What we’re Watching: 9/20/13

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truck with search and rescue teamsBoulder, Colo., Sep. 16, 2013 -- FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue teams head out to conduct a search in Left Hand Canyon. Photo by Michael Rieger/FEMA

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.

Colorado flood response

We continue supporting the ongoing response in Colorado to the flooding and mudslides that have affected thousands across the state.  As dangerous conditions are still present in many areas, we’re encouraging people to remain vigilant and follow safety advice given by their local officials. 

To date, over 12,000 individuals in Adams, Boulder, Clear Creek, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld counties have applied for FEMA assistance, resulting in over $8.5 million in approved aid for affected individuals and households.   Nearly 800 FEMA staff are on the ground supporting the response efforts – including professional search and rescue units, teams going door-to-door encouraging residents to apply for FEMA assistance, inspectors assessing home damage, and staff at our Disaster Recovery Centers.
search and rescue meetingBoulder, Colo., Sep. 16, 2013 -- Morning briefing for Urban Search and Research teams at Boulder Airport. Teams are deployed to assist in the Colorado flood response. Photo by Michael Rieger/FEMA

FEMA is only part of the team that’s supporting the flood response – there are many volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, state and local agencies, private sector entities, and members of the community who are pitching in.  If you’re looking to help, the best source for donating or volunteering is HelpColoradoNow.org, which is operated by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

A few days ago I wrote a quick recap of the response efforts, so check out that blog post for some more statistics.  And if you’re looking for ongoing updates on FEMA’s role, visit the disaster webpage or follow the @femaregion8 account on Twitter.

In case you missed it: Recognizing excellence

All around the country, many individuals and groups are working hard to “move the needle” and better prepare themselves and their neighbors for emergencies.  Yesterday, we recognized some of the most creative and successful approaches by announcing the winners of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.

If you’re looking for some inspiration in building emergency preparedness in your home, neighborhood, school, workplace, or city – the award winners can help.  For example, the award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness went to the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University.  They delivered a statewide youth summer camp that included key skills like emergency response training, leadership development, and community-specific action planning.   

So check out Ready.gov for a full list of the winners – get inspired today!

Mark your calendar

The next FEMA Think Tank call

When: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m. EDT

What:  The FEMA Think Tank is an open forum to discuss relevant topics in emergency management and disaster response.  The next Think Tank session will focus on how to cultivate innovation in the “white spaces” of emergency management. 

The white space can be defined as the space between the boxes in an organization chart—mostly unoccupied territory where rules are vague, authority is fuzzy, budgets are nonexistent, and strategy is unclear. This is often where innovative activities that help reinvent and renew an organization most often take place.

How: As soon as it’s available, the call-in information will be posted to fema.gov/thinktank. All are welcome to join the discussion and ask questions!


Twitter chat on inclusive emergency preparedness

When: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. EDT

What: Our @femaregion7 Twitter account will host a live chat on Twitter to discuss simple ways to make disaster preparedness applicable for everyone.   In addition to taking your questions, they’ll bust some common myths of inclusive disaster preparedness. 

How: Follow along using #ALLReadyChat – and you can “watch” the conversation even if you don’t have a Twitter account.  For those who would like to submit a question or topic for discussion during the chat, you can tweet it to @femaregion7 or e-mail it to FEMA-New-Media@fema.dhs.gov.

With that, have a safe weekend!

Last Updated: 
09/20/2013 - 15:37
Posted on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 15:22
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