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What We’re Watching: 12/14/12

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Sandy recovery continues

It’s been a month and a half since Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast, and the recovery effort continues at full speed.  Thousands of employees from FEMA and other federal agencies remain on the ground working to meet the needs of disaster survivors and offer assistance.  Here’s a quick look at how massive the recovery operation is: to date, over $1.09 billion in federal assistance has been approved for affected individuals and families across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

For state-specific updates on Sandy recovery, visit:

Finally, here are a few photos from this week showing FEMA and our partners in action:

debris removal

CAPTION: Far Rockaway, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2012 -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is removing debris from Far Rockaway, Long Island beaches boardwalk. Using a fleet of front-end loaders, crawler excavators and dump trucks, the Army Corps is working block by block to clear debris and make way for new sand. Replenishing the beach falls under the New York Department of Parks and Recreation authority

interview

CAPTION: Sea Bright, N.J., Dec. 12, 2012 -- Frank Bain (r), owner of Bain Hardware, is interviewed by Steve Zumwalt (l), FEMA Videographer on the opening day of his business. Bain's Hardware was damaged when the town was flooded when Hurricane Sandy swept through the area. The hardware store was one of the first business to re-open in Sea Bright, N.J.

disaster recovery center interview

CAPTION: New York City, N.Y., Dec. 11, 2012 -- Residents of the Borough of Brooklyn in New York City apply for assistance at FEMA's Red Hook Disaster Recovery Center.


Holiday gift ideas

Gift-giving is in the air this time of year as many people around the country are celebrating holiday traditions.  Over the past few weeks on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, we’ve been sharing ideas on gifts that will make your loved ones smile and be useful before, during, or after emergencies.  Gifts like:

  • An emergency kit for your car: Include windshield scraper, booster cables, hat & mittens, blanket, snack food & flares.
  • A solar-powered or hand-crank cell phone charger.
  • Enrollment in a CPR or first-aid class. You take the class as a couple or with the family!
  • Travel-size games to include in an emergency kit; that way kids are entertained if you lose power or need to evacuate.
  • A NOAA weather radio to ensure friends and family always have the latest on severe weather conditions in their area.
  • A sleeping bag or a warm blanket. They can prove especially useful if friends/family loses power during the cold winter months.

Visit Ready.gov for more holiday gift ideas.

Upcoming training

Finally, I wanted to share a few of the upcoming training classes being offered by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute.  Some courses are designed for anyone to take, while others are intended for professionals in specific areas such as emergency management, healthcare, or education.  Here are a few of the courses coming up:

  • For higher-education professionals – Integrating Emergency Management Education into your Institution
  • For emergency management professionals – Social Media in Emergency Management
  • For anyone interested – A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance

If you’re interested in more training courses you can take online at your own pace, check out our independent study course list.

Have a great weekend, and stay safe!

What We’re Watching: 11/30/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Hurricane Sandy Recovery

It’s been just over a month since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, and recovery continues in full swing.  Thousands of FEMA employees are working in the impacted areas to help meet the immediate and long term needs of those impacted by the storm.  Earlier today, the Federal Coordinating Officer in New York, Mike Byrne, offered his perspective and blogged about his experience leading the federal government’s response and recovery there.

For the latest on the recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy across the east coast, check out these state-specific pages:

And if you’re looking for photos and videos related to Hurricane Sandy, our multimedia library is the place to go.  Here are a few of the images from the past few days:

small business administration staff

CAPTION: Bay Head, N.J., Nov. 30, 2012 -- A Small Business Administration (SBA) representative provides information to a Bay Head, NJ storm survivor about some of the programs that are available to eligible survivors at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bay Head, NJ. SBA is working with FEMA specialists as well as local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to Hurricane Sandy survivors.

disaster survivor at disaster recovery center

CAPTION: Seaford, N.Y., Nov. 27, 2012 -- FEMA Disaster Recovery specialist Novella Robinson assists a Hurricane Sandy survivor with his FEMA registration questions at a FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center in Seaford, New York.

administrator fugate in connecticut

CAPTION: Milford, Conn., Nov. 27, 2012 -- FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate tours the damaged areas of Milford with local officials. The Administrator came to Connecticut to see first-hand the damage to homes and property.

park service staff surveying garage

CAPTION: Sandy Hook, N.J., Nov. 28, 2012 -- Two National Park Service employees measure a damaged door for replacement. This lifeguard station was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. FEMA is working with state and local officials to assist residents who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 

Winter Weather Safety

As we head into December and colder weather becomes more frequent, I wanted to share some safety tips that can come in handy this time of year. Now’s the time to make sure your family, home, or car is prepared for cold temperatures, such as:

  • Thoroughly check and update your family's emergency supply kit before winter approaches and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather.
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways,
    • Sand to improve traction on exterior walkways,
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment, and
    • Include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car, in the event you are stranded by a blizzard or traffic jam. Be sure to include items you would need to stay warm and comfortable for at least 72 hours.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Limit travel during severe winter weather, only venture out on the roads if it’s absolutely necessary. If you must travel, be sure to let someone know your destination and when they can expect you.

And while you prepare for colder weather and stay warm this winter, make sure you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t raise your risk for fires.  Sadly, the number of home fires tends to increase during the winter months – but here are a few ways you can reduce the risk of fire at home:

  • Avoid using lighted candles.  If you must use candles, place them in sturdy candleholders that won’t burn.
  • Space heaters need space; keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from each heater.
  • Check electrical cords often and replace cracked or damaged electrical or extension cords.  Don’t try to repair them.
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.  They are not designed for this purpose and can be a fire hazard.  In addition, carbon monoxide (CO) gas might kill people and pets.

For more winter fire safety tips, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.  Have a great weekend, and stay safe.

What We’re Watching: 10/26/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Hurricane Sandy

rainfall forecast for Hurricane Sandy (map)

CAPTION: Forecast image from NOAA’s Hydrological Prediction Center, showing possible rainfall amounts over the next five days. This graphic is automatically updated by the Hydrological Prediction Center.

We continue to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy as it makes its way north in the Atlantic Ocean.  At this point in Sandy’s progression, the key message remains that now is the time to get prepared.   From the most recent National Weather Service forecasts, it’s clear the impacts of the storm will be felt across a wide area.  These impacts could include heavy rains and snowfall, flooding, high winds, storm surge and power outages.  As the image shows above, forecasters are calling for significant rainfall, which may result in flooding in some areas.  We recommend you check the items in your family emergency kit and make sure you have supplies that can sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours:

  • canned food,
  • a can opener,
  • water,
  • batteries,
  • a flashlight,
  • radio & pet food/medicine

In advance of any potential impacts from the storm, FEMA is deploying Incident Management Assistance Teams to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine to assist states, should emergency response assistance be needed.  In addition, we’re sending staff to emergency operations centers in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey to coordinate if additional support is needed.

Ready.gov/hurricanes has more information on how to get your family, home, or business prepared for the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Follow updates from the National Hurricane Center at hurricanes.gov for the latest forecast on Hurricane Sandy and weather.gov for your local weather forecasts.

 

Think Tank Call on October 30 – Postponed

The FEMA Think Tank scheduled on Tuesday, October 30 in Orlando, Florida has been postponed to allow FEMA leadership and participating emergency management experts to focus on response preparations involving Hurricane Sandy.

We will reschedule the Think Tank titled, “Looking Back, Looking Forward - FEMA Think Tank 2.0” in the near future. The collaborative forum will look at various solutions-based models that have been identified on previous calls and implemented in local communities to advance emergency management. In the looking forward portion of the forum, FEMA will look at the future of the Think Tank and explore new collaborative web tools the emergency management community can use to share resources and best practices.

We encourage you to visit the online forum at www.fema.gov/thinktank to comment on the ideas we will be discussing in the future or submit your own ideas and comment on others. 

Halloween safety tips

While much of the East Coast closely watches Hurricane Sandy, the rest of the country is looking forward to a spooky Halloween next Wednesday, October 31.  In addition to the spookiest time of the year, Halloween is historically a time when there is an increase in fires, especially fires related to the use of candles. So as you’re partaking in Halloween preparations, decorating, and trick-or-treating, remember these safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration to stay fire safe:

  • Avoid using candles inside and out, as they are the most common fire hazard around Halloween.  Use a flameless candle in your Jack-O-Lantern – they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Pick a few up when you’re at the store this weekend
  • When creating a costume, choose materials that will not easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame.
  • Wear light-colored, flame retardant, costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers. 
  • When purchasing items, make sure that all costumes, wigs and props are labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant.

 

From the Photo Library

FEMA Corps in West Virginia

Charleston, W.Va., Oct. 2, 2012 -- WV Federal Coordinating Officer, Dolph Diemont, addresses the newly arrived FEMA Corps teams, Bayou 6 and Summit 3, at the Charleston, WV Joint Field Office (JFO). The 20 members and leaders received a JFO orientation briefing outlining all JFO disaster assistance program areas as background for their assignments at the JFO and the four West Virginia Disaster Recovery Offices.

Charleston, W.Va., Oct. 2, 2012 -- WV Federal Coordinating Officer, Dolph Diemont, addresses the newly arrived FEMA Corps teams, Bayou 6 and Summit 3, at the Charleston, WV Joint Field Office (JFO). The 20 members and leaders received a JFO orientation briefing outlining all JFO disaster assistance program areas as background for their assignments at the JFO and the four West Virginia Disaster Recovery Offices.

California Shakeout

Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 18, 2012 -- FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward, Lucy Jones of USGS, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa demonstrates the Drop, Cover, Hold On process at ShakeOut LA.

Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 18, 2012 -- FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward, Lucy Jones of USGS, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa demonstrates the Drop, Cover, Hold On process at ShakeOut LA.

 

San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 17, 2012 -- FEMA Region IX Earthquake Specialist Jennifer Lynette provides earthquake tips to a reporter from KTSF television, a Cantonese speaking station, during a pre-ShakeOut event in San Francisco's Union Square. FEMA is a supporter of ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in the nation.

San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 17, 2012 -- FEMA Region IX Earthquake Specialist Jennifer Lynette provides earthquake tips to a reporter from KTSF television, a Cantonese speaking station, during a pre-ShakeOut event in San Francisco's Union Square. FEMA is a supporter of ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in the nation.

For those on the East Coast, use the weekend to continue to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and have a safe weekend.

What We're Watching: 10/19/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

A whole lot of shaking going on

No, the headline above isn’t referencing a big dance party…it’s talking about earthquake safety!  Yesterday, millions around the U.S. practiced earthquake safety as part of the Great ShakeOut drill.  Participants practiced how to “Drop. Cover. Hold On.” – the three simple steps to stay safe during an earthquake. Our own Administrator Craig Fugate participated in the drill (see photo below), and so did thousands of other organizations across the country.  Our blog has featured some great perspectives on earthquake safety over the past week leading up to the ShakeOut drill, so check out these posts in case you missed them:

Fire safety in for social media users

Earlier in October we observed Fire Prevention Week – with a focus on getting people to practice a home fire drill with their family.  For those that frequently use social media (or have children that do), this sign might be an appropriate reminder of the sequence of steps to follow if a fire should occur:

 In case of Fire, Exit Building Before Tweeting About It

Image courtesy of the Red Cross Chat blog.

Hurricane season down, but not out

As we approach the final days of October, the peak time for tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Atlantic is behind us.  However, last week’s Hurricane Rafael gave all of us a reminder that tropical systems can develop quickly even though the peak of the season has passed.  The Atlantic hurricane season lasts until November 30, so take time now to make sure your home, business, and family are prepared if you live in a coastal or inland area.  As we saw with Hurricane Isaac earlier this year, these storms often cause a significant amount of rainfall and flooding is typically their most dangerous and damaging effect.  Ready.gov/hurricanes (or m.fema.gov on your phone) is a great place to learn how to get prepared as we enter the “home stretch” of this year’s hurricane season.

New Features to Our Website

Since we launched our new website back in July, we’ve received user feedback from people all over the country. Well, we just made a series of improvements to the site, incorporating some of the responses and requests you shared with us.

We’ve launched a new search engine that’s better integrated with all the content that FEMA.gov has to offer.  Search results are now much more accurate and include recommended pages, news releases, agency tweets and agency videos all on the main results page. You also now have the ability to filter your results by blog post, news, disaster declaration, documents, videos, photos, and images. 

We’ve also added the ability to view Disaster Declarations by state and by year.  A popular feature on the old website, users can now browse the declarations using a table format and easily see how many disaster declarations were issued by state or year and then filter by disaster type.

We appreciate all of the feedback we received and hope you all will find these new enhancements to be user friendly and beneficial when your browsing our site.

Let us know what you think of these new features by leaving a comment below.

Have a great weekend, and stay safe.

What We're Watching: 10/12/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Tropical Activity in Atlantic

We continue to monitor Tropical Storm Patty which has strengthened in the Atlantic east of the Bahamas. According to the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to be short-lived and weaken over the weekend. There are currently no watches or warnings in effect.

We are also continuing to monitor an area of interest over the Eastern Caribbean Sea about 100 miles west of Dominica. Currently, this storm has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours.

We will continue to monitor both storms and provide updates as needed. Visit www.hurricanes.gov for the latest advisories and updates on these storms.

Fire Prevention Week

As Fire Prevention Week comes to a close, we want to thank everyone who shared fire prevention and safety tips, information and resources with their family, friends, neighbors and community.  It’s important for everyone in your family to be prepared in the event of a fire.  

In case you missed it, here are some important steps you can take to make sure your home and family are ready for an emergency:

  • Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities.
  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows.
  • Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.

Visit www.usfa.fema.gov to learn more about preventing home fires and keep your family safe from a fire.

Are You Ready to “ShakeOut”

Next Thursday, October 18 at 10:18 a.m., join millions of people across the nation and Drop, Cover, and Hold On for The Great ShakeOut.  The Shakeout is the biggest earthquake drill in the U.S. and it’s a great way for your family or organization to practice what to do if an earthquake strikes. 

Already, there are over 12.9 million people registered to participate. So don’t miss this opportunity to make sure you and your family are prepared for an emergency.  We hope you’ll join us in this chance to “ShakeOut” for earthquake preparedness.

Visit www.shakeout.org to sign up to participate.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

What We're Watching: 10/5/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Fire Prevention Week

Sunday, October 7 marks the kickoff to National Fire Prevention Week. All week long, we’ll be sharing important fire prevention tips, information and resources to help get you and your family prepared in the event of a fire. In case you missed it, here’s a link to a blog post from U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell, encouraging everyone to participate in Fire Prevention Week and stressing the importance of having two ways out of your home in the event of a fire.  

We’re asking everyone to do two simple things:

  • Practice your fire escape plan at home, school, or the office - Walk through each room and identify two ways out, checking to make sure the smoke alarms work in each room. Also, make sure you pick a designated meeting spot outside your home, school, or office that everyone will meet at, in the event of a fire.  
  • Say “Thank You” to your local fire department - The men and women in the fire service risk their lives, sometimes on a daily basis, to protect us. Take a moment to thank them for their dedication and continued service.

Visit Ready.gov or the USFA website for more information and safety tips on preparing for a fire.

Upcoming Events

  • The Great ShakeOut – Join millions of people and register to participate in the Great ShakeOut.  On October 18 at 10:18 am Drop, Cover, and Hold On for the biggest earthquake drill in the U.S. Last year more than 12.5 million people were registered in ShakeOut drills worldwide. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes.
  • October Think Tank Call – Join Deputy Administrator Serino on October 30, 2012 at 3:15 p.m. EDT to look back on a year of Think Tank calls and how these conversations have inspired you to make an impact in emergency management.  The topic of the call is Looking Forward, Looking Back—FEMA Think Tank 2.0 and will focus the solutions that have been implemented in local communities, as well as discussing the future of FEMA Think Tank and how we can keep the momentum going.

Before the call in a few weeks, we are inviting you to submit a short narrative on our online forum about a project or solution that you’ve implemented from previous FEMA Think Tank calls.  We will select 2-3 innovative emergency management projects – either final or still in development – to highlight on the October call.

Stories Worth Sharing

Lastly, we wanted to share two stories about preparedness that caught our attention:

  • The Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross posted about a blog sharing ways parents can comfort children during disasters.  The blog emphasizes how important it is for parents to be there to support their children during and after a disaster. A strong support system goes a long way for children after a tragic event.
  • An article on Real Simple discussed the best foods for your emergency kit – things that don’t require refrigeration, are easy to prep, and pack nutritional value.  (We're providing these links for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites or companies.)

Have a safe weekend.

What We're Watching: 9/28/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

National Preparedness Month Wrap-Up

As we end the month, we want to take a second to thank everyone who participated in this year’s National Preparedness Month, particularly those who became who became an NPM coalition member and helped us educate others about emergency preparedness.  All month long, we’ve encouraged individuals, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to learn about the local hazards in their communities, make a family communication plan, build an emergency kit, then get involved in their local community preparedness efforts.  Just because the month is ending, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing your part to help your family, friends, and community become better prepared for an emergency.

We hope that you continue to encourage others to take an active role in preparedness to ensure that together we become a more resilient nation.  We encourage you to continue to host preparedness community outreach events, fairs, workshops, webinars and trainings. 

This NPM was a success because of the commitment you made to help create a culture of preparedness, and we simply could not have done it without you. Visit www.ready.gov for more information and resources on how you can continue to promote preparedness all year long.

And to help close out National Preparedness Month, join us next Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for a National Preparedness Month Twitter chat with Paulette Aniskoff, Director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division.  During the chat, we’ll discuss different ways people prepared during the month, useful tools and resources for promoting preparedness and take questions you may have. Join the conversation and ask questions by using #NatlPrepChat.

Again, thank you to everyone who participated this month!

Have a wonderful and safe weekend.

What We're Watching: 9/14/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Weather outlook
As summer starts to fade into fall in some areas of the country, we continue to closely watch the tropics.  As you know, we are currently at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the season continues until November 30. Currently, tropical storm Nadine is swirling in the Atlantic ocean and poses no threat to the U.S. or its territories. Keep up with the latest tropical forecast from the National Hurricane Center at www.hurricanes.gov or on your phone at http://hurricanes.gov/mobile.

And if you live in a coastal or inland area that could be affected by hurricanes or tropical storms, now's the time to prepare - visit www.Ready.gov/hurricanes or m.fema.gov on your phone to learn how.


Isaac recovery continues

disaster recovery center
LaPlace, La., Sep. 11, 2012 – A FEMA Mitigation specialist talks to a Hurricane Isaac survivor in a Disaster Recovery Center. FEMA Mitigation specialists are assisting homeowners by providing them with information they need to rebuild their damaged property.


We continue to work closely with our state, local, and tribal partners as we assist those affected by Hurricane Isaac in Mississippi and Louisiana. Thousands have applied for disaster assistance so far, and Disaster Recovery Centers set up in the affected area continue to provide recovery information to disaster survivors. Earlier this week, we posted some stats about how Isaac survivors are applying for disaster assistance - I encourage you to check it out. The disaster pages for Louisiana and Mississippi have the latest information on FEMA's role in the recovery.


The excitement of graduation

fema corps graduation
Vicksburg, Miss., Sep. 13, 2012 -- Induction Ceremony for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. FEMA Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public. 


Lastly, all of us at FEMA are excited about the first class of FEMA Corps graduates that were newly minted earlier this week. FEMA Corps is a program that combines the expertise of FEMA and AmeriCorps to equip groups of young people to deploy into areas affected by disasters and assist the community with recovery. The new members, who range in age from 18-24 years old, will contribute to a dedicated, trained, and reliable disaster workforce by working full-time for ten months on federal disaster response and recovery efforts.

FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino spoke to the class of 231 graduates yesterday, and he blogged about his perspective on the FEMA Corps program as well.

Have a great weekend!

What We’re Watching: 9/7/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Weather Outlook

Our partners at the National Weather Service continue to monitor tropical weather activity, specifically a low pressure system that is producing overcast and some rain along the Gulf Coast.  Although this system has a low chance of becoming a tropical cyclone, we will also continue to monitor weather conditions.

We are also monitoring Tropical Storm Leslie and Hurricane Michael in the Atlantic, although both of these storms are not expected to impact the U.S at this time.

Stay up to date with the latest forecast from the NOAA National Hurricane Center at hurricanes.gov or on your phone at hurricanes.gov/mobile. For updates on the local weather in your area, visit weather.gov or m.weather.gov on your phone.

Hurricane Isaac Photo Recap

As we continue our recovery efforts following the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, we wanted to share some photos from the past couple of days highlighting the great work being done by federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, community and faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to assist survivors as they recover from the storm. 

LaPlace, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- Jamaal Johnson, an AmeriCorp volunteer teaches a child sign language at the St. John's Baptist Community Center where a temporary shelter has been set up for Hurricane Isaac survivors. FEMA is working with local, state and federal agencies to provide services for residents affected by Hurricane Isaac.

LaPlace, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- Jamaal Johnson, an AmeriCorp volunteer teaches a child sign language at the St. John's Baptist Community Center where a temporary shelter has been set up for Hurricane Isaac survivors. FEMA is working with local, state and federal agencies to provide services for residents affected by Hurricane Isaac.

LaPlace, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- A family of Hurricane Isaac survivors from LaPlace, La. grab a meal from the Red Cross at a distribution center. This group of volunteers came from Houston to help those affected by Hurricane Isaac.

LaPlace, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- A family of Hurricane Isaac survivors from LaPlace, La. grab a meal from the Red Cross at a distribution center. This group of volunteers came from Houston to help those affected by Hurricane Isaac.


LaPlace, La., Sep. 4, 2012 -- Roger Bostic, left, and Raynell Parker McNeil bag laundry for washing, drying, and folding for a family affected by Hurricane Isaac. Hundreds in LaPlace, La affected by Hurricane Isaac have taken advantage of the service provided by Tide at no charge.

LaPlace, La., Sep. 4, 2012 -- Roger Bostic, left, and Raynell Parker McNeil bag laundry for washing, drying, and folding for a family affected by Hurricane Isaac. Hundreds in LaPlace, La affected by Hurricane Isaac have taken advantage of the service provided by Tide at no charge.

Pascagoula, Miss., Sep. 5, 2012 -- A survivor of Hurricane Isaac completes the application for disaster assistance with a representative of the Small Business Administration. Disaster Recovery Centers have all the representatives of state and federal agencies to assist applicants.

Pascagoula, Miss., Sep. 5, 2012 -- A survivor of Hurricane Isaac completes the application for disaster assistance with a representative of the Small Business Administration. Disaster Recovery Centers have all the representatives of state and federal agencies to assist applicants.

French Settlement, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- Applicant Services Specialists, Teia Beaulieu, left, and U.S. Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D., Sixth District of Louisiana, compare signal strength on their cell phone while helping a woman affect by Hurricane Isaac call to register for assistance. Congressman Cassidy requested that FEMA representatives attend the town hall meeting in French Settlement, La. to take questions and provided information to the community.

French Settlement, La., Sep. 5, 2012 -- Applicant Services Specialists, Teia Beaulieu, left, and U.S. Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D., Sixth District of Louisiana, compare signal strength on their cell phone while helping a woman affect by Hurricane Isaac call to register for assistance. Congressman Cassidy requested that FEMA representatives attend the town hall meeting in French Settlement, La. to take questions and provided information to the community.

La Place, La., Sep. 3, 2012 -- Community Relations Specialist, Patricia "Alley" West, (left) goes door to door in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Isaac handing out flyers and providing information to assist residents who may qualify for FEMA assistance. Areas in La Place flooded when the slow moving storm passed through.

La Place, La., Sep. 3, 2012 -- Community Relations Specialist, Patricia "Alley" West, (left) goes door to door in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Isaac handing out flyers and providing information to assist residents who may qualify for FEMA assistance. Areas in La Place flooded when the slow moving storm passed through.

Orleans Parish, La., Sep. 3, 2012 -- Volunteers are working to remove debris from neighborhoods which impacted by during Hurricane Isaac movement through the area.

Orleans Parish, La., Sep. 3, 2012 -- Volunteers are working to remove debris from neighborhoods which impacted by during Hurricane Isaac movement through the area.

For more information on how you can assist survivors of Hurricane Isaac, visit www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly.

National Preparedness Month

We are officially one week into National Preparedness Month -- but it’s not too late to pledge to prepare and take the necessary steps to get yourself, family, friends, coworkers, and community prepared for an emergency.  The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage individuals, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to learn about the local hazards in your community, make a family communication plan, build an emergency kit, then get involved in your local community preparedness efforts.

The first step to getting involved in National Preparedness Month is registering as a coalition member at Ready.gov/pledge.  There you will join a community of thousands of individuals, emergency management professionals, businesses, and voluntary and faith-based groups, sharing emergency preparedness information and events, resources, and tools available to help get you prepared for an emergency and spreading preparedness in your own community.

We hope that you will join us and help promote a culture of preparedness by becoming a coalition member and pledging to prepare this September for NPM.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

What We’re Watching: 8/17/12

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Weather Outlook

Looking ahead to the weekend, National Weather Service forecasts are calling for somewhat minimal thunderstorm activity across the U.S.  However, severe drought conditions are expected to continue for much of the country through next week. At FEMA, we are supporting our federal and state partners – and following the lead of the Department of Agriculture as they coordinate assistance to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought.

And of course, we continue to closely monitor the Atlantic for any potential tropical storm or hurricane activity. You can always follow the latest forecast from the NOAA National Hurricane Center at hurricanes.gov or on your phone at hurricanes.gov/mobile. Make sure you know what to do before, during, and after severe tropical weather by visiting Ready.gov/hurricanes.

National Preparedness Month Approaching

It’s almost that time of year! September 1 marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month. The theme for NPM 2012 is Pledge to Prepare – Awareness to Action.  This year we are encouraging individuals, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to:

There’s an easy first step to getting involved in National Preparedness Month – register as a coalition member at Ready.gov/pledge.  As a Coalition members, you’ll join a community of thousands of individuals, emergency management professionals, businesses, and voluntary and faith-based groups, sharing emergency preparedness information and events so that everyone can be better prepared before a disaster strikes.  Members can also take advantage of the online community, resources, and tools available to help get you prepared for an emergency and spread NPM during September.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

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