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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.

FCC & FEMA: How to Communicate Before, During & After a Major Disaster

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Ask anyone who has lived through a significant disaster what that experience was like and – without a doubt – one of the things some people are likely to recall is how difficult it was to communicate from their mobile phones with friends, family and emergency services like 911 in the immediate aftermath.

Many of us were reminded of this last month, when both a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene struck parts of the East Coast. People immediately reached for their phones to call loved ones or 911. Unfortunately, in some cases, loss of power made communication difficult.

The FCC and FEMA are doing everything we can to empower the public to be prepared for all emergencies (you can visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov to learn more). But one of the lessons learned from that August earthquake was that we can do more to educate the public about the most effective ways to communicate before, during and after a disaster.

Today, we are pleased to release a set of new, easy-to-follow tips to help all Americans prepare their homes and mobile phones for a disaster. These tips are practical things everyone can do to better preserve the ability to communicate effectively during – and immediately after – a disaster.

While we don’t have control over when or where the next disaster will strike, we do have control over what we do to prepare. Check out these tips and please, take one more step and share it with your networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, email or a good old-fashioned phone call to help us spread the word – and help more Americans get ready before the next disaster strikes.

And remember, if you have a question about your particular mobile phone device, contact your wireless provider or equipment manufacturer.

Before a Disaster: How to Prepare Your Home and Mobile Device

  1. Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home phone.
  2. Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone.
  3. If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone in your home because if it will work even if you lose power.
  4. Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
  5. Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  6. If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number.
  7. If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
  8. Have a battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries).
  9. Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system.

During and After a Disaster: How to Reach Friends, Loved Ones & Emergency Services

  1. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
  2. For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program (www.redcross.org/safeandwell).
  3. Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
  4. If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
  5. Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
  6. If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
  7. Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
  8. If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or “tweet” without a hands free device while driving.
  9. Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.

Check Ready.gov regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.

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.

Texas Wildfire Update 9: Working to Meet Survivors’ Needs

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

Just 11 days since President Obama signed a major disaster declaration for the Texas wildfires, state and federal assistance to survivors has topped $5 million. Getting money in the pockets of Texans who have been affected by these historic fires is vital, and we’re working closely with the state to rush assistance dollars to eligible survivors as quickly as possible.

Getting dollars to Texans in need, however, is just one of the ways we’re working with the state and partnering to reach out to survivors. Another top priority is ensuring that survivors get the information they need to begin the recovery process.

To that end, teams of state and FEMA community relations specialists continue to fan out through all 13 disaster-designated counties. They are going door-to-door to homes, schools, businesses, and community- and faith-based organizations to spread the word about the kinds of assistance available and to urge people to register with FEMA.

Specialists who speak Spanish or American Sign Language also are reaching out to survivors who require an interpreter. Furthermore, they are reporting to our state/FEMA Joint Field Office in Austin about any concerns survivors may have. Through face-to-face visits with survivors and visits to disaster-affected communities, we’re able to learn of specific needs in the communities, and thus respond more quickly.

We also are operating assistance centers with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Small Business Administration in affected counties. We’re pleased that nearly 1,800 visitors have stopped by these centers in Bastrop, Travis and Williamson counties. We will open more centers to reach survivors throughout the disaster area in the coming weeks.

In all, more than 200 FEMA professionals are now working side by side with our state and local partners to provide assistance to disaster survivors - and to get them the information they need when they need it.

Renewing Our Focus on Planning for the Whole Community

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I’ve blogged before about the strides the emergency management team is taking to include every member of the community in their plans before a disaster strikes. And I’ve even talked about the steps FEMA took before, during and after Hurricane Irene to meet the needs of the whole community.

This past week, FEMA hosted leaders from emergency management, the disability community, voluntary and faith-based organizations, and the private sector at our “Getting Real Conference” to continue building on that positive momentum, sharing best practices and mapping out a way forward towards disability inclusive disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

While there were many great take-a-ways and some great feedback gathered from our listening sessions, I wanted to emphasize three things that really resonated with me:

  • Inclusion is crucial – the disability community cannot provide critical resources and solutions in this time of “doing more with less” if they are not at the table, involved in the planning process from the start. (A reminder that the venue/method of these planning processes needs to be physically, programmatically and communications accessible.)
  • Leverage the capabilities and expertise of the public – Administrator Fugate often makes this point, and it’s definitely relevant here as well. All those across the emergency management team should trust the public to help spread their message, acting as force multipliers. This is especially true of utilizing young people, as well as people with developmental and intellectual disabilities as trainers, so they can share the importance of preparedness with their peers. Even in some inclusive programs, youth and people with developmental and intellectual disabilities are often overlooked as powerful trainers.
  • Technology is great, but it’s not a cure-all – We shouldn’t use technology to simply say we’re using the “latest and greatest” gadget or website. Those in emergency management or disaster response should focus on using technology that helps us accomplish our objectives, with a renewed focus on those new tools being useful for and accessible to the entire community.

This year’s Getting Real Conference was a valuable place to strengthen relationships and raise awareness for key issues – but as Administrator Fugate told the attendees, “this is the end of the beginning”. The discussion of including the whole community in disaster preparedness, response and recovery has been elevated to the national level, and that’s where it will stay as long as we can keep our focus on involving the whole community to support every survivor who may be affected by disasters.

We in the emergency management field still have a long way to go to be as inclusive as possible, but I’m excited about the progress so far and look forward to tackling the challenges ahead. The better job we do at preparing all of us for a disaster, the more resources we can devote to people who were unable to prepare and those who are injured during the disaster.

I invite you to keep the conversation going in your family or community. And leave us a comment below and share your thoughts on how emergency management can better include the whole community into our planning process.

Pennsylvania: Flood Recovery Continues, Officials Meet With Survivors

Vice President Joe Biden stops to ask a young resident how she is holding up.
Duryea, PA, September 16, 2011 -- During a tour of the flood damage caused by tropical storm Lee, Vice President Joe Biden stops to ask a young resident how she is holding up.

We continue to support our state, local and tribal partners as recovery efforts are in full swing in states affected by this summer’s flooding from the remnants of tropical storm Lee. To date, over $19.4 million of federal assistance has been approved in eligible counties to jumpstart survivors’ recovery and help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs.

In addition to assistance from FEMA, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration may be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

On Friday, officials visited the flood-ravaged town of Wilkes-Barre, offering a listening ear to survivors and seeing the damage first-hand. As part of the visit, Vice President Joe Biden was joined by Administrator Craig Fugate, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, senator Bob Casey, representative Lou Barletta, state representative Mike Carroll, and American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern.

Vice President Joe Biden pauses to talk to young resident.
Duryea, PA, September 16, 2011 -- During a tour and speech to survivors of the flood damage caused by tropical storm Lee, Vice President Joe Biden pauses to talk to young resident.

They toured several damaged homes and talked with survivors struggling to decide where to turn, emphasizing the ongoing support of the emergency management team – a team that includes federal, state, local and tribal government agencies, voluntary and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and members of the public. For more on their visit, here are a few of the stories offering a recap:

For the latest on the recovery efforts in Pennsylvania, visit the disaster page.

What We’re Watching: 9/16/11

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


Disaster Recovery Continues

FEMA Community Relations specialists prepare bags with registration information at the Bastrop, TX High School stadium during the first game of the football season. FEMA is working with local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to residents affected by recent fires.
Bastrop County, TX, September 15, 2011 --FEMA Community Relations specialists prepare bags with registration information at the Bastrop, TX High School stadium during the first game of the football season. FEMA is working with local, state and other federal agencies to provide assistance to residents affected by recent fires.

As we go into one of the last weekends of summer, many communities around the country continue to recover from disasters. In the past week, our blog has featured a few of the recovery highlights (Connecticut, Texas, Vermont), and our focus remains on supporting the affected individuals and communities across the nation. Visit fema.gov for a full list of our open disaster operations and for the latest on our work with the emergency management team. And if you live in a county where federal assistance has been made available to individuals and business owners, here’s more information on applying for federal assistance.


Potential Remains for Severe Tropical Weather
While we continue to support state, local and tribal recovery efforts around the U.S., we’re closely watching the tropics. Historically, September is a busy month for tropical storm and hurricane formation – and with NOAA forecasts calling for a busy second half of the season, it’s a reminder that everyone in coastal or inland areas should get prepared.

As we saw with Irene and Lee earlier this season, hurricanes/tropical storms don’t just bring high winds and heavy rains – they can also cause devastating flooding and flash flooding in both coastal and inland areas. We encourage you to learn the steps to you can take today to get prepared at Ready.gov/hurricanes (or m.Ready.gov on your smartphone). And stay informed all hurricane season long with the latest from the National Hurricane Center at hurricanes.gov/ or hurricanes.gov/mobile.

National Preparedness Month Continues

A photographer from KGO-TV shoots footage of preparedness materials made available by FEMA and the Red Cross for Amtrak passengers at the Jack London Station in Oakland, California. The event was part of FEMA’s ongoing National Preparedness Month efforts to remind the general public to have an emergency plan.
Oakland, CA, September 13, 2011 -- A photographer from KGO-TV shoots footage of preparedness materials made available by FEMA and the Red Cross for Amtrak passengers at the Jack London Station in Oakland, California. The event was part of FEMA’s ongoing National Preparedness Month efforts to remind the general public to have an emergency plan.


It’s the middle of National Preparedness Month, and we’re thrilled that the word continues to get out about emergency preparedness. Even if your school, workplace, community or family hasn’t been involved yet, no need to worry – you can still sign up as a National Preparedness Month Coalition member to receive tools on sharing the message emergency preparedness, as well as view a list of NPM-related events that are happening in your community. We continue to add new coalition members daily, so register today at community.fema.gov and join us in helping make America a safer, more prepared nation.


Sparking the Discussion on National Preparedness
In case you haven’t had a chance, visit our new collaboration community at fema.ideascale.com. It’s a place where you can view, contribute and comment on conversations about emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, and other emergency management topics. We’re currently looking for your input and ideas about building a more secure, resilient nation through a nation-wide preparedness goal. So check it out today and let us know what you think, either by posting a new idea or comment on the page, or by sending us an e-mail at FEMA-New-Media@dhs.gov.

Texas Wildfire Update 8: Texas/FEMA Funds in the Hands of Survivors

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 Kevin L. Hannes, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, inspects an emergency relief kit being given to survivors by the 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.
Bastrop, TX, September 14, 2011 -- Kevin L. Hannes, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, inspects an emergency relief kit being given to survivors by the 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.

As firefighters continue to battle wildfires in Texas, we continue to work with our state emergency management partners to ensure that impacted communities have the resources needed to recover. On September 9th, the President declared a disaster for the state of Texas, which made federal disaster funding available to families who experienced damage to their home – or lost their home entirely. Both FEMA and the State of Texas have provided funds to individuals and families to help them get back on their feet.

As of September 16, more than $2.6 million in disaster assistance has been approved by FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management for eligible residents. This assistance includes:

  • Housing Needs Assistance, which can cover survivors’ expenses for temporary housing after a disaster, repairs or replacement for their primary residence and other housing-related needs.
  • Other Needs Assistance, which can include the repair or replacement of personal property damaged or destroyed during the disaster, transportation costs and medical and dental expenses.

And since my last blog post earlier this week, five more counties were added to the major disaster declaration. Now, survivors in Colorado, Gregg, Grimes, Houston, Leon, Montgomery, Travis and Walker, Waller and Williamson counties whose homes or businesses were damaged or destroyed as a result of the recent wildfires are eligible for federal and state disaster assistance.

As I’ve said before, we want to keep reminding those affected to register for assistance. You can register online at Disasterassistance.gov, via smart phone at m.fema.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Our commitment to the people of Texas continues – we will be here for as long as it takes, working hand in hand with our state partners at the Texas Division of Emergency Management to ensure that we are supporting disaster survivors and the affected communities.

Videos for Spreading Emergency Preparedness

In previous blog posts, we’ve shared widgets and other web resources you can use to share information on emergency preparedness. With National Preparedness Month underway and the peak of hurricane season upon us, we wanted to share a collection of web videos that you can embed directly on your website or link to that promotes emergency preparedness.

The videos make this simple point: whether you’re a business owner, employee, educator, student, parent or concerned citizen, there are simple steps you can take today to get your organization, school, community or family better prepared before a disaster strikes. As we’ve seen this year, disasters can strike anywhere at any time – like this spring’s deadly tornadoes in Southeast, the flooding from Hurricane Irene, or even the recent East Coast earthquake.

So check out a few of our short preparedness videos below and see the full list in our multimedia library. We encourage you to help us spread the word about emergency preparedness and share them with your coworkers, family and friends.

Get Your Pets Ready for Emergencies



You can link to the video, or embed it on your website by copying and pasting the HTML code below:


Be Prepared for Emergencies While Traveling



You can link to the video, or embed the video on your website by copying and pasting the HTML code below:


Get Your Business Prepared



You can link to the video, or embed it on your website by copying and pasting the HTML code below:


And as part of National Preparedness Month, we are encouraging individuals, organizations, and communities to register to become a National Preparedness Month Coalition member and engage in promoting emergency preparedness all year round. Coalition members have access to a toolkit full of resources for promoting emergency preparedness and a list of events happening in their backyard to promote emergency preparedness. It’s not too late to register and it’s never too late to promote emergency preparedness in your family, business, or community – so sign up today at community.fema.gov.

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.

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