor Crabb said.

“Is there something about this organism that makes it a superbug?”

Daru Hospital’s Australian-funded tuberculosis ward is full — and the chief executive of the hospital, Orpah Tugo, said there were still many cases the hospital could not take.

“I can’t [take any more patients] at the moment, and it’s very serious now that they’re with their family in the community,” she said.

“The spread will go on. It’s very contagious.”

El Nino drives community inland

Health authorities are supervising people’s treatments in their own communities, to take the pressure off the hospital.

“They are diagnosed [at the hospital] and then they are sent back to the community, so that we in the community can take care of these tuberculosis patients,” Sonia Madjus from World Vision said.

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Internal Email: Michigan ‘Blowing Off’ Flint Over Lead in Water

Compliments of NBC 

Six months before Michigan’s governor declared a state of emergency over high lead levels in the water in Flint, his top aide wrote in an email that worried residents were “basically getting blown off by us.”

“I’m frustrated by the water issue in Flint,” Dennis Muchmore, then chief of staff to Gov. Rick Snyder, wrote in the email to a top health department staffer obtained by NBC News.

“I really don’t think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving,” Muchmore said.

“These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we’re just not sympathizing with their plight).”

The problem began in April 2014 when Flint switched from Detroit’s water supply to save money and began using water from the Flint River, which has a high salt content.

That corroded the pipes it flowed through and lead from those pipes — which had been undisturbed by Detroit’s less corrosive water — leached into the system.

Marc Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech who has been testing Flint water, says treatment could have corrected much of the problem early on — for as little as $100 a day — but officials in the city of 100,000 people didn’t take action.

“There is no question that if the city had followed the minimum requirements under federal law that none of this would have happened,” said Edwards, who obtained the Muchmore email through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request.

Even after tests in February 2015 showed alarming levels of lead in a Flint home, officials publicly assured residents there was no threat.

Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha didn’t buy it. She began an independent study and discovered that lead levels in children had doubled or even tripled since the city switched its water supply.

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Obama Prepares to Use Executive Powers on Gun Control

Compliments of SBS

President Barack Obama says he will meet US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss ways of reducing gun violence amid reports he intends to take executive action on the issue.

Obama, in his weekly recorded address on Friday, said he has received “too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing.”

He has repeatedly urged Congress to tighten gun laws, with his calls growing louder following the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and again this year after mass shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California.

“A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence,” Obama said in the address. “And on Monday, I’ll meet with our attorney general, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options.”

The Washington Post, citing several individuals briefed on the matter, said Obama and Lynch would “finalise a set of executive actions on guns that he will unveil next week.”

Frustrated with little action from Congress, Obama has vowed to use “whatever power this office holds” to put in place gun control measures through executive action, which does not require congressional approval.

“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence,” Obama said. “But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?”

The Post said Obama would use his executive authority in several areas, including expanding new background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume dealers.

“Change, as always, is going to take all of us,” said Obama, who is on vacation with his family in Hawaii.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organised in its defence of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organised in our defence of our kids.”

On Thursday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama was aware Congress was unlikely to act on gun reform.

“That is why he has asked his team to scrub existing legal authorities to see if there’s any additional action we can take administratively,” Schultz said.

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