At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Severe weather outlook
Last night’s severe storms may have an encore today, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service. Portions of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic are at slight risk of severe thunderstorms later today, so those in the potentially affected area should keep up-to-date with their forecast and make sure they are prepared.
Severe storms can bring high winds, heavy rains, lightning, and even the occasional tornado – hazards that are common during summer storms. Make sure your family’s emergency kit has supplies that could sustain you for at least 72 hours, including a flashlight, extra batteries, canned food, first aid items, and other essentials.
For much of the rest of the country, drought conditions are expected to continue into next week. If there are drought advisories in your area, be sure to listen to local officials for any restrictions on water use. The Obama Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are assisting farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought, and you can find more details about this assistance at USDA.gov/drought.
For a list of what to do before, during, and after a drought visit Ready.gov/drought.
Tropical Storm Debby recovery continues
Crawfordville, Fla., July 24, 2012 -- Shirley Walthour, Applicant Services program specialist, helps an applicant with her application. FEMA opens Recovery Centers in designated counties so that applicants may get help directly from Individual Assistance Specialists.
In case you missed it, we provided an update earlier this week about the recovery efforts in Florida since Tropical Storm Debby impacted the state over a month ago. To date, over 3,600 individuals and families have been approved for federal disaster assistance. Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer for the disaster, talked about ongoing outreach efforts with the Florida Division of Emergency Management through joint community relations teams and disaster recovery center openings. You can read her blog post or check out this video for more.
Apply now - Individual and Community Preparedness Awards
You can recognize those in your community who champion emergency preparedness by nominating impactful individuals, programs, or organizations for the 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. Here is a section from the Citizen Corps website with more info:
These awards recognize outstanding individuals, organizations, Citizen Corps Councils, and programs working to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared for any disaster or emergency event. Submissions will be accepted April 11 through July 31, 2012 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be considered for this year’s Awards, all submissions must be received by July 31, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. EDT and are required to feature program activities taking place during the period of Jan. 1, 2011, and June 1, 2012. FEMA leadership, and regional and headquarters staff will score all entries and select the finalists.
SAFER Grants application period open
If you are a member of the firefighting community or know someone who is, we encourage you to spread the word about applying for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants. SAFER grants provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in local communities.
Applications are being accepted through Aug, 10, so visit the SAFER Grants today for application guides and other tools to help your fire department or organization apply.
With that, have a great weekend and stay safe.