Blog Articles By Category

Main Content
Author: Craig Fugate
Ceiling panels missing. Wires dangling. Layers of dust. Floor tiles removed and concrete exposed. Five feet sections of walls cut from the ground up, and in some cases, completely removed. Flood lights and construction lights strung along corridors. The constant hum of fans.  Hard work. And determination.These were all things that Mike Byrne and I witnessed on Friday after spending a few hours visiting with employees at Bellevue Hospital and Coney Island Hospital.  A few weeks ago I also visited NYU Hospital, and the reason for the visits – because I believe it’s important to get a...
Posted On: December 17, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
Sandy recovery continuesIt’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:fema.gov/...
Posted On: December 14, 2012
Author: Ernie Mitchell
Each year Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season in my home.  As soon as the meal is over and we settle in for the football game, we begin to create our holiday to-do lists.  Because of my two grandsons, decorating our home has become a very special tradition. Whether sorting through yards of twinkling bulbs, hanging ornaments on the tree, lighting the menorah, or displaying the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, many citizens across the United States cherish this time of year.  Unfortunately, these traditions may also increase the chance of a fire in our homes. ...
Posted On: December 11, 2012
Author: Hannah Vick
When Jack Zenkel, 10, was in the hospital with a serious head injury six years ago, his mother, Michele, stood vigil. She was worried, but determined to remain hopeful. While Jack was resting in his hospital bed, a woman with a small, furry therapy dog entered his room. Upon seeing the dog, Jack’s face immediately lit up.  For the next few minutes, Jack petted and snuggled with the dog.  “I was amazed at the wonderful effect the dog had on my son. The dog made a huge difference,” says Michele.As Jack’s condition began to improve in the hospital, Michele started thinking about the...
Posted On: December 11, 2012
Author: Liane Richardson
I am the County Administrator for a county approximately the size of Rhode Island.  With over 4,000 square miles, Lane County extends from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains, and includes dunes, wetlands, oceans, rivers, lakes, ski resorts, a large university, and a major north-south interstate.  The question of a large-scale disaster, man-made or natural, is not if it will occur, but when.CAPTION: Anniston, Ala., Oct. 25, 2012 -- Liane Richardson recently graduated the Technical Emergency Response Training for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incidents (...
Posted On: December 11, 2012
Author: Hannah Vick
As we hit the one month mark after Hurricane Sandy, Mike Byrne, the Federal Coordinating Officer here in New York and my boss, reflected on the work that has been done and the work that remains.  In his blog, he made a note that we would be sharing stories and updates, and I wanted to share this story from Rita M., a disaster survivor in Rockaway, Queens:A lot of us in Rockaway evacuated during Hurricane Irene last year. And then nothing happened. So of course when we heard about Sandy, we stayed home.Never again. We learned that each storm is different – with a different outcome.At...
Posted On: December 7, 2012
Author: Flat Stanley and Flat Stella
The weather has been getting colder – and that means more than just getting out the winter coat, hat, and gloves.  It also means we’re getting close to the holidays and some extra cheer is in the air!  However you celebrate the season, you’re probably doing some decorating inside your house, out in the yard, or in your own room!Putting up lights, candles, and holiday decorations can be a lot of fun.  We have been spending the last few days learning about how to safely put up all our pretty decorations.  You see, more houses tend to be damaged by fires this time of year,...
Posted On: December 7, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
Because of the magnitude of the population affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Homeland Security activated its Surge Capacity Force for the first time on Nov. 1. Created by the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform act, this surge includes employees from every agency throughout DHS, from the Transportation Security Administration to the Coast Guard to Secret Service, who are willing to take time out of their normal jobs to help survivors. They are out pounding the pavement with our Community Relations teams and working in disaster recovery centers, assisting survivors with...
Posted On: December 6, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
Driving toward the old Navy pier in the Stapleton area of Staten Island, you would never know that past the warehouses, graffiti and lonely steel fence are hundreds of disaster workers in a hub of activity, a prime example of how government agencies come together. It is also the home of New York City’s only marine unit on Staten Island, the guys who handle all emergency incidents in New York Harbor.After 9/11, there was no water pressure in lower Manhattan, compromising the city’s ability to put out the fires. FDNY’s marine units came to the rescue, able to pump enough water to extinguish the...
Posted On: December 5, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
At FEMA we’re in the business of customer service and my boss, Administrator Fugate, often refers to our Community Relations teams as the face of FEMA. And rightfully so, because they are the team who literally pound the pavement and talk with survivors at their homes, apartments or at shelters. Community Relations teams also do what we call AIR, which stands for Assess, Inform and Report. They report back what they’re seeing in the field, allowing those in the disaster field office to be alerted to specific issues. This information is critical for us to set priorities.Community...
Posted On: December 4, 2012

Pages

Back to Top