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One Month Out, Connecticut Recovery Continues

Dayville, CT, Brooklyn, CT, September 29, 2011 -- FEMA Community Education Specialist, Steven Klein, right, shows a Mitigation activity book to local resident Dylan Lacasse, 3, during a community education outreach event at Lowe's. FEMA specialists distributed over 200 cd's that include mitigation publications for Tropical Storm Irene.

Dayville, CT, Brooklyn, CT, September 29, 2011 -- FEMA Community Education Specialist, Steven Klein, right, shows a Mitigation activity book to local resident Dylan Lacasse, 3, during a community education outreach event at Lowe's. FEMA specialists distributed over 200 cd's that include mitigation publications for Tropical Storm Irene.

It’s been a month since President Obama’s Sept. 2 major disaster declaration for the state of Connecticut following Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA and its state partners continue to make major strides in the support of the Constitution State’s recovery.

Providing assistance & getting the word out to survivors
Our community relations teams have been canvassing the state and have visited more than 5,600 homes. Working closely with faith-based and community-based organizations, we’ve met face-to-face with nearly 16,000 people to let them know about the many resources available to them for disaster recovery. To date, our community relations teams have also facilitated a dozen local forums, answering requests from towns, congressional staffs, mayors and selectmen. These efforts have led to more than 6,000 residents registering for assistance and more than $4.3 million in aid being disbursed to disaster survivors.

Keeping the pace, we have transitioned 11 Disaster Recovery Centers into seven Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Location Outreach Centers, with one disaster recovery center open through Oct. 6. These centers allow residents and business owners to meet with SBA officials to answer their questions, explain SBA’s disaster loan program and help them complete their disaster loan application.

Meanwhile, we continue to meet one-on-one with officials from local jurisdictions to provide information and assistance regarding their damage claims. We currently have more than 80 meetings scheduled with local officials in town and city governments to share information about disaster recovery programs.

Rebuilding tips for Connecticut residents

We’re also helping survivors rebuild smarter, providing the public with tips and advice at 19 home improvement stores throughout the state. While shopping, residents can stop by a mitigation outreach table and find out how to protect their homes from future storms and disasters. Here are details about some of the upcoming mitigation events in:

Together with our partners across the emergency management team, we will continue to remain focused on making the state’s recovery a speedy and thorough one.

Watching Tropical Storm Ophelia

Tropical storm Ophelia is currently churning in the Atlantic, the fifteenth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. We’re closely monitoring the progress of the storm through our regional offices in Atlanta, New York, Denton, Texas and our Caribbean Area Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

While it is too early to know whether Ophelia will pose a threat to the U.S. mainland or territories, it’s never too early to be prepared. Hurricane season runs through November 30, if you haven’t already, visit Ready.gov/hurricanes for tips on creating your family emergency plan and getting an emergency kit.

For the latest on Ophelia’s forecast track or other developing tropical weather, visit the National Hurricane Center online at hurricanes.gov on your phone at hurricanes.gov/mobile, on Facebook or Twitter.

In Photos: Disaster Recovery Efforts Across the U.S.

Many communities across the country continue to recover from natural disasters - and members of the emergency management team are working tirelessly to support the affected individuals and communities. The photos below show this team in action in the past week – a team that includes federal, state and local government agencies, voluntary and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and concerned citizens.

For more FEMA photos, visit our Photo Library. If you’d like to learn more about helping those recovering from a disaster, visit fema.gov/howtohelp.

State and FEMA representatives check on a survivor of Hurricane Irene in a community that was hit by high storm surge.
Hickory Point, NC, September 17, 2011 -- State and FEMA representatives check on a survivor of Hurricane Irene in a community that was hit by high storm surge.

volunteers with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief carry food
Hazleton, PA, September 17, 2011 -- Laurie Buzzard and Gwen Rudacille, volunteers with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, carry food prepared for the American Red Cross to distribute to the survivors of tropical storm Lee.

FEMA Community Relations and Individual Assistance specialists work with deaf and hard of hearing survivors at a Disaster Recovery Center
Bastrop, TX, September 17, 2011 -- FEMA Community Relations and Individual Assistance specialists work with deaf and hard of hearing survivors at a Disaster Recovery Center in Bastrop, TX. FEMA is working with local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to residents affected by recent fires.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino meet with residents
S. Royalton, VT, September 16, 2011 -- Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino meet with residents at the South Royalton Fire Department to answer questions regarding flooding caused by tropical storm Irene. FEMA is providing funds for both individual assistance and public assistance in Vermont.

a FEMA individual assistance specialist talks to a survivor about available recovery programs
Briarcliff, TX, September 16, 2011 -- Gary Grabow, a FEMA individual assistance specialist talks to a survivor about available recovery programs in a disaster recovery center. FEMA is working with local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to residents of the areas affected by the recent fires.

FEMA community relations specialists review damaged properties.
Cayey, PR, September 16, 2011 -- FEMA community relations specialists review damaged properties. FEMA community relations teams are reaching out in affected communities to get information about disaster assistance to Hurricane Irene survivors.

FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool speaks with resident
Duryea, PA, September 16, 2011 -- FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool speaks with resident Johanna Yachna about her FEMA application. She and her sister were flooded out of their home after tropical storm Lee caused extensive flooding.

FEMA Community Relations Specialists visit disaster survivors door-to-door
Lambertville, NJ, September 15, 2011 -- Disaster survivor Betty McCoy (center) speaks to Patricia Selby (left) and Annabelle Townson (right), FEMA community relations specialists. FEMA Community Relations Specialists visited disaster survivors "door-to-door" in Lambertville after much of the city was flooded due to the effects of Hurricane Irene on August 28.

Disaster survivor Brian Keyes listens to FEMA Community Relations Specialists Patricia Selby and Annabelle Townson explain FEMA assistance programs.
Lambertville, NJ, September 15, 2011 -- Disaster survivor Brian Keyes listens to FEMA Community Relations Specialists Patricia Selby and Annabelle Townson explain FEMA assistance programs as they hand out FEMA fliers to disaster survivors "door-to-door" in Lambertville.

Kevin L. Hannes, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, inspects an emergency relief kit.
Bastrop, TX, September 14, 2011 -- Kevin L. Hannes, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, inspects an emergency relief kit being given to survivors by the American Red Cross at the Disaster Recovery Center. FEMA is working with local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to residents affected by recent fires.

Iris Delgado from the National Flood Insurance Program provides information about the program to a disaster survivor at an outreach activity
Vega Alta, PR, September 14, 2011 -- Iris Delgado from the National Flood Insurance Program provides information about the program to a disaster survivor at an outreach activity. Having flood insurance is another way FEMA encourages people to get prepared before a disaster strikes.

Cleanup continues along Front Street in the Shipoke neighborhood.
Harrisburg, PA, September 14, 2011 -- Cleanup continues along Front Street in the Shipoke neighborhood after the remnants of tropical storm Lee dumped 13 inches of rain and flooded homes up and down this street. FEMA is providing assistance to individuals and business owners in several Pennsylvania counties due to flooding from the remnants of tropical storm Lee.

Members of state and local government and qualified non-profit agencies attend a Public Assistance Applicant briefing.
Old Saybrook, CT, September 14, 2011 -- Members of state and local government and qualified non-profit agencies attend a Public Assistance Applicant briefing. The briefings are conducted with Connecticut's Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and FEMA to give local officials information about available assistance from the state and federal governments.

Temporary Housing Units begin to arrive in North Carolina.
Rocky Mount, NC, September 13, 2011 -- Temporary Housing Units begin to arrive in North Carolina. FEMA supplies these units for up to 18 months to families who cannot return to their homes and have no other temporary housing.

One of the many bridges in Vermont destroyed by torrential rains and flash floods in August and September.
Barnard area, VT, September 12, 2011 -- One of the many bridges in Vermont destroyed by torrential rains and flash floods in August and September. Tropical storm Irene dumped as much as 11 inches of rain in some areas of Vermont. The state of Vermont is working with FEMA to repair bridges and roads.

Connecticut: Recovery Continues From Irene

When Tropical Storm Irene blew through Connecticut, FEMA was well prepared to help the state and disaster survivors get their recovery underway as needed. Together with state and local officials, preliminary damage assessments were quickly wrapped up and federal assistance was approved for individuals and business owners in eight counties across the state.

City crews and residents clean up in neighborhoods after Hurricane Irene battered the Connecticut shoreline.
Milford, CT, September 1, 2011 --September 1, 2011--City crews and residents clean up in neighborhoods after Hurricane Irene battered the Connecticut shoreline.

While FEMA’s operations have just moved into our Joint Field Office in Windsor, Ct., the team has already:

  • Opened nine disaster recovery centers, providing places for disaster survivors to meet face to face with federal and state experts and ask any questions related to their recovery.
  • Dispatched 90 community relations representatives into the field, telling those in hard-hit areas about the importance of applying for disaster assistance.
  • Scheduled nine Public Assistance briefings this week, where local officials and community leaders learn more about the recovery resources available to them.
  • Had 19 inspectors on the ground, assessing damages and meeting with survivors.
  • Prepared English, Spanish and Vietnamese fliers to be distributed to the appropriate communities encouraging affected individuals to apply for assistance.

To date, more than 3,000 residents have registered for disaster assistance. We’ve also been working with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, recognized tribal nations of the state, as recovery efforts continue.

FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Steve DeBlasio talks to local residents about the process for applying for federal assistance at a Help Fair organized by the city, held at East Haven High School. The state will now be receiving federal assistance due to the President declaring a major disaster declaration due to the impact of Hurricane Irene.
East Haven, CT, September 3, 2011 --FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Steve DeBlasio talks to local residents about the process for applying for federal assistance at a Help Fair organized by the city, held at East Haven High School. The state will now be receiving federal assistance due to the President declaring a major disaster declaration due to the impact of Hurricane Irene.

People in Connecticut’s eight counties are now applying for assistance that may cover expenses such as:

  • lodging because of temporary relocation during the flooding,
  • repairs done to homes damaged by Irene and
  • transportation costs such as renting a car because a household’s personal car was flooded by the storm.

All along the way, officials have not only toured storm damaged communities but met with storm survivors. Immediately after the storm struck, FEMA Deputy Administrator Serino toured the state and early last week Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and other elected officials toured areas affected by Tropical Storm Irene and visited with survivors.

For more updates on ongoing recovery efforts in Connecticut, visit the disaster page.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, (blue shirt) talks with local residents. Napolitano was joined by members of the Congressional delegation as well as State and Local Elected Officials. Governor Malloy, is to left of Napolitano. President Obama issued a major disaster delcaration for the State of Connecticut, allowing federal funds to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Irene. Also picutred are US Senator Richard Blumentahal, left, US Senator Joseph Lieberman, center, and US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and local first responders.
East Haven, CT, September 5, 2011 --Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, (blue shirt) talks with local residents. Napolitano was joined by members of the Congressional delegation as well as State and Local Elected Officials. Governor Malloy, is to left of Napolitano. Also picutred are US Senator Richard Blumentahal, left, US Senator Joseph Lieberman, center, and US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and local first responders.

Video: Vermont Disaster Shows Flood Dangers & Importance of Evacuation Orders

Author: 

We continue to support the recovery efforts of our state, local and tribal partners from the effects of Irene and the remnants of tropical storm Lee and the historic flooding that affected not just those in the Northeast, but millions up and down the eastern seaboard.

I wanted to share a video highlighting how dangerous and devastating flooding and flash flooding can be. Tragically, flooding and flash flooding claim lives every year, and this video reinforces the importance of listening to local officials if they give evacuation orders. Listen as survivors and first responders share their experiences and lessons learned:
 

I encourage you to visit Ready.gov/floods to learn how you can create a family emergency plan. And for more on our ongoing support in the state of Vermont, visit the disaster page.

Wildfires, Floods & Tropical Weather: Update on Our Role

Between wildfires in Texas, remnants of tropical storm Lee causing heavy rains and flooding in the northeast, and developing tropical storm systems in the Atlantic, here’s an overview of what we’re doing to continue supporting states – whether they are responding to current disasters or preparing for the next one.

Texas Wildfires

  • We continue to closely monitor and work with states affected by recent wildfires. Last night, we approved an additional Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the state of Texas, raising the total to nine for this series of wildfires. As we said in previous updates, the Administration has multiple Fire Management Assistance Grants for Texas in the last several days, and 54 so far in 2011, making federal funds available to reimburse eligible costs associated with efforts to combat the fires. Two FMAGs were approved yesterday to support the firefighting efforts of first responders and firefighters in California as well.
  • In Texas, we are actively working with state and local officials to conduct damage assessments and to identify areas where additional federal assistance may be warranted. FEMA and the state have been operating an open Joint Field Office in Austin since the major disaster declaration was announced this past July. Our Incident Management Assistance Team continues to work with state officials in Austin to further assist with coordination.

For more information on our role, visit yesterday’s wildfire update and to get prepared for wildfires, visit Ready.gov/wildfires.


Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee


FEMA Applicant Services Program Specialist, Mandy McNatt, right, works on a computer with Disaster Recovery Center lead, Doug Kohler, at a center set up to assist local residents impacted by Tropical Storm Irene.
Orange, CT, September 8, 2011 -- FEMA Applicant Services Program Specialist, Mandy McNatt, right, works on a computer with Disaster Recovery Center lead, Doug Kohler, at a center set up to assist local residents impacted by Tropical Storm Irene. Disaster Recovery Centers have been opened up in areas throughout the state to offer information about programs available to local residents.

As we continue working closely to support states’ recovery efforts from the effects of Irene, we are also supporting state, tribal and local response operations from the remnants of tropical storm Lee. Through our regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, we continue to be in constant contact and coordination with our federal, state and tribal emergency management partners to support states that are being affected by the ongoing flooding.
 

  • Last night, President Obama signed emergency declarations for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New York as a result of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, making federal assistance available to save lives and protect property and public health and safety. (We recently posted a blog with details on federal assistance before, during and after severe tropical weather.)
  • We currently have emergency response personnel on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, that were mobilized in response to Hurricane Irene and earlier disasters, who are actively supporting state and local response efforts.
  • We also have liaison officers in Mid-Atlantic state emergency operations centers and continues to be in constant coordination with the National Weather Service, other federal partners and state emergency management agency partners across the Mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast.

There are areas from the Mid-Atlantic, into upstate New York and southern New England where flooding, or flash flooding may occur or continue. As we continue to monitor the flooding in along the east coast we urge residents to follow the instructions of local officials. For more flood safety tips, see this past blog post.

Tropical Storm Maria

We continue to monitor Tropical Storm Maria’s path and activity in the east Atlantic. In coordination with local officials, we have pre-positioned resources including personnel, in several locations to help with emergency response coordination and other needs. We have deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist territory and local authorities in coordination efforts; and we already have a Joint Field Office open in Puerto Rico due to our ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene.

While it’s too soon to know if Maria will bring additional impacts to portions of the U.S. mainland, we are closely monitoring the storm through our regional office in Atlanta and in touch with all of the states up and down the East Coast.

Going into this weekend, we urge residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to take steps now in case Tropical Storm Maria has an effect in the islands. Tropical storms can bring high winds and heavy rains, so listen to local officials and follow their instructions, which could include sheltering in place.

For additional information, tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, visit Ready.gov (or in Spanish at Listo.gov).

Update 4: Closely Watching Lee, Katia, Maria, & Nate

The peak of hurricane season is here, and we’re closely watching the effects of tropical storm Lee’s remnants, Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic, and the newly formed tropical storms – Nate and Maria.

As we continue working closely to support the states recovering from the impacts of Irene, we are also working closely with them to support state and local response operations from Lee as a major flood threat continues. Here’s an overview of what we’re doing:

  • We have liaison officers in many Mid-Atlantic state emergency operations centers who are in constant coordination with the National Weather Service, other federal partners and state emergency management agency partners across the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.
  • A FEMA liaison is being deployed to the Broome County Emergency Operations Center in New York, to ensure that the state has the needed resources to respond to the ongoing flood threat in that area.
  • We have commodities (such as cots, blankets, food and water) that were prepositioned in advance of Hurricane Irene that can be sent out if the state requires additional commodities. In New York, 450 cots were on hand and turned over to the state and delivered to the Binghamton University shelter.

As the remnants of Lee move from the Mid-Atlantic into upstate New York and southern New England, additional heavy rainfall is likely in these locations before the entire system slowly dissipates by the end of the week. If you’re in an area that may be impacted, don’t put yourself at risk; follow the instructions of local officials. (More flood safety tips)

Tropical Storm Maria
In the Atlantic, tropical storm Maria is forecast to move further westward. According to the National Hurricane Center, those in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should closely monitor the progress of the storm. We are deploying an Incident Management Assistance Team to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist territory and local authorities in coordination efforts; and we already have a Joint Field Office open in Puerto Rico due to our ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene.

Nate and Katia
While tropical storm Nate (in the Gulf of Mexico) and Hurricane Katia (in the Atlantic) pose no immediate threat to the U.S. mainland or territories, we continue to closely monitor their progress. History reminds us that tropical storm systems can change paths with little warning, so those in coastal or inland areas should take steps to get prepared. Hurricane season lasts until November 30, so take steps now to make sure your family and property are safe – visit Ready.gov/hurricanes for more information.

And for the latest on all the developing tropical systems, visit Hurricanes.gov or Hurricanes.gov/mobile on your phone.

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.

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