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Author: Jessica Stapf
Picture this—a scene that could happen anywhere in the United States…The rain was coming down in sheets for what felt like the umpteenth straight day. People lost track of how long ago it started--it felt like it would never end.  The storm clouds that shrouded the town in a blanket of steely gray sadness looked like they hadn’t moved an inch.It rained. And rained. And rained some more.Tin roofs and windowpanes echoed with the sound of the raindrops. Flooded streets closed--and the landscape was dotted with fluorescent orange detour signs. The water had nowhere to go...
Posted On: January 28, 2016
Author: Yvette Blackman
Folks along Peeples Street in northern Richland County, South Carolina are accustomed to relentless rain. Crane Creek overflows its banks at times, spilling into low-lying rural areas and causing flooding that creeps up to windowsills. Yards fill with a soupy mess of mud and muck. But the people who live on this street on the edge of the Denny Terrace neighborhood are a hardy lot. Chores move indoors until the rains stop. Folks clean up. Life goes on. When it began raining in early fall, Denny Terrace residents weren’t alarmed. But South Carolina was pounded by weeks of punishing rain...
Posted On: January 11, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
“We play all the songs from the '80s, '90s, and today!” Radio stations across the country have been using this line for years. If you’ve ever listened to any of them, you’ve probably noticed a little bit of change in popular music over the years.Like the music we listen to, El Niño and the technology that’s used to predict and study it have changed too. In case you missed it, El Niño is the warming of the Pacific Ocean’s waters that can cause irregular weather patterns. Our friends at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have...
Posted On: November 17, 2015
Author: Kelsie Garrard, Carolina Garcia
We’re Kelsie and Carolina of FEMA Corps Hickory 5 and we’re currently deployed to support recovery efforts in South Carolina. In the picture above, we’re the second and the fourth members from the left. There are 27 other FEMA Corps teams here with us and we’re all working to help survivors of the recent historic floods. While we’ve been here, we’ve seen the damage and have been working directly with survivors to help them get assistance.We’d like to highlight some of the photos of FEMA Corps members that have come out of South Carolina so far:Here...
Posted On: November 5, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Rushing floodwaters caused roads and bridges to become unusable and isolated many communities in Colorado in 2013. In order to get resources and assistance to where they were needed, we put our Geographic Information Systems staff to the test. These systems, commonly referred to as GIS, are designed to map out and visualize the impact of disasters on land.In order to get a better understanding of how these systems work, I reached out to Casey Zuzak from Region 8’s Geographic Information Systems team. Casey was on the ground in Colorado and provided me with some real-life insight into...
Posted On: October 15, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Late last week, what’s been called “historic” and “1,000 year-level” flooding began in the Southeast United States—with South Carolina getting hit with the brunt of it. As the situation has changed, we've changed right along with it.In the photo below, you can see members of one of our incident management teams collaborating inside the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia, SC. We embed these teams in states’ emergency operation centers during response efforts in order to make coordination with the state and our other...
Posted On: October 5, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Volunteers are some of the most important players when it comes to an emergency management team. Their importance is magnified during disasters, such as the recent flooding in Texas, where over 30 counties were declared major disaster areas by the President. As a former national service volunteer, I have a special appreciation for the work volunteers selflessly do after a disaster.Here are a few photos that demonstrate some of the diverse work of these volunteers:As the pictures show, volunteers are making a difference all over Texas in a variety of ways, doing anything from providing meals...
Posted On: July 13, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
The Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency behind AmeriCorps NCCC and our partner in creating and maintaining FEMA Corps, has deployed many of their program members to help respond to the recent Texas flooding. They wrote up a breakdown of how teams from their Southwest Region campus of AmeriCorps NCCC in Denver, Colorado have been helping in Texas.Here’s an excerpt:From late May through mid-June, Texas was inundated by flooding due to a series of severe storms.  Of the more than 220 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members responding to date, 64 are Denver-based...
Posted On: July 8, 2015
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
All it takes is one.One hurricane. One tornado. One flood, earthquake, or fire to displace a family, upend a business, destroy a school - or worse.  No one is immune to the threat of disasters, and 2014 was no exception. View in FEMA Multimedia LibraryIn March, we witnessed an entire community wiped away from the mudslide that hit Oso, Washington. In August, an earthquake hit Napa damaging buildings and homes.  And in September, severe weather in Michigan generated significant flooding, affecting thousands of families in Detroit, just to name a few.  But how does 2014...
Posted On: March 12, 2015
Author: Craig Fugate, John Podesta
(Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the White House blog.)When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, the storm sent water cascading into the South Ferry subway station, pouring into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, inundating neighborhoods from Staten Island to Queens. At Battery Park in lower Manhattan, water reached more than 9 feet above the average high-tide line.One factor fueling the surge -- New York Harbor, where waters have risen about a foot since 1900. We know that rising sea levels, higher average temperatures, higher ocean temperatures, and other effects of climate...
Posted On: January 30, 2015