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Author: Jessica Stapf
This week, our friends over at the Department of Energy released their newest venture: the Lantern Live app. Available for Android devices, Lantern Live gives people the ability to report the status and location of nearby fuel stations (alternative and conventional), check their area for power outages and easily access safety tips.According to the Department of Energy, “future releases of Lantern Live will likely include the ability to crowdsource information on the status of gas stations via standardized hashtags for social media.” Future releases of the app will also be built on...
Posted On: November 19, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
A large portion of the United States is experiencing incredibly cold temperatures this week. From North Dakota down south to Texas, temperatures are unseasonably low—causing people to dig out their winter hats, scarves and snow boots. Our friends in state and local Departments of Transportation, fire and police departments, and at the National Weather Service have been working really hard to make sure communities in the line of this cold snap are safe and prepared just in case this is just the first taste of a frigid winter season. This late fall freeze has a bit of a sense of humor,...
Posted On: November 12, 2014
Author: Jason Lindesmith
In the emergency management world, accurate, timely information is vital.  Having that information results in better prepared communities and survivors who can recover more quickly when disaster strikes.  That’s why FEMA’s Tribal Affairs team created a new, quickly accessible information resource to provide tribal emergency managers with important information about FEMA’s disaster assistance programs: a pocket guide for FEMA and Tribal Nations. Embracing and considering the unique needs of all stakeholders is one of FEMA’s top priorities.  This...
Posted On: November 6, 2014
Author: Dawn Hart
The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively to individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) is critical to the work we do at FEMA. In every disaster, FEMA staff work tirelessly to ensure that we reach out to all disaster survivors, regardless of their language proficiency.FEMA has further demonstrated its commitment to assist LEP communities by developing a Draft Language Access Plan that outlines how to provide meaningful access to all FEMA programs and activities that impact people with limited English proficiency (LEP). This plan adheres to Executive Order 13166, Improving...
Posted On: October 20, 2014
Author: Jason Lindesmith
What makes a great race? To me, the ingredients include awesome scenery, a well-planned route, and a cause that runners can really get behind.  I ran a race that met all three of these conditions in Cannon Beach, Oregon called “Race the Wave”.  In short, the city of Cannon Beach took their town’s risk for earthquakes and tsunamis and made it into a race, and I’m going to lay out why every community along the Pacific coast should be hurrying to plan their own.  The coolest part of “Race the Wave” is that it doesn’t have to be a “race” per se, with runners competing for the best...
Posted On: October 15, 2014
Author: Brittany Trotter
Last week, almost 100 daisies, brownies, juniors, cadets and seniors took over the National Response Coordination Center here at FEMA Headquarters. As part of our ongoing effort to engage and educate young people about disaster preparedness, Girls Scouts past and present joined us for a Girl Scouts Preparedness Day. And with 3.2 million Girl Scouts across the U.S., you can bet a few alums and current troop leaders work here at FEMA.As part of their visit, the girls learned a little about FEMA and the importance of being prepared for emergencies. They were also able to earn their Emergency...
Posted On: October 10, 2014
Author: Tony Russell
After facing two devastating wildfires and flash flooding in the past two years, El Paso County in Colorado recognized a need to increase their community’s level of preparedness. During this past National Preparedness Month,  El Paso County helped make that happen by supporting a series of accessible and fun events for all, especially kids.The county got a head-start on National Preparedness Month by cohosting a Community Emergency Preparedness Night at Security Service Field, home of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, on August 22. This was the fifth straight year that the Sky Sox have...
Posted On: October 3, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
Last week, the Chicago Tribune featured a story about a firefighter from the Galapagos Islands who traveled about 3,000 miles from his home to attend a firefighting training course in Romeoville, IL. Carlos Gonzales, who is a tour guide in his everyday life, saved up the money—nearly $3,000—to attend the course, hosted by the Romeoville Fire Academy.Like many fire departments across the United States, Mr. Gonzales’ hometown fire department relies on volunteers to keep it up and running: "We are all volunteers (firefighters) on the island… We do it without pay because it's our home and we...
Posted On: October 2, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
Flash flooding in El Paso, TX caused a disruption during the early Monday morning commute of many people, including one woman whose truck was swept into a canal by fast-moving flood water. Some quick-thinking teachers that were on their way to training became first responders as they helped the woman escape being trapped between her vehicle and the canal’s wall. Not all first responders are fire fighters, police officers, or paramedics. Often, first responders are fast moving bystanders with a mind to help.The video of the dramatic rescue, filmed by a news reporter turned rescuer is available...
Posted On: September 24, 2014
Author: Todd Davison
Fifteen years after Hurricane Floyd, the images of overwhelming physical, human and environmental impacts are still vivid. The late 1990s was an unprecedented time for North Carolina: Floyd was the sixth hurricane to hit the state in four years. Hurricane Dennis soaked the landscape a few weeks before, and then Floyd dumped 20+ inches of rain. The impacts were devastating: 51 fatalities, about 100 thousand damaged homes, inundated sewage treatment plants, and millions of lost livestock.On the evening of September 17, the day after Floyd’s landfall, I met with Eric Tolbert and Gavin Smith in...
Posted On: September 19, 2014

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