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Author: Regional Administrator Thomas Von Essen (Region II), Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney (Region III), Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech (Region IV), Regional Administrator Tony Robinson (Region VI), Rear Admiral Keith Smith (Fifth Coast Guard District)
Every year, FEMA and the United States Coast Guard meet to discuss the past year’s hurricane response efforts and to plan for future storms. It may not sound extraordinary, but it’s not only one of the best opportunities for FEMA to engage with the Coast Guard on our joint mission to protect the homeland, but it also brings together multiple FEMA Regions (representing the states most at risk from hurricanes) to discuss how we can better prepare for future storms.  This annual gathering allows us to learn how the Coast Guard is securing and reconstituting U.S. ports,...
Posted On: July 15, 2019
Author: Nancy M. Piñero Vega
The Puerto Rican community of Toro Negro is located in the central, mountainous municipality of Ciales. The isolation and privacy of this small community has been cherished by its residents for over 100 years.  It was in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, however, that the remote nature of the community proved to be a challenge.   Its seclusion—the closest town is a 35-minute drive—reduced access to basic services such as garbage pickup and mail delivery. As the hurricane’s aftermath worsened, the limited basic services created pollution and raised public...
Posted On: July 10, 2019
Author: Jessica Geraci
When the flames started in an LA family’s kitchen, two parents were able to extinguish it with baking soda.  It was a technique their 11-year-old son had taught them only weeks before, after his second MySafe: LA class.  These classes are funded by the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, specifically the Fire Prevention & Safety Grant.   MySafe: LA was awarded in part to help fund a 3-part fire and life safety training.  The training is intended to spread fire safety awareness, as well as to inspire kids to want to grow up and become firefighters.  When...
Posted On: July 8, 2019
Author: Jessica Geraci
Amid rushed evacuations, strong winds, and approaching floodwaters of a disaster, chaos often ensues, forcing families to make impossible decisions about the animals that are part of their families. These situations may not always be preventable but having a plan in place can give your pets their best chance of staying safe during and after a hurricane.  Keep that plan, and the tools needed to implement it, within an emergency kit tailored specifically to your pet. Here’s the top 10 items recommended for your kit:Food. At least a three-day supply in an airtight,...
Posted On: June 13, 2019
Author: Cindy Clark
The children sat in rapt attention, their faces upturned, hanging on the words being read aloud from the book, “Molly and the Earthquake.”Tilting the book so all could see the pastel-colored illustrations, the woman continues to read.“Children, it feels like we’re having an earthquake. Get under the table. Remember: Drop, cover, and hold on,” said Miss Chris calmly, but firmly. The preschoolers slid back their chairs and got under the table, just like they’d practiced in their earthquake drills, but Molly started to cry and headed for the door.”...
Posted On: May 1, 2019
Author: Paul Huang
Over the past several years, our state, local, tribal, and territorial partners have experienced, first hand, destruction caused by floods in communities across the country. In fact, for the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons combined, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) paid its policyholders more than $11 billion to assist in their recovery efforts. And yet, that amount doesn’t touch the thousands of others with flood losses who weren’t insured.The state of Virginia was no exception. Tropical Storm Michael and Hurricane Florence impacted the Old Dominion with back-to-back...
Posted On: April 18, 2019
Author: Rachael Neal
I recently took a vacation to Japan. On our last day, my group chartered a boat to snorkel, hike and enjoy a beautiful chain of islands off the coast of Okinawa. On our way back, our boat was overcome by rough seas and capsized – everyone on board had to abandon ship.Words cannot express what it feels like to literally fight for your life.I’m sharing this story for a few reasons. By no means did I do everything right, nor was I a hero. Everyone I was with had their own strengths and by working together we ultimately made it out alive. But as I look back, I realize this event was...
Posted On: January 31, 2019
Author: Rebecca Wiggins
When it comes to disasters, mother nature does not discriminate. People from all income levels and backgrounds have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a natural disaster or an emergency.FEMA’s 2018 National Preparedness Report found, that while federal agencies have made efforts to streamline disaster recovery assistance:Businesses continue to face challenges navigating post-disaster economic recovery programs;Communities often struggle to effectively communicate and coordinate with the private sector; and,Financial disruptions from disasters can...
Posted On: December 18, 2018
Author: Daniel Kaniewski, PhD
Forty-four percent of Americans do not have $400 on hand to cover an emergency expense. These Americans will be ill-prepared to care for themselves and their families in the wake of a disaster.I was pleased to join Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney recently at a public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC). I shared FEMA’s vision for financial preparedness, specifically discussing our efforts to close the insurance gap (the difference between what is currently insured and what is insurable...
Posted On: October 16, 2018
Author: Raymond J. Piper
View in FEMA Multimedia LibraryThe time to prepare for Hurricane Florence is now. This powerful storm is expected to bring powerful winds, flooding, storm surge, and dangerous rip currents. Storm tracks can change swiftly, so it’s important to prepare now. Basic services, such as cell service, power, and water, may be disrupted for an extended period of time. Here are some steps you can take:Fill up your gas tank and stock your vehicle with supplies with food that does not need to be stored in a refrigerator and drinking water. Get refills of your medications now for any needed...
Posted On: September 11, 2018