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Author: Terry Quarles
When emergency managers and the disability community work closely together, it can help assistance reach a greater number of survivors, and change outcomes for individuals and communities after a disaster. After a series of storms and tornadoes that hit Mississippi in April and record-setting floods in May that brought widespread damage to lives and property – the importance of reaching out to the disability community was even more important.Just after the disaster, we deployed a disability and integration team, led by a disability integration specialist, whose goal was to capitalize on the...
Posted On: August 10, 2011
Author: Michael Byrne
Three months ago, violent storms and tornadoes caused devastation that changed the lives of Alabamians forever. Although we will never forget the tragedy that thousands of Alabamians have experienced, we continue to work with our partners across the emergency management team to assist the state in building communities that are stronger and more resilient.I am proud to look back on the last 90 days and see the progress that has been made. To date, 90 percent of the staggering amount of debris has been removed from the storm-ravaged areas. Nearly 88,000 disaster survivors have applied for...
Posted On: July 29, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Recently, we have seen a lot of questions and news coverage about why tornado survivors in Alabama may or may not be receiving federal aid assistance. Disaster survivors in Alabama and other parts of the nation have been through a lot, and we’re working hard to ensure that everyone who is eligible for federal assistance gets the help they need.We’ve spoken before about questions regarding federal disaster assistance. However, we wanted to take a moment to explain FEMA disaster assistance eligibility. Individuals and families in a declared area whose essential property has been damaged or...
Posted On: July 22, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
After a disaster, we reach out to disaster survivors in many ways. Whether it is going door to door, speaking at local events, or hosting a town hall meeting, our main goal is to make sure disaster survivors receive information on how to apply for assistance with us and our partners, as well as other organizations that provide assistance.Working with our federal, state and local government partners, and the private sector partners, we’re better able to provide assistance to affected communities and individuals.Take a look at this video showing how we get the word out to disaster...
Posted On: July 20, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano visited Minot, North Dakota to see firsthand the damage caused by the recent severe flooding. Her visit follows Deputy Administrator Serino’s visit to Minot on June 29. The Secretary encouraged Minot residents to continue to register for federal disaster assistance and reiterated the federal government's commitment to continue supporting Minot for the long haul. She also encouraged anyone  interested in helping the people of Minot and across North Dakota to send donations through organizations like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army or the Minot...
Posted On: July 14, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
As we said last week and throughout the spring, we continue to support the emergency management team as flooding continues across the Central U.S. and northern Plains. Today, Secretary Napolitano is visiting Minot, N.D., to meet with survivors, local and state officials, and survey the damages from this year’s historic flooding.Stay tuned to this blog for a wrap up of her trip, and in the meantime, here are some more photos of the flood-fighting and recovery efforts from our Photo Library:Minot, ND, July 12, 2011 -- Willy Dunn (right), Federal Coordinating Officer, talks with Major...
Posted On: July 13, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
It has been a year of deadly and destructive tornadoes across the United States. Unfortunately, the active weather has put many communities – Joplin, Mo.; Cordova, Ala.; Smithville, Miss., just to name a few – in the similar situation of dealing with overwhelming damage and tragic loss of life. But they are not alone.Last week, several communities that were impacted by tornadoes this year participated in a FEMA-organized, sustainability workshop in Greensburg, Kan. (read a recap of the workshop from Deb Ingram, Assistant Administrator, Recovery). Four years ago, in 2007, an EF-5 tornado...
Posted On: July 8, 2011
Author: Deborah Ingram
In the wake of this year’s deadly tornadoes, storms and flooding, we’re working diligently with a wide array of partner agencies and organizations to support communities recently impacted by disasters (such as Joplin, Mo., Smithville, Miss.; and Cordova, Ala. as well as many others) as they work down the path towards long term recovery and reconstruction. With these thoughts in mind, this week, FEMA hosted a Sustainable Communities Workshop – A Peer-to-Peer Discussion on Recovery in Greensburg, Kansas.While Greensburg may seem like an odd place to bring together leaders in the emergency...
Posted On: July 1, 2011
Author: Michael Byrne
Birmingham, AL, June 27, 2011 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate addresses employees at the Joint Field Office in Birmingham. On Monday, Administrator Craig Fugate visited the Birmingham Joint Field Office, underscoring the agency’s ongoing focus on Alabama’s recovery from the April tornadoes. The Administrator toured the state in the immediate days following the storm, meeting with federal, state and local officials and ensuring they had the resources needed to respond and recover.In a series of joint state and FEMA meetings, we briefed the Administrator on the progress made thus far and,...
Posted On: June 30, 2011
Author: Michael Byrne
Today, June 27, marks two months since severe storms and tornadoes – some with wind speeds of more than 200 mph – struck hard. It was a catastrophe unlike any other. Tragically, 241 Alabamians were killed. Thousands were left homeless.Our records show that more than 83,200 disaster survivors have applied for financial assistance from state and federal agencies. Think about that. That’s more than the total population of many good-sized Alabama communities.The Federal Emergency Management Agency was in touch with the governor and the state director of emergency management even before the storms...
Posted On: June 27, 2011

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