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Tsunami Update 5: Final tsunami advisory cancelled for U.S.

From the National Weather Service:

All Tsunami Warnings and Advisories have been canceled for the U.S.

Damaging tsunamis are no longer expected to impact the U.S. west coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami impact, the all clear determinations must be made by local authorities.

Visit this interactive map to see the latest, official NWS watches, warnings and advisories currently in effect for all types of hazards.

Bookmark mobile.weather.gov/ and m.fema.gov/ on your smartphone so you're always prepared when you're on the go.

In Photos: Urban Search and Rescue Team Deploying to Japan

Yesterday, one of our updates about the Japan earthquake and tsunami highlighted the two Urban Search and Rescue teams deploying to support search and rescue operations. The teams are deploying at the request of the Japanese government, under the direction of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

See more about the Virginia Task Force 1 team (VA-TF1) as they make final preparations on Facebook or their website.
 

Tsunami Update 4: Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) deploying to Japan

At the request of the Japanese government, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is deploying two Urban Search and Rescue teams to assist in search and rescue efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

As you may have seen in the news, the California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2) and Virginia Task Force 1 (VA-TF1) teams are deploying due to their direct agreement with USAID.  The teams consist of 70 multi-faceted, cross-trained personnel who serve in six major functional areas, including search, rescue, medical, hazardous materials, logistics and planning. In addition, they are supported by canines that are specially trained and qualified to be able to conduct physical search and heavy rescue operations in damaged or collapsed reinforced concrete buildings.

So how does FEMA fit into the picture? Here's part of our blog post when the CA-TF2 was deployed to New Zealand in response to the Christchurch earthquake:
 

You often hear US&R and FEMA in the same sentence, and the reason is because FEMA has developed disaster response agreements with 28 urban search and rescue teams located in various cities throughout the United States.   The teams are locally managed, but FEMA provides funding and program development support for the teams.

Other links
- CA-TF2 website, Facebook and Twitter
- VA-TF1 website

Tsunami Update 3: Helping those affected by the earthquake in Japan

As Administrator Fugate said this morning, our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan earlier today. If you would like to help the survivors, or families of the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, please visit Interaction.org for information on how to donate.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) remains the lead Federal agency when it comes to responding to international disasters, and we stand ready to assist if called upon. Within the U.S., we're working closely with other members of the emergency management team to support State and local response operations from the tsunami if needed.

Other links
- If you're looking for a friend, relative, or loved one in Japan, visit the Google Person Finder on the Google Crisis Response page.

Tsunami Update 2: Federal Response

FEMA and Federal Partners Support States, Territories in Tsunami Response

Alongside our federal partners, we are closely monitoring the effects of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan early this morning and stand ready to support state and local response operations if needed. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued Tsunami Warnings and Watches for a number of countries, including parts of U.S. territories in the Pacific as well as coastal areas along California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

At the President’s direction, FEMA is leaning forward to assist our state and territory partners. And as we often say, FEMA is not the team, FEMA is part of the team, a team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal officials, the faith-based and non-profit communities, the private sector and most importantly the public. Individuals living in the affected areas need to take precautions and to continue to heed the information and warnings coming from their state and local officials.

Earlier this morning, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Administrator Craig Fugate briefed President Obama on the Department’s ongoing coordination activities with potentially affected states and territories.

Under the direction of the President, we are in close coordination with state and local officials, through regional offices in Oakland, California and Bothell, Washington, and the pacific area office in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition, we have commodities, such as water, meals, blankets and cots, prepositioned in Hawaii, Guam, and the Bay area of California should a request be made.

There have been no requests for federal assistance from U.S. states or territories at this time, however, we and our federal partners stand ready to provide support if a request is made by a Governor. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) remains the lead federal agency when it comes to responding to international disasters.

Personnel from FEMA and other federal agencies work side-by-side in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center.

Washington DC, March 11, 2011 - Personnel from FEMA and other federal agencies work side-by-side in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center.

Here is additional information on the coordination efforts from our Federal partners:

U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews are making preparations through the main Hawaiian Islands to provide post-tsunami support following any potential impacts.

The Department of Defense has positioned National Guard personnel in county emergency operation centers in Hawaii, additional aircraft and personnel have been placed on standby if needed.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is deploying a Disaster Medical Assistance Team of more than 35 healthcare professionals and an Incident Response Coordination Team to Travis Air Force Base in California, as well as caches of medical equipment and supplies. From the Air Force base, the teams and equipment can deploy quickly wherever they are needed if requested by states or territories in the region or by the government of Japan.

The HHS Administration on Aging is monitoring the situation through its state, tribal and local Agencies on Aging, in impacted areas, to ensure safety of older adults in potentially impacted areas.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is closely monitoring conditions near the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, located near San Luis Obispo, CA. The NRC is working closely with its resident inspectors who are on site to ensure safe operating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its Pacific Tsunami Warning Center are monitoring conditions and issuing warnings and advisory updates as available.

The U.S. Department of State has a call center established for Americans seeking information about family members in Japan. The number is 1-888-407-4747.

While tsunami watches and warning remain in effect, we urge the public to listen to the instructions of state and local officials, and if told to evacuate – evacuate. We urge everyone in the regions who could be impacted to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials.

Personnel from FEMA and other federal agencies work side-by-side in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center.

Washington, DC, March 11, 2011 – Personnel from FEMA and other federal agencies work side-by-side in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center.

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Update 1

Author: 

(Updated with a video, 8am EST)



FEMA is closely monitoring the effects of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan early this morning, and through our regional offices in the West Coast and in the pacific area, we are in close contact and coordination with state and local officials and stand ready to support them in any way needed.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.

Tsunami warnings and watches have been issued for the U.S. territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, as well as portions of coastal areas in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington.

Our immediate priority is the safety of the people and communities in the affected areas.  We remind everyone who lives in the region to monitor their local news for instructions from their state and local officials and if told to evacuate - evacuate.

Photos from New Zealand

As we've mentioned in previous blog posts, Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, was in Christchurch, New Zealand when the earthquake struck on February 22.  Since the quake, Tim has been supporting U.S. officials as they assist in the ongoing earthquake response and recovery efforts. 

At the request of the New Zealand government, the U.S. Agency for International Development deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team, a team that includes the Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team, also known as California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), to assist with the search and rescue efforts.  For updates on the CA-TF2 team’s activities, find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Below are some photos of Tim - for the latest updates on the response and recovery, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management.

Tim Manning, left, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, inspecting earthquake damage in Christchurch.
Christchurch, New Zealand, February 25, 2011 -- Tim Manning, left, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, inspecting earthquake damage in Christchurch. Manning was in Christchurch attending a U.S.-N.Z. Partnership Forum when the earthquake struck. Manning, a first responder, immediately went to work with a local relief agency going door-to-door checking for structural integrity. FEMA/U.S. Embassy-New Zealand/Janine Burns

Tim Manning, left, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working with the Red Cross in Christchurch.


Christchurch, New Zealand, February 25, 2011 -- Tim Manning, left, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working with the Red Cross in Christchurch. FEMA/U.S. Embassy-New Zealand/Janine Burns
Posted on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 18:42

U.S. Urban Search & Rescue Team Deploying to New Zealand

Author: 

At the request of the New Zealand government, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), a team that includes the Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team (US&R), also known as California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), to assist with the search and rescue efforts.

You may remember the LA County US&R team from this YouTube video that was taken in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in early 2010.

You often hear US&R and FEMA in the same sentence, and the reason is because FEMA has developed disaster response agreements with 28 urban search and rescue teams located in various cities throughout the United States.   The teams are locally managed but FEMA provides funding and program development support for the teams.

Two of these teams are classified under United Nations Guidelines for international response. The two USAID-sponsored international classified teams are USA-TF2 (CA-TF2) and USA-TF1 (Virginia Task Force 1, VA-TF1) from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.  These “international teams” have direct agreements with USAID, and it is under this agreement and the direction of USAID that CA-TF2 is being deployed to New Zealand.

Ever wonder what a US&R team base of operations looks like?  Administrator Fugate and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah got a tour on a visit to Haiti in the aftermath of the quake that struck there last year.



What is a National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force?

The 28 National US&R Task Forces, made up of teams of state and local first responders, can be activated for major disasters to assist in rescuing victims of structural collapse incidents or to assist in other search and rescue missions.

All 28 teams are “Type I task forces,” which are made up of around 70 multi-faceted, cross-trained personnel who serve in six major functional areas, including search, rescue, medical, hazardous materials, logistics and planning. In addition, they are supported by canines that are specially trained and qualified to be able to conduct physical search and heavy rescue operations in damaged or collapsed reinforced concrete buildings.

Each task force can be divided into two 35-member teams to provide 24-hour search and rescue operations. Self-sufficient for the initial 72 hours or more, the task forces are equipped with convoy vehicles to support over the road deployments and their equipment caches can be quickly reconfigured to be able to deploy by military or commercial airlift.  The task forces can also be configured into Light Task Forces to support weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes and other similar incidents.

-Bob

Our Thoughts & Prayers Go Out to the People of New Zealand

Author: 
The thoughts and prayers of every member of the FEMA team go out to the victims and survivors of the terrible earthquake that struck New Zealand yesterday. As with all international disasters, FEMA is supporting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the U.S. Government’s response to the earthquake.

FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Tim Manning was in Christchurch at the time of the quake, as part of a trip to New Zealand and Australia to discuss a broad range of emergency management issues, as part of ongoing international cooperation efforts. Tim is safe and is in close contact with the U.S. Embassy.

If you are looking for information or have information regarding U.S. citizens in Christchurch, New Zealand, the U.S. Embassy in Christchurch is asking people to email chchquake@state.gov.

In addition, here are some of the social media resources that are available and have popped up in response to the quake:
 

Administrator Fugate at "Earthquakes: Mean Business"

Author: 

Getting prepared for an emergency requires working with all members of the emergency management team, across many disciplines and at all levels of government. Preparing for a potential earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone is no different.

The New Madrid seismic zone runs through the heart of the United States, and this year marks the 200th anniversary of a catastrophic quake that struck the region. With 2011 being the bicentennial of the last major New Madrid earthquake, the emergency management team around the New Madrid seismic zone is making sure it is taking steps to be prepared for earthquakes.

Last week, the Central U. S. Earthquake Consortium hosted the “Earthquakes: Mean Business” symposium in St. Louis, MO.  Participants at the event included federal, state and local governments, representatives from the private sector, voluntary and faith-based organizations, and concerned citizens.

Check out this video from Administrator Fugate on the symposium, and get prepared for earthquakes today.  And don’t forget this April 28th, the Great Central U.S. Shake Out, is a great opportunity for the public to exercise what they would do in the event of an earthquake - if you haven’t, sign up today.



- Brad

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