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Author: Rafael Lemaitre
We’re here on the ground in Baton Rouge supporting those who have been impacted by the historic flooding here in Louisiana. We have been here since before the flooding began and we are doing as much as we can to help them get back on their feet and on the road to recovery. Chris Smith, who runs our Individual Assistance program, is also here making sure we are doing everything we can for the survivors.We have been getting a lot of questions about how to register with FEMA, how Individual Assistance works, and so we want to make sure we get enough information out there.Starting with the...
Posted On: August 26, 2016
Author: MaryAnn Tierney
All eyes were on Philly for the Democratic National Convention. Very few eyes were on the work being done behind the scenes by local, state, and federal agencies to prepare for a possible emergency.  And that’s exactly how it should be.As speeches and performances happened on stages, representatives from FEMA Region III, the Secret Service, Philadelphia police and fire departments, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of Emergency Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Parks Service, and many more...
Posted On: August 26, 2016
Author: Andrew Velasquez III
In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, many people were concerned about the potential for violent demonstrations, protests or other types of emergencies overwhelming the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.   What you may not have known was that FEMA Region V staff, and personnel from across all levels of government, spent more than a year preparing to ensure the only rocking and rolling during convention week in Cleveland were old-time classic songs.With approximately 3,000 Department of Homeland Security employees on hand, along with thousands of additional...
Posted On: August 26, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
One of the things we see most often after disasters is the concept of "neighbors helping neighbors"—where communities come together to help each other through. This round of flooding in Louisiana has shown us nearly countless instances of this; from children helping to supply lunches for first responders and survivors, to athletes from colleges and professional teams volunteering around their adopted communities.It's been a truly wide-spread humanitarian effort, and one that we've been astounded, humbled, and inspired by.Here's a quick breakdown of just some of the...
Posted On: August 23, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Unprecedented. Historic. Epic. Three words that have been used to describe this month's flooding in Louisiana. Last Friday, as the rains came down and over 31 inches of water fell in some areas, we knew it was a big deal.A week later, this remains a very significant disaster. Our Administrator traveled down on Tuesday. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security traveled down on Thursday. Next Tuesday, the President will travel.With disasters like these, the federal family wraps its arms around affected communities. Large and small. The federal family becomes a true family and...
Posted On: August 19, 2016
Author: Jane Feehan
With more than half its 254 counties eligible to receive assistance under six federal disaster declarations in the past year, Texas remains in recovery from severe storms and flooding.  Recovery help has come from many sources, including three AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) programs: Texas Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps. Teams from the programs stepped up to the plate this summer in Brazoria County, about 40 miles southwest of Houston. They mucked out more than 40 homes and cleared nearly 1,500 cubic yards of debris....
Posted On: August 15, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
As much of the country switched on their air conditioners and poured cool drinks in an attempt to battle stifling temperatures on Friday afternoon, parts of Louisiana braced themselves for a flooding event of epic proportions.While Louisianans are no strangers to flooding conditions, this round of flooding is unprecedented. Flood gauges across the state are hitting high levels with several areas not expecting to crest until later into the week.1As the situation has evolved, we've continued to work with our partners in the state. Four parishes (East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and...
Posted On: August 15, 2016
Author: Daniel Paulette-Chapman
In my steady-state role as an analyst at Headquarters in DC, I analyze data to inform programs that can help citizens prepare for disasters. My field disaster title is Disaster Recovery Center Manager, where I manage the team that is responsible for assisting survivors by providing face-to-face customer service.Last month I gladly accepted my deployment to South Carolina to live the agency’s motto “every employee is an emergency manager,” so I replaced the suits and ties I normally wear with polo shirts and cargo pants and headed south.The day after I arrived in South...
Posted On: August 8, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
According to its website, the Angeles National Forest offers "natural environments, spectacular scenery, developed campgrounds and picnic areas, swimming, fishing, skiing, and the solitude of quiet wilderness areas." Not cited on that webpage, it also provides a scenic background for one of the most hustling and bustling cities in the country: Los Angeles, California.This weekend, this serene, picturesque forest became home to an incredibly active, dangerous blaze known as the Sand Fire. (For reference, fire names are often determined by their proximity to certain landmarks; this...
Posted On: July 25, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Steamy. Searing. Sweltering. Hazy, hot and humid. In a word, it's summer. It's also disgustingly warm and frankly quite gross--especially when it's the kind of heat that coats your skin with an insufferable layer of moisture as soon as you step outside.This weekend, that kind of heat is going to blanket much of the country.Here are today’s forecasted high temps:And Saturday's:And Sunday's:When the National Weather Service talks about this kind of stifling heat, they use several words and terms that might cause some confusion: heat advisory, heat index, excessive heat...
Posted On: July 22, 2016