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.
Hurricane Sandy Recovery
It’s been just over a month since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, and recovery continues in full swing. Thousands of FEMA employees are working in the impacted areas to help meet the immediate and long term needs of those impacted by the storm. Earlier today, the Federal Coordinating Officer in New York, Mike Byrne, offered his perspective and blogged about his experience leading the federal government’s response and recovery there.
For the latest on the recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy across the east coast, check out these state-specific pages:
And if you’re looking for photos and videos related to Hurricane Sandy, our multimedia library is the place to go. Here are a few of the images from the past few days:
CAPTION: Bay Head, N.J., Nov. 30, 2012 -- A Small Business Administration (SBA) representative provides information to a Bay Head, NJ storm survivor about some of the programs that are available to eligible survivors at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bay Head, NJ. SBA is working with FEMA specialists as well as local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to Hurricane Sandy survivors.
CAPTION: Seaford, N.Y., Nov. 27, 2012 -- FEMA Disaster Recovery specialist Novella Robinson assists a Hurricane Sandy survivor with his FEMA registration questions at a FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center in Seaford, New York.
CAPTION: Milford, Conn., Nov. 27, 2012 -- FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate tours the damaged areas of Milford with local officials. The Administrator came to Connecticut to see first-hand the damage to homes and property.
CAPTION: Sandy Hook, N.J., Nov. 28, 2012 -- Two National Park Service employees measure a damaged door for replacement. This lifeguard station was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. FEMA is working with state and local officials to assist residents who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Winter Weather Safety
As we head into December and colder weather becomes more frequent, I wanted to share some safety tips that can come in handy this time of year. Now’s the time to make sure your family, home, or car is prepared for cold temperatures, such as:
- Thoroughly check and update your family's emergency supply kit before winter approaches and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather.
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways,
- Sand to improve traction on exterior walkways,
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment, and
- Include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
- Have an emergency kit in your car, in the event you are stranded by a blizzard or traffic jam. Be sure to include items you would need to stay warm and comfortable for at least 72 hours.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Know what to do if the power goes out. Winter storms can also cause power outages, so make sure you take precautions to get prepared.
- Limit travel during severe winter weather, only venture out on the roads if it’s absolutely necessary. If you must travel, be sure to let someone know your destination and when they can expect you.
And while you prepare for colder weather and stay warm this winter, make sure you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t raise your risk for fires. Sadly, the number of home fires tends to increase during the winter months – but here are a few ways you can reduce the risk of fire at home:
- Avoid using lighted candles. If you must use candles, place them in sturdy candleholders that won’t burn.
- Space heaters need space; keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from each heater.
- Check electrical cords often and replace cracked or damaged electrical or extension cords. Don’t try to repair them.
- Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. They are not designed for this purpose and can be a fire hazard. In addition, carbon monoxide (CO) gas might kill people and pets.
For more winter fire safety tips, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website. Have a great weekend, and stay safe.