Category Archives: Updates & Announcements

California Firestorm State of Emergency Expands to San Diego

Mayor Garcetti (Local), then Governor Brown (State), and now President Trump (National) have all officially declared the State of Emergency for the California Wildfires disaster.  Assistance to help families up to the Federal level will be made available with these official declarations.  Information about how to apply for disaster assistance and emergency resources is available on the FEMA Disaster Assistance Website.

Typhoon Damrey Devastates Vietnam

Compliments of AccuWeather.com  

Typhoon Damrey

Damrey, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in southern Vietnam in 16 years, has left at least 19 people dead with hundreds of homes destroyed.

Damrey made landfall in southern Vietnam, near Nha Trang, with the equivalent strength of a Category 2 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

Not since Lingling in November 2001 has a typhoon that strong struck Vietnam south of Qui Nhon.

Damrey has left at least 19 people dead across central and southern Vietnam, according to Reuters.

MORE:  View AcceWeather Report

5 US Presidents Unite For Hurricane Relief Concert

Compliments ABC News  by Morgan Winsor & Alexander Mallin

5 US Presidents Gather for Hurricane Relief. Photo by LM Otero/AP
5 US Presidents Gather for Hurricane Relief.
Photo by LM Otero/AP

United We Stand!
Music legends and artist performed as Democrats Barack Obama,  Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush came together for the “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” concert at Texas A&M University’s Reed Arena in College Station to raise money for relief efforts from the recent hurricane devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The concert has already raised over $31,000,000.00 to help the impacted communities.  MORE

California Firestorm Took Deadly Toll on Elderly;

Average Age of Victims Identified so far is 79

Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest 100.

BY ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN AND ESMERALDA BERMUDEZ, LOS ANGELES TIMES OCTOBER 13, 2017 

Compliments GovTech.com

(TNS) – As authorities begin to identify those killed in the wildfires raging across Northern California, a grim pattern is emerging.

Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest 100.

“The bulk of them are in their 70s and 80s, so there is that commonality,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano told reporters at a news briefing.

A majority were found inside their homes, unable to escape as the fire bore down. At least one was confined to a wheelchair. Another was lying next to a vehicle.

The trend highlights a risk for elderly people when a natural disaster strikes: Health problems may limit mobility. They may no longer drive, and often live in areas with unreliable cellphone service.

In Sonoma County, where most of the fatalities occurred, 18% of the population is over the age of 62, compared with 11% for all of California.

“With any sort of disaster … the elderly may not have transportation, they may not have access to evacuate as fast as possible,” said Sonoma County spokesman Scott Alonso. “They may be wheelchair-bound, they may have access issues — those folks may take more care to evacuate safely.”

READ MORE

What To Do In Active Shooter Incidents

First, our sincere condolences and prayers go out to the families who have been impacted by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1st, 2017.

This domestic terrorist attack by an Active Shooter is now the largest mass shooting incident in United States history.  Unfortunately, this will not be the last time this kind of threat happens to communities across the US and around the world.

Do you know what to do if you find yourself confronted by an Active Shooter or in a Domestic Terrorist attack?  Have you discussed this with your family and friends?

The US Department of Homeland Security advises to “Run – Fight – Hide” in Active Shooter events.  If you can run and get to safety  – do it.  If you can’t run then hide until the event is over.  If you are cornered and unable to run or hide, then fight for your life.  Many may remember during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the people on United Flight 93 found themselves in this very predicament.  They could not run because they were in the air on a plane, they could not hide because everyone was confined in the same cabin space.  Then a group of passengers got together to fight, uttering the now famous words, “Let’s Roll” as they combined forces and overtook the terrorists.  Although the plane crashed in a rural field in Pennsylvania claiming the lives of everyone on board, it is agreed by many that the passengers heroic efforts may have saved the lives of thousands by fighting the terrorists and causing the plane crash in a field instead of hitting a populated target.

This video from the FBI talks about what to do if you are threatened by an active shooter:

More information is available on the FBI Active Shooter Resource Website  and on the UCIT.tv & TRN.tv  DAPP (#911, Disaster Awareness, Preparedness & Planning) Channels.

Please take a moment to discuss this with your family and friends and do the best you can to prepare for how you could respond if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

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

 

Earthquake Shakes Italy To The Core

Compliments Of Times Of Malta

A series of strong earthquakes rocked a wide area of central Italy near Perugia this evening, striking fear among residents rattled by a deadly tremor in August, but there were no reports of casualties and few serious injuries.

Three quakes, which struck about two hours apart from each other, caused the collapse of several old structures, including a number of historic rural churches that were empty at the time.

The first, at 7.10pm, measured magnitude 5.4, the second 6.1 and the third 4.9, according to the US Geological Survey.

About five hours after the first quake, Civil Protection department chief Fabrizio Curcio said “tens” of people were reported hurt but only four suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries.

“The reports are not as catastrophic as we feared,” he said.

All indications were that the damage would not approach that caused by the major quake that struck the Marche, Lazio and Umbria regions on Aug. 24, which devastated several towns and killed nearly 300 people.

Amateur video footage on television showed clouds of dust rising as parts of buildings collapsed in some towns, including Camerino in the Marche region, where a bell tower fell on a building.

Massive boulders, some the size of cars, fell on the main north-south road of the Nera River valley that links mountain communities.

The tremors sent residents running into the streets in the rain and were strong enough to be felt as far south as the outskirts of Naples more than 250 km (150 miles) away and as far north as Venice, some 300 km (180 miles) away. Masonry fell from some buildings in Rome.

The collapsed church at Campi di Norcia.The collapsed church at Campi di Norcia.

The epicentres of the quakes were near the town of Castelsantangelo sul Nera in the Marche region.

The historic late 15th-century rural church of San Salvatore in Campo, near Norcia in the Umbria region, which had been weakened by the August quake, collapsed.

Electrical power was lost in some of the areas and some roads were closed.

Zika Virus Update

Compliments of the LA County Department of Public Health

On January 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised pregnant women not to travel to areas where the Zika virus was spreading. Six months later, more than 60 countries or territories have reported new local transmission of Zika. By August 4, 2016, nearly 1700 cases of travel-associated Zika infection, including 479 in pregnant women, had been reported in the continental United States; Puerto Rico is experiencing rapid and extensive spread of the epidemic.1

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Florida has documented 5 symptomatic and 8 asymptomatic locally acquired Zika infections in a 6-block area north of downtown Miami. Comprehensive mosquito control efforts, including reduction of standing water, provision of repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET), and application of pyrethroid insecticides and larvicides using backpack sprayers and trucks to eliminate adult and larval forms of mosquitoes, were initiated on confirmation of the first cases. Persistent findings of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes led to a decision to also use aerial spraying with naled and larvicide within 3 days of documentation of the risk of ongoing Zika transmission.

Download the Resource Doc HERE  from the LA County Department of Public Health providing key information sources.

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.

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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.

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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.

Egypt Airplane Missing

Compliments of CNN

Searchers scouring the heavily traveled waters of the Mediterranean Sea for EgyptAir Flight 804 on Thursday have found the plane’s wreckage, airline Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

The debris was about 150 nautical miles north of the Egyptian coast, Adel said. He did not elaborate on the location or condition of the wreckage but said the search and rescue operation was “turning into a search and recovery” mission.
Earlier, a spokesman for Greece’s Hellenic National Defense General Staff had said crew aboard an Egyptian search aircraft had spotted two floating objects 210 nautical miles southeast of Crete. It’s unclear whether those objects are part of the wreckage described by Adel.
The Airbus A320 carrying 66 passengers and crew disappeared early Thursday over the Mediterranean Sea as it flew from Paris to Cairo.
Speculation has centered on the possibility of a terrorist attack.
“Planes today just don’t fall out of the sky,” CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien said.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi said technical failures and terror are both possible explanations.
“But if you analyze this situation properly, the possibility of having a different action aboard, of having a terror attack, is higher than having a technical problem,” Fathi said.

Latest developments

— Debris believed from EgyptAir Flight 804 found near the Greek island of Karpathos includes life jackets and plastic materials, the airline said.
— Maintenance checks on the plane had been done on time and “no snags were reported,” Adel told Amanpour.
— Checks of the passenger manifest have so far resulted in no hits on terror watch lists, officials with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
— U.S. government officials are operating on an initial theory that the plane was taken down by a bomb, two U.S. officials told CNN on Thursday. Officials said the theory could change, with one senior administration official cautioning it is not yet supported by a “smoking gun.”