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Irene Update 42: September 5 Recap

President Obama along with Federal, State and Local officials, surveyed flood damages in New Jersey. Tropical Storm Irene created the worst flooding in the area in more than a century.
Paterson, NJ, September 4, 2011 --President Obama along with Federal, State and Local officials, surveyed flood damages in New Jersey. 

The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.

President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the commonwealths and states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the territory of Puerto Rico as well as emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support recovery efforts.

The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.

Monday, September 5

  • DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is visiting Connecticut to tour damages from Hurricane Irene and meet with state and local officials including Governor Dannel Malloy and first responders.
  • As of noon today, more than 50,600 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for assistance.
  • Federal, state, tribal and local personnel continue to work together on preliminary damage assessments in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts. These assessments are designed to give the governor of each state a better picture of damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed. As these efforts continue, additional areas may be added for assistance.
  • More than 400 community relations specialists are in the field in affected states and additional mobilizations and deployments continue. Community relations teams are helping to inform disaster survivors about available services and resources, and continue to gather situational awareness on the impacts of the storm in support of the affected states.
  • In New York, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open, and more centers are scheduled to open soon. DRCs are locations where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from federal, state, local and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. Information about DRC locations and hours is available online at www.fema.gov/drclocator. Check back regularly, as locations are frequently updated, and hours may change.

See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.

Irene Update 41: September 4 Recap

The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.

President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the commonwealths and states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the territory of Puerto Rico as well as emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support recovery efforts.

The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.

Sunday, September 4

  • President Obama visits Paterson, New Jersey, where he is joined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, to view damage from Hurricane Irene and to be briefed on the response and recovery efforts. FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino travels to Brattleboro, Vermont to meet with state and local officials and visit a Disaster Recovery Center.
  • To date, President Obama has signed major disaster declarations for nine commonwealths and states, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and the territory of Puerto Rico, making additional federal assistance available for recovery efforts.
  • Residents and businesses in disaster-impacted areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Puerto Rico, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, can apply now for federal disaster assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • As of noon today, more than 44,000 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for assistance.
  • In New York, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open, and more centers are scheduled to open soon in other hard-hit areas. DRCs are locations where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. As residents continue to return to their homes, more centers will be opening. Contact your local emergency management office for more information on locations and hours. As power is restored, DRC locations and hours will also be available online at fema.gov/drclocator. Check back regularly, as locations are frequently updated.
  • More than 600 housing damage inspectors are in the field in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Puerto Rico to inspect damage to homes of disaster survivors who have applied for disaster assistance. As more survivors continue to apply for assistance, the number of inspectors in the field will continue to grow.
  • More than 6,000 volunteers from voluntary and faith-based organizations, including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the Southern Baptist Convention have been supporting disaster response and recovery efforts along the East Coast.
  • Federal, state and tribal personnel continue to work together on preliminary damage assessments in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and North Carolina. These assessments are designed to give the governor of each state a better picture of damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed. As these efforts continue, additional areas may be added for assistance.

See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.

Update 3: Closely Watching Lee & Katia

Through our regional offices in Atlanta, New York and Texas, we continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee and Hurricane Katia.

In response to Tropical Storm Lee, an Incident Management and Assistance Team (IMAT) is on site in Louisiana to coordinate with and support state emergency management officials, and a FEMA liaison officer is assigned to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness emergency operation centers (EOC), and additional IMAT teams and liaisons are on standby and will be deployed to other state EOCs, if requested.

Residents in coastal and inland areas around the Gulf of Mexico should continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee and be prepared for the following weather conditions (as forecasted by the National Weather Service):

  • Total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches from the central Gulf Coast northward into the Tennessee Valley are expected, with possible maximum amounts of 20 inches through Monday night,
  • Tropical storm conditions are expected throughout today,
  • Tornadoes are possible today and tonight over portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the far western Florida Panhandle.

As of 10am CDT, from tropical storm Lee, there are tropical storm warnings in effect for Destin, Florida westward to Sabine Pass, Texas, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

As we wrote in yesterday’s update, here are some key terms to know:

  • Flood Watch: flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  •  Flash Flood Watch: flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  •  Flood Warning: flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  •  Flash Flood Warning: a flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
  • Tornado Watch: a tornado is possible in your area.
  • Tornado Warning: a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.

And here some key safety tips to remember:

  •  Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • We urge all individuals in the region to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
    • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
    • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

And as Always, listen to the instructions of state and local officials.

Regarding Katia, as of 11am AST, the storm had strengthened to become a Category 2 hurricane, but at this time there are no coastal watches or warnings.  For information on the forecast track, visit Hurricane.gov and for the latest severe weather watches/warnings in your area, visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your phone.

Visit Ready.gov for more information on how to prepare for hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and other hazards, as well as a list of items to add to your emergency kit.

Irene Update 40: September 3 Recap

(Entrada de blog en español / Spanish blog post)

Loiza, PR, September 1, 2011 -- FEMA community relations specialist Enrique Colon, informs disaster survivor about the registration process. Community Relations teams are visiting the affected areas to inform the community about the registration process. Eliud Echevarria/FEMA
Loiza, PR, September 1, 2011 -- FEMA community relations specialist Enrique Colon, informs disaster survivor about the registration process. Community Relations teams are visiting the affected areas to inform the community about the registration process. Eliud Echevarria/FEMA

Albany, NY, September 2, 2011 -- Jamy Arzuaga, Human Resources unit lead, and Annia Santos, HR specialist, are deployed to support FEMA's operation in support of New York State in response to Hurricane Irene. President declares Disaster for State of New York to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene. Photo by Elissa Jun/FEMA.
Albany, NY, September 2, 2011 -- Jamy Arzuaga, Human Resources unit lead, and Annia Santos, HR specialist, are deployed to support FEMA's operation in support of New York State in response to Hurricane Irene. President declares Disaster for State of New York to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene. Photo by Elissa Jun/FEMA.


The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.

Over the past week, President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support recovery efforts. Prior to Irene's making landfall on the East Coast a week ago today, FEMA deployed teams and resources along the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine.

In advance of Irene moving through the territories in the Caribbean, FEMA deployed teams to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate directly with local officials on the ground. At the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, FEMA continues to work with our federal, state, territorial, tribal and local partners, as well as voluntary organizations, the private sector, and others to respond to the aftermath of Irene. The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.

Saturday, September 3

  • Residents and businesses in disaster-impacted areas of Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Puerto Rico, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, can apply now for federal disaster assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • As of noon today, more than 39,401 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for individual assistance, which can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the Hurricane Irene.
  • Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are currently open in North Carolina, New York and Puerto Rico, and more are being prepared to open in New Jersey and Vermont. DRCs are locations where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal, and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. As residents continue to return to their homes, more centers will be opening. Contact your local emergency management office for more information on locations and hours. As power is restored, DRC locations and hours will be available online at www.fema.gov/drclocator. Check back regularly, as locations are frequently updated.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is partnering with FEMA and state, local, tribal and territorial governments to assist in helping conduct damage assessments and provide assistance to disaster survivors and communities. SBA urges businesses and nonprofit organizations that may have incurred losses to learn about low-interest disaster loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate or inventory, as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Due to power outages and evacuations, some small businesses made it through the storm, but have lost significant amounts of business. Often, these businesses can be eligible for EIDL loans to help cover working capital needs, regardless of whether the business suffered property damage. More information is available at www.sba.gov.
  • Federal, state and tribal personnel continue to conduct preliminary damage assessments in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. These assessments are designed to give the governor of each state a better picture of damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed.

See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.

Update 2: Closely Watching Lee & Katia

(Entrada de blog en español / Spanish blog post)

Through our regional offices in Atlanta, New York and Texas, we continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to know if Katia will pose a threat to the U.S., we are in touch with all of our East Coast states in the event Katia does track toward us in the coming days.

Meanwhile, residents in coastal and inland areas around the Gulf of Mexico should continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee because the storm is approaching Southeastern Louisiana with heavy rains and strong gusty winds -- and could bring tornadoes along with it. For the latest severe weather watches/warnings in your area, visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your phone.

The National Weather Service forecasts that Tropical Storm Lee will produce between 10 - 15 inches of rain, with up to 20 inches in isolated areas. With this heavy amount of rain, flooding is likely to occur, so here are some flood terms and safety tips to remember:
 
  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Don’t put yourself at risk, follow the instructions of local officials, and if they give the order to evacuate - evacuate.

The National Weather Service also forecasts areas along the Gulf Coast where isolated tornadoes associated with tropical storm Lee may occur as the storm moves through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the far western Florida Panhandle. Here's a reminder of tornado terms and safety tips:
 

  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.
  • We urge all individuals in the region to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
  • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
  • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

With the tropical storm watches and warnings in effect along the Gulf Coast, it is critical that residents and businesses listen to the instructions of local officials, closely follow news and weather reports, find open shelters in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi if you need a place to stay and evacuate, if told to do so. Learn more on how to prepare for hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and other hazards at Ready.gov

Irene Update 39: September 2 Recap

(Entrada de blog en español / Spanish blog post)

Paramus, NJ, August 31, 2011 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino talking with residents staying at a shelter due to Hurricane Irene. FEMA is working with state, local, territorial and tribal partners to assess damages in states affected by Hurricane Irene.
Paramus, NJ, August 31, 2011 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino talking with residents staying at a shelter due to Hurricane Irene. FEMA is working with state, local, territorial and tribal partners to assess damages in states affected by Hurricane Irene.

Prattsville, NY, August 31, 2011 -- Disaster survivors congregate outside a mobile disaster recovery center as they apply for federal disaster assistance. FEMA is providing assistance to individuals and business owners in New York affected by the flooding from Irene.
Prattsville, NY, August 31, 2011 -- Disaster survivors congregate outside a mobile disaster recovery center as they apply for federal disaster assistance. FEMA is providing assistance to individuals and business owners in New York affected by the flooding from Irene.

The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.

Over the past several days, President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support response efforts. Prior to Irene's making landfall on the East Coast Saturday, FEMA deployed teams and resources along the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine.

In advance of Irene moving through the territories earlier last week, FEMA deployed teams to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate directly with local officials on the ground. At the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, FEMA continues to work with our federal, state, territorial, tribal and local partners, as well as voluntary organizations, the private sector, and others to respond to the aftermath of Irene. The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.

Friday, September 2

  • Today, President Obama has amended the existing emergency declaration for Connecticut due to Irene to include individual assistance for residents, which could include temporary housing, repairs, and medical, dental and funeral expenses, personal property and transportation. Residents and businesses in those areas may apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • Federal, state and tribal personnel continue preliminary damage assessments in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut and Maine. These assessments are designed to give the governor of each state a better picture of damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is coordinating with state partners to provide post-storm response and recovery safety and health hazard information to key stakeholders in local, state and federal agencies as well as the private sector. One of OSHA's primary initial focuses has been to prevent injuries associated with electric power restoration; the agency has been working closely with local utilities and their mutual aid partners.
  • FEMA conducts conference calls with congressional delegations from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Asian, Black and Hispanic Caucuses and FEMA Authorizers and Appropriators to provide updates on ongoing federal response and recovery to Irene.
  • In North Carolina and Puerto Rico, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open. These are centers where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. As residents continue to return to their homes, more centers will be opening. For more information on locations and hours, contact your local emergency management.
  • President Obama amends the major disaster declaration for the state of New York to make individual assistance available to individuals affected in Clinton, Montgomery, Orange, Rockland, Saratoga, Suffolk, Sullivan and Warren counties. The declaration was also amended to make Public Assistance available for Kings County. This amendment makes available assistance for emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
  • As of noon, more than 30,600 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for assistance.

See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.
 

What We’re Watching: 9/2/11

Every Friday, we do a “What We’re Watching” blog as we look ahead to the weekend. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Carolina, Puerto Rico, September 1, 2011 -- Carlos Otero (left) with Ramon Otero (right) at the Carolina Municipal Emergency Management Agency helping with the distribution of blue tarps. FEMA is currently in a joint effort with Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency to distribute blue tarps for affected residents to different municipalities in Puerto Rico.
Carolina, Puerto Rico, September 1, 2011 -- Carlos Otero (left) with Ramon Otero (right) at the Carolina Municipal Emergency Management Agency helping with the distribution of blue tarps. FEMA is currently in a joint effort with Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency to distribute blue tarps for affected residents to different municipalities in Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Irene Recovery
We continue to support the states and territories affected by Irene, as the focus of the emergency management community begins to shift from response to recovery. To date, President Obama has made federal disaster assistance available to individuals and business owners in eligible counties in Puerto Rico, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. In several other states, we continue to support state, local and tribal response efforts through a federal emergency declaration as we work with our partners to complete damage assessments (this blog post explains federal assistance before, during and after a hurricane).

Those individuals and business owners in eligible counties can apply for assistance today by visiting Disasterassistance.gov/ (or m.fema.gov on their phone), calling 800-621-3362, or going to a disaster recovery center in your area. We’ll continue to provide updates regarding our role, highlighting how we continue to work with our partners in the affected areas.


Developing Tropical Systems
As we said on the blog earlier today, we continue to monitor the developing systems in the Atlantic. Check out the blog post for specifics on what we’re doing and how you can stay safe if you live in an area that may be affected by tropical storm Lee or Hurricane Katia.


Kicking Off National Preparedness Month
In case you missed it, Administrator Fugate blogged yesterday about kicking off National Preparedness Month, encouraging you to share your preparedness tips with us and others. In addition to the Administrator’s visit to New York City, kick off events were held in many cities around the U.S. At our regional office in Chicago, Regional Administrator Andrew Velasquez started National Preparedness Month with this video:




All month long, we’ll have blog posts devoted to emergency preparedness, so check back for more updates. In the meantime, visit community.fema.gov to join the National Preparedness Month coalition and get tools to help you share emergency preparedness in your school, workplace, home, or business.

Closely Watching Lee & Katia

As our recovery efforts in the states and territories affected by Irene continue, we’re closely monitoring tropical storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic. While Katia is currently not a threat to the U.S., those in coastal and inland areas around the Gulf of Mexico should closely monitor tropical storm Lee. Forecasts from the National Weather Service are calling for heavy rains and potential flooding and flash flooding in areas affected by Lee, so make sure you’re taking steps to keep your family safe:

  • Don’t put yourself at risk, follow the instructions of local officials, and if they give the order to evacuate - evacuate.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.

While it’s still too early to tell exactly where Lee will make the most impact, here’s a reminder about flooding terminology in case your area may experience heavy rainfall:
 

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

We’ve deployed an Incident Management and Assistance Team is to Louisiana to assist the state with coordination, and a FEMA liaison officer has been deployed to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness emergency operation center. In coordination with states, additional liaisons will be deployed to other states and additional assistance will be made available, as needed.

Remember to follow local TV and radio reports for the latest conditions in your area, and visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov (or mobile.weather.gov on your phone) for the latest severe weather watches/warnings in your area.

Connecticut: Assessing Damage from Irene

Author: 

Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Coordinating Officer Gary Stanley, right speaks to State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Mangement and Homeland Security Director William Hackett.
Hartford, CT, August 29, 2011 -- Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Coordinating Officer Gary Stanley, right speaks to State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Mangement and Homeland Security Director William Hackett, left, after a meeting with Governor Malloy.

Today, FEMA and state teams continue preliminary damage assessments in Connecticut to determine the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. These on-the-ground assessment teams follow aerial assessments earlier this week that gave Connecticut Governor Malloy a better sense of the damages to the state.

During these damage assessments, as it is with all phases of emergency management, FEMA is part of a team led by state, county and local emergency officials gathering information on the damage caused by this storm. Those assessments will be used by the state to prepare a request from the Governor to the President for more federal assistance. (See our past blog post for a full explanation of this process.)

As of today, reports show a significant number of individuals and businesses are still without power in parts of Connecticut (check out this blog post about the Department of Energy's role in supporting critical energy infrastructure). At the height of the storm, more than 1,500 people were in 74 Red Cross shelters throughout the state. FEMA has ordered more than 760,000 meals ready to eat and more than 500,000 bottles of waters to supplement state response efforts, if needed. These federal efforts were done as part of the President’s emergency declaration for Connecticut last week. The assessments, yesterday and today, will help the state determine the number of residences and businesses affected by Irene.

As Deputy Administrator Serino said on a visit to Connecticut earlier this week, "FEMA will be here to support survivors and the affected states – even after the national media has shifted its focus away from Irene."

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, left, shows FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino a map of areas impacted by Hurricane Irene
Hartford, CT, August 30, 2011 -- Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, left, shows FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino a map of areas impacted by Hurricane Irene during Serino's visit to the state's Emergency Operations Center.

Irene Update 38: September 1 Recap

The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.

Over the past several days, President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support response efforts. Prior to Irene's making landfall on the East Coast Saturday, FEMA deployed teams and resources along the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine.

In advance of Irene moving through the territories earlier last week, FEMA deployed teams to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate directly with local officials on the ground. At the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, FEMA continues to work with our federal, state, territorial, tribal and local partners, as well as voluntary organizations, the private sector, and others to respond to the aftermath of Irene. The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.

Thursday, September 1

  • President Obama declares a major disaster declaration for Vermont, making additional federal assistance available to individuals and businesses. Residents and businesses in declared areas, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, are encouraged to register for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at Disasterassistance.gov/ or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, orby calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is in New York City to meet with local and state partners to be briefed on response and recovery efforts and to join city leaders to help kick off National Preparedness Month, which starts today.
  • More than 4,000 National Guard personnel, activated by Governors of the affected states, continue to assist states with response efforts. In those states already being affected by the hurricane, National Guard forces are assisting state and local authorities as they begin performing cleanup, communication, and search and rescue missions. The National Guard Bureau's Crisis Management Element has been activated.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services' Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) remains deployed to Vermont. This HHS teams is specially trained to provide emergency health and medical support to medical facilities such as hospitals and health centers. In coordination with affected states, other federal medical teams have been demobilized. · The U.S. Forest Service continues to support Vermont with a chainsaw team to cut and remove debris from blocked roadways and other areas.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers information on special tax law provisions that may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area. · In coordination with FEMA, the U.S. Postal Service is placing disaster assistance information in postal facilities in affected areas.
  • FEMA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urge disaster survivors who are returning to their homes and are considering repairs to be aware of the potential of scams and fraudulent contractors.
  • In Puerto Rico, seven Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open. These are centers where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. To date in Puerto Rico, more than 2,500 disaster survivors have visited DRCs. As of 3 p.m., more than 11,300 survivors of Hurricane Irene in Puerto Rico have registered for FEMA assistance.· As of 3 p.m., more than 10,000 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey and New York have registered for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at Disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • FEMA conducts conference calls with congressional delegations from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Asian, Black and Hispanic Caucuses and FEMA Authorizers and Appropriators to provide updates on ongoing federal response and recovery to Irene.

See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.

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