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Why Generators Are Critical To Supporting Local and State Response Efforts

 FEMA generators are staged at the Army Ammunition Plant for rapid deployment to support emergency facilities and public buildings.
McAlester, OK, February 1, 2011 -- FEMA generators are staged at the Army Ammunition Plant for rapid deployment to support emergency facilities and public buildings.

One of the ways that we were preparing before this past week's severe winter weather struck was by prepositioning commodities including generators, ahead of time in areas that were forecasted to be heavily impacted. 

We wanted to be ready in case a Governor's team needed our support, and one of the major concerns was power outages.

When most people see the term "generator", they think of small, personal generators that power homes.  At FEMA, when we say "generator", we are talking about industrial generators that power critical public facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and water treatment facilities (to name a few).

FEMA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel inventory and inspect generators at the Incident Support Base for pre-deployment of resources.
Fort Cambell, KY, February 2, 2011 -- FEMA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel inventory and inspect generators at the Incident Support Base for pre-deployment of resources that may be needed due to the massive winter storm that struck the heart of the U.S.

As our mission says, we're committed to supporting our state and local communities as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters - and what better way to support them by helping keep their critical facilities up and running?

Here are some facts on our deployment and use of emergency power generators:

  • FEMA deploys and stages emergency power generators in configurations of fifty-four units, of varying sizes and capacities, ranging from 15 kW to 800 kW. (A shipment is commonly referred to as “54-pack”).  Of the 54 units in a pack, thirty-six generators are of 150kW or less; and eighteen are considered high-voltage, 150 kW or greater. (A 30-watt light bulb would use 1 kilowatt after running for 33 hours and 20 minutes.)
  • A lower-power generator, might power a well water pump, lift station, communications tower, waste water treatment plant or temporary hospital, while a higher-power unit, might support powering a school, shelter, assisted living facility or hospital.
  • The generators are compatible to support critical response and life saving facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, congregate shelters, waste water and water treatment facilities, water wells, pumping stations, emergency operations centers or fire and police stations. 
  • To ensure proper generator installation and usage, FEMA works with with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform facility assessments and coordinate installation and maintenance of the units.

Chicago increases safety through partnerships, federal grants

FEMA officials tour the Chicago Office of Emergency Communications.


Chicago, IL, January 25, 2011 -- Assistant Administrator William Carwile (left), Region IX Administrator, Nancy Ward (center), Region V Administrator, Andrew Velasquez III (back), FEMA Deputy Administrator, Richard Serino, and FEMA Director of Regional Operations, Patty Kalla (right), tour Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Last week, before the snow started to fall, I had the opportunity to tour Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) with FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, Assistant Administrator William Carwile, FEMA Region IV Administrator Major Phillip May, and Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward.

Our tour gave us a first-hand look at Homeland Security grant dollars in action. To date, the city has received over $281 million in grants, investing in state of the art technologies to better prepare the city and those that live here. Chicago has been working with federal, state, and local partners to leverage the grant awards for maximum impact in the community.

During the visit, we had a chance to see the city’s integrated camera network, one of the largest of its kind in the nation. The city has not only installed thousands of cameras, but they have also integrated existing surveillance cameras from several city departments, as well as those from the private sector. This collaboration between the public and private sectors provides first responders, as well as state and federal emergency management officials, with critical situational awareness during emergency situations.

The city also showed us their investments in geospatial information systems (GIS) technologies. They’ve incorporated critical infrastructure information and other data layers into their GIS systems, which provides the city and its partners with a platform for more efficient and effective emergency planning.

Overall, our group of FEMA officials were impressed with the OEMC’s emphasis on bringing together multiple public safety disciplines and partner agencies to achieve the common goal of better protecting the city. Chicago is a great example of leveraging grant dollars and partnerships to strengthen its emergency response capabilities.

Chicago's OEMC is one example of federal grant dollars making a difference at the local level. Leave a comment and let us know your ideas on using federal grants to make an impact on our nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

- Andrew

Winter Storm Update: Cold Moving To Deep South

Winter weather continues to impact areas across the country, and is forecasted to bring bitterly cold temperatures into parts of Texas and the Deep South today.  Impacted areas have seen a combination of snow, ice, gusting winds, and rain, making travel very hazardous

Yesterday, the President declared an emergency in Oklahoma, making federal disaster aid available to State and local responders in Oklahoma to supplement the response efforts.  We’re continuing to closely monitor the severe winter weather through our regional offices in Kansas City, MO, Denton, TX, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston and stand ready to provide assistance if requested. 

While the major wrath of the storm has passed, there are many roads and transportation routes that remain hazardous and extremely cold temperatures are forecasted throughout the country for the remainder of the week.  We continue to encourage all Americans to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and to listen to local radio and/or TV stations for updated emergency information.

And visit Ready.gov to make sure you’re prepared for winter storms and extreme cold.

- Rachel

Daily Wrap Up: Ongoing Federal Efforts for the Winter Storm

Earlier today FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano briefed President Obama by phone on preparations for the winter storm. [White House Readout]

This morning FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate held a video teleconference call to discuss the latest developments with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and regional representatives to assess their needs and readiness.

Administrator Fugate and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service held a press conference call to discuss the latest developments with the storm and the ongoing federal efforts to support state and local officials as they prepare for and respond to the storm.

Deputy Administrator Serino and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service held a conference call with congressional staff from the affected regions on the latest developments with the storm and to discuss the ongoing federal efforts to support state and local officials as they prepare for and respond to the storm.

Key Efforts

  • FEMA, through our regional offices in Kansas City, MO: Denton, TX: Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; and Boston, MA, continues to closely monitor the severe winter weather that is forecasted to impact the Midwest as far south as Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas early this week, and the northeastern United States by Wednesday.
  • We are in close contact and coordination with our state and federal partners, including the National Weather Service.
  • At the request of the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas, FEMA has deployed Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) members to the states, in order to help with coordination, should emergency response assistance be needed.  In addition, FEMA has deployed liaison officers to Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York, at the request of the respective states, to help coordinate if additional support is needed.
  • FEMA has emergency commodities pre-staged across the United States should they be needed to support state and local emergency response operations.  FEMA distribution centers have a current inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 500,000 blankets, 110,000 cots and more than 500 power generators.
  • Of the commodities pre-staged across the nation, FEMA is proactively sending supplies to additional strategic locations, in case they become needed:
    • Oklahoma: To date, FEMA has moved roughly 57,000 liters of water, 56,000 meals, 2,400 blankets and 1,200 cots to State Logistics Areas in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and McAlester, Oklahoma.
    • Missouri: FEMA has already moved roughly 61,000 liters of water, 20,000 meals, 1,500 blankets, 700 cots to a State Logistics Area in Kansas City, MO. FEMA has also moved a 54-pack of power generators to a State Logistics Area in Eureka, Missouri. 
    • Kentucky: FEMA is currently transporting roughly 72,000 liters of water, 40,700 meals, 19,000 blankets, and 10,000 cots to a support base at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. FEMA has positioned 23 power generators at the base. 
    • Ohio: FEMA has positioned 20 power generators, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  

Overall Timeline of FEMA and Federal Actions

Saturday, January 29

  • FEMA begins coordinating with its regional offices in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Denton, TX, Kansas City, MO, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City, and state emergency operations centers in Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to plan staging of commodities and resources. 

Sunday, January 30

  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to state emergency operations centers in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.
  • FEMA begins to coordinate Incident Support Base locations at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, and the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, Oklahoma.
  • FEMA continues constant contact with the Department of Homeland Security to provide regular updates on the storm’s developments. FEMA has also been in regular touch with Governors and local officials in the Midwest, the Southeast and up the East Coast.

Monday January 31

  • FEMA deploys Incident Management Assessment Team (IMAT) team members to Oklahoma and Arkansas to assist the state with coordination of planning and response operations. FEMA deploys a liaison officer to the state emergency operations center in Oklahoma. 
  • FEMA places on alert Incident Management Assessment Teams in its regional offices in New York City, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Denton to stand-by for deployment, if needed.
  • FEMA activates the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), a multi-agency center based at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., that provides overall coordination of the federal response by bringing together federal departments and agencies to assist in the preparations for and response to disasters.
  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to emergency operations centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and regional support personnel to New York.
  • FEMA moves roughly 57,000 liters of water, 56,000 meals, 2,400 blankets, 1,200 cots and a 54-pack of power generators to Incident Support Base (ISB) locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and McAlester, Oklahoma. In addition, FEMA has moved roughly 30,000 liters of water, more than 20,000 meals, 1,500 blankets, 700 cots to an Incident Support Base in Kansas City, MO.
  • FEMA holds a video teleconference with federal partners and regional representatives to assess needs and readiness.

Tuesday February 1

  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to state emergency operations centers in Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. 
  • FEMA deploys members of Incident Management Assessment Teams (IMATs) to Pennsylvania and Indiana and places an IMAT on standby to be deployed to Kentucky, as needed, to assist states with coordination of planning and response operations.
  • FEMA places the National Incident Management Assessment Team-East (IMAT-East) and two Pacific Coast-based IMATs on alert to potentially provide additional planning and response coordination and operations support to Midwestern and East Coast states.
  • FEMA is deploying 20 power generators, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to arrive at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
  • In addition, FEMA is deploying approximately 31,000 liters of water to arrive at Kansas City, Missouri. FEMA is deploying a pack of 54 generators for staging at an Incident Support Base in Eureka, MO.
  • FEMA is deploying approximately 72,000 liters of water, roughly 20,000 meals, 10,000 blankets, and 10,000 cots to arrive at an Incident Support Base at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. FEMA is also positioning 23 power generators at the base.
  • FEMA holds a video teleconference with federal partners and regional representatives to assess needs and readiness.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano brief President Obama by phone on preparations for the winter storm.
  • Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate brief members of Congress from the affected states on the preparations for the storm.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is maintaining readiness of its 13 on-call Disaster Medicals Assistance Teams (DMATs) which are part of the National Disaster Medical System, a federally coordinated system that augments the Nation's emergency medical response capability.  HHS is also maintaining its on-call Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) and Applied Public Health Teams (APHT) comprised of trained USPHS Commissioned Corps Officer Responders who can provide resources and assistance to State, Tribal and local health authorities throughout the nation.
  • HHS Critical Infrastructure is contacting private partners regarding potential need to re-supply hospitals and any potential shortages caused by power or transportation disruptions.
  • More than 1,170 National Guard members in six states (AR, MO, IL, IA, OK, and TX) have been mobilized by their governors and are preparing to assist their states in winter storm recovery efforts.  More than 600 Missouri National Guard members are already clearing roads, removing debris, and providing transportation and power generation. National Guardsmen and women in several others states also are expected to be mobilized due to anticipated severe winter weather.
  • At the request of FEMA, the U.S. Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, has provided several facilities to use as Incident Support Bases, which are supply and equipment staging locations. These facilities include the McAlester Ammunition Depot in OK; the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in OH; and Fort Campbell in KY.

Wednesday February 2

  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano briefed President Obama by phone on preparations for the winter storm.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate held a video teleconference call to discuss the latest developments with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and regional representatives and to assess their needs and readiness.
  • Administrator Fugate and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service held a press conference call to discuss the latest developments with the storm and the ongoing federal efforts to support state and local officials as they prepare for and respond to the storm.
  • Deputy Administrator Serino and the Deputy Director of the National Weather Service held a conference call with congressional staff from the affected regions on the latest developments with the storm and to discuss the ongoing federal efforts to support state and local officials as they prepare for and respond to the storm.
  • FEMA has moved an additional 31,000 liters of water to Kansas City, Missouri.
  • The American Red Cross is supporting sheltering operations in as many as nine states. 
  • HHS Critical Infrastructure has deployed 5 personnel and teams remain on call for deployment.

Winter Storm Update: Scattered Power Outages, Shelters Open

Senior officials from FEMA joined via telephone by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, brief President Obama via teleconference on the winter storm that is affecting a large portion of the country.


Washington, DC, February 1, 2011 -- Senior officials from FEMA, including Administrator Craig Fugate (center, back to camera), Deputy Administrator Rich Serino (left) and Chief of Staff Jason McNamara (right), joined via telephone by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, brief President Obama via teleconference on the winter storm that is affecting a large portion of the country.

The winter storm affecting millions across the U.S. is currently moving north and east, and is expected to impact Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the New England states today.  Through our regional offices in Kansas City, MO, Denton, TX, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, we continue to closely monitor the severe winter weather and stand ready to provide assistance if requested.

Here's the latest:

For those in the affected areas
Be sure to track your local forecast with the National Weather Service, the official source for severe weather warnings/watches/advisories. Shelters and warming centers have been established in several states in the impacted area.  See this interactive map from the American Red Cross to see the list of open shelters.

Scattered power outages have also been reported throughout the Midwest, and we are working with the impacted states to make sure they have the support they need as they work to restore power.  Make sure you’re prepared for a potential blackout with these tips.

When natural disasters, such as winter storms, hit local first responders and good Samaritans are the heroes as they handle the immediate response.  We stand ready to support them if assistance is requested.

For those in the storm's projected path
We encourage everyone still in the storm’s path to listen to the advice of their local officials and to stay inside, stay off the roads, and stay warm.  If you aren’t prepared for severe winter weather or potential power outages, visit Ready.gov today.

For those with an internet-capable cell phone, bookmark our mobile site for emergency and preparedness information on the go.

- Rachel

Video: Winter Storm Update from Administrator Fugate

After doing some television interviews this morning talking about the team effort that is going into the response to this winter storm, Administrator Fugate recorded this quick message:



For other video clips, see Administrator Fugate's interviews on PBS News Hour, Good Morning America, and The Early Show.

Daily Wrap Up: Ongoing Federal Efforts for the Winter Storm

Earlier today FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano briefed President Obama by phone on preparations for the winter storm. [White House readout]

Also earlier today, Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate briefed members of Congress from the affected states on the preparations.

This morning FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate held a video teleconference call to discuss the latest developments with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and regional representatives to assess their needs and readiness.

Key Efforts:

  •  FEMA, through our regional offices in Kansas City, MO: Denton, TX: Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; and Boston, MA, continues to closely monitor the severe winter weather that is forecasted to impact the Midwest as far south as Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas early this week, and the northeastern United States by Wednesday.
  • FEMA is also monitoring a separate, slightly weaker storm that is expected to bring as much as 10 inches of snow to parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England through this evening.
  • We are in close contact and coordination with our state and federal partners, including the National Weather Service.
  • At the request of the states of Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, FEMA has deployed Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) members to the states, in order to help with coordination, should emergency response assistance be needed.  In addition, FEMA has deployed liaison officers to Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York, at the request of the respective states, to help coordinate if additional support is needed.
  • FEMA has emergency commodities pre-staged across the United States should they be needed to support state and local emergency response operations.  FEMA distribution centers have a current inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 500,000 blankets, 110,000 cots and more than 500 power generators.
  • Of the commodities pre-staged across the nation, FEMA is proactively sending supplies to additional strategic locations, in case they become needed: 

    • Oklahoma: To date, FEMA has moved roughly 57,000 liters of water, 56,000 meals, 2,400 blankets, 1,200 cots and one 54-pack of power generators to Incident Support Base (ISB) locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and McAlester, Oklahoma.
    • Missouri:  FEMA has already moved roughly 30,000 liters of water, 20,000 meals, 1,500 blankets, 700 cots to an Incident Support Base in Kansas City, MO. FEMA has also moved a 54-pack of power generators to an Incident Support Base in Eureka, Missouri. FEMA is currently transporting 31,000 additional liters of water to Kansas City.
    • Kentucky: Today, FEMA is currently transporting roughly 72,000 liters of water, 20,000 meals, 10,000 blankets, and 10,000 cots to an Incident Support Base at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. FEMA is also positioning 23 power generators at the base.
    • Ohio: Today, FEMA is positioning 20 power generators, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Overall timeline of FEMA and Federal actions:

Saturday, January 29

  • FEMA begins coordinating with its regional offices in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Denton, TX, Kansas City, MO, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City, and state emergency operations centers in Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to plan staging of commodities and resources. 

Sunday, January 30

  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to state emergency operations centers in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.
  • FEMA begins to coordinate Incident Support Base locations at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, and the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, Oklahoma.
  • FEMA continues constant contact with the Department of Homeland Security to provide regular updates on the storm’s developments. FEMA has also been in regular touch with Governors and local officials in the Midwest, the Southeast and up the East Coast.

Monday, January 31

  • FEMA deploys Incident Management Assessment Team (IMAT) team members to Oklahoma and Arkansas to assist the state with coordination of planning and response operations. FEMA deploys a liaison officer to the state emergency operations center in Oklahoma.
  • FEMA places on alert Incident Management Assessment Teams in its regional offices in New York City, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Denton to stand-by for deployment, if needed.
  • FEMA activates the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), a multi-agency center based at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., that provides overall coordination of the federal response by bringing together federal departments and agencies to assist in the preparations for and response to disasters.
  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to emergency operations centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and regional support personnel to New York.
  • FEMA moves roughly 57,000 liters of water, 56,000 meals, 2,400 blankets, 1,200 cots and a 54-pack of power generators to Incident Support Base (ISB) locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and McAlester, Oklahoma. In addition, FEMA has moved roughly 30,000 liters of water, more than 20,000 meals, 1,500 blankets, 700 cots to an Incident Support Base in Kansas City, MO.
  • FEMA holds a video teleconference with federal partners and regional representatives to assess needs and readiness. 

Tuesday February 1

  • FEMA deploys liaison officers to state emergency operations centers in Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma and Rhode Island.
  • FEMA deploys members of Incident Management Assessment Teams (IMATs) to Pennsylvania and Indiana and places an IMAT on standby to be deployed to Kentucky, as needed, to assist states with coordination of planning and response operations.
  • FEMA places the National Incident Management Assessment Team-East (IMAT-East) and two Pacific Coast-based IMATs on alert to potentially provide additional planning and response coordination and operations support to Midwestern and East Coast states.
  • FEMA is deploying 20 power generators, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to arrive at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
  • In addition, FEMA is deploying approximately 31,000 liters of water to arrive at Kansas City, Missouri. FEMA is deploying a pack of 54 generators for staging at an Incident Support Base in Eureka, MO.
  • FEMA is deploying approximately 72,000 liters of water, roughly 20,000 meals, 10,000 blankets, and 10,000 cots to arrive at an Incident Support Base at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. FEMA is also positioning 23 power generators at the base.
  • FEMA holds a video teleconference with federal partners and regional representatives to assess needs and readiness.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano brief President Obama by phone on preparations for the winter storm.
  • Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate brief members of Congress from the affected states on the preparations for the storm.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is maintaining readiness of its 13 on-call Disaster Medicals Assistance Teams (DMATs) which are part of the National Disaster Medical System, a federally coordinated system that augments the Nation's emergency medical response capability.  HHS is also maintaining its on-call Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) and Applied Public Health Teams (APHT) comprised of trained USPHS Commissioned Corps Officer Responders who can provide resources and assistance to State, Tribal and local health authorities throughout the nation.
  • HHS Critical Infrastructure is contacting private partners regarding potential need to re-supply hospitals and any potential shortages caused by power or transportation disruptions.
  • More than 1,170 National Guard members in six states (AR, MO, IL, IA, OK, and TX) have been mobilized by their governors and are preparing to assist their states in winter storm recovery efforts.  More than 600 Missouri National Guard members are already clearing roads, removing debris, and providing transportation and power generation. National Guardsmen and women in several others states also are expected to be mobilized due to anticipated severe winter weather.
  • At the request of FEMA, the U.S. Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, has provided several facilities to use as Incident Support Bases, which are supply and equipment staging locations. These facilities include the McAlester Ammunition Depot in OK; the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in OH; and Fort Campbell in KY.

Know Your 4Ws: Winter Weather Watches and Warnings

Author: 

When it comes to weather, the National Weather Service is the official source of severe watches and warnings.  For the current winter storm making its way across the country, the National Weather Service has already issued winter storm watches, warnings or advisories in over 30 states, and blizzard warnings have been issued for eight states, including Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

But what do all the watches and warnings mean?  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon. 
  • Blizzard Warning is issued for winter storms when the following conditions are expected to last for at least three hours: winds of at least 35 miles per hour with considerable snowfall that reduces visibility to ¼ of a mile or less. 

And always remember to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and listen to local radio, your NOAA Weather Radio, or TV stations for updated emergency information.

- Brad

Severe Winter Storm Update

A large winter storm moving across the southern plains, the Midwest, and into the Northeast, will affect millions of Americans today and tonight.  The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches, warning or advisories in over 30 states, and blizzard warnings have been issued for eight states, including Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

Here's the latest:

What we’re doing
Through our regional offices in Kansas City (Missouri), Denton (Texas), Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, we’re closely coordinating with other members of the emergency management team in all areas that could be impacted.  FEMA liaison officers have been deployed to several state emergency operations centers at the request of state officials in the affected area, to coordinate if additional support is needed. 

We’ve also prepositioned generators, meals, water, and other supplies in strategic areas to assist state and local emergency response efforts if our help is requested.

What you can do

  • Follow the guidance of local officials. If driving conditions are hazardous where you live, stay off the roads.  As always, use common sense. 
  • Prepare for power outages.  Winter storms, especially those with ice storms, often bring power outages to the affected areas.  Our preparedness website, Ready.gov has tips on how to prepare for a potential power outage.
  • Check on your neighbor.  The elderly, children, people with disabilities, may be the most vulnerable during and after a severe winter storm.  After your basic needs are in order, check on your neighbor.
  • Be informed. Track your local forecast through the National Weather Service website, or on your smartphone.  Visit Ready.gov to get prepared for winter weather, or find preparedness on the go at our mobile site.

See Administrator Fugate's interview with ABC News for some of his winter weather preparedness tips.

- Rachel

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