At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Editor's Note: The America’s PrepareAthon! Google+ Hangout section has been updated with a link for lLive Closed Captioning for the event.
Supporting Individuals and Communities Impacted by the Washington Mudslides
Snohomish County, Wash., March 26, 2014 -- A FEMA Senior Leadership Meeting takes place discussing the Oso Mudslide. From the left to right is Michael Hall, Federal Coordinating Officer, Sharon Loper, FEMA Deputy Region Administrator-Region X, Ken Murphy, Regional Administrator-Region X and Jackie Gladish, Operations Chief-Region X. Steve Zumwalt/FEMA
Earlier this week, President Obama announced a major disaster declaration for the state of Washington in response to the Oso Mudslide. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Snohomish County, including the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip Tribes.
At the request of the state, FEMA deployed Urban Search & Rescue IST White, CA-TF7 and 20 Canine Search and Rescue Teams have been deployed in addition to the Urban Search & Rescue WA TF-1 deployed as a State Asset. Our National-IMAT West, Bothell MERS personnel and MEOV are also deployed to Washington and assisting with ongoing response and recovery operations.
Tech. Sgt. Tayler Bates and Tech Sgt. Tony Rohrenbach, members of the Washington Air National Guard, 141 Civil Engineer Squadron pause for a moment of silence at 10:37 a.m., the same time that the mudslide occurred on Saturday March 22, 2014. Washington National Guard personnel continue to help the community of Oso in the wake of the mudslide. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Rory Featherston WA ANG)
Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA is working closely with residents, tribal members, and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one on one basis.
For updates on response and recovery efforts, follow FEMA Region 10 on twitter or visit the state’s disaster page.
Monitoring Severe Weather
Today and into the evening, our partners at the National Weather Service forecast a slight risk for severe thunderstorms across parts of the Central Gulf Coast. If you live in that region, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Know your severe weather terminology:
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.
- Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
- Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
- Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
- Look for the following danger signs:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
- Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
- If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
For more tips on severe weather, visit Ready.gov/severe-weather.
We will continue to monitor the severe weather activity and provide updates as needed. We encourage you to monitor local weather conditions in your area as weather can change in a short amount of time. Stay up to date by visiting www.weather.gov on your computer or http://mobile.weather.gov on your phone.
Join us for an America’s PrepareAthon! Google+ Hangout
We’re getting ready for America’s PrepareAthon! – a nationwide day of action on April 30, 2014. There are a lot of ways you can join in, like holding a preparedness discussion or taking part in a drill so you know what to do during an emergency.
To find out more, join Administrator Fugate, the Weather Channel, AARP, and local leaders from around the country on Monday, April 7 for a Google+ hangout at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss America’s PrepareAthon! Join the conversation now by asking questions on Twitter using #PrepareAthon. And you can watch the Hangout live on Mondayat 1:00 p.m. by visiting the White House Google+ and YouTube pages.
Live closed captioning is also available during the Hangout.
Visit ready.gov/prepare for more information or check out this blog from FEMA alum Paulette Aniskoff at the White House.
FEMA Celebrates 35 Years of Commitment
Earlier this week, we celebrated our 35th anniversary of serving the American people. Each and every day, FEMA employees are on the frontlines working with our communities, tribes and disaster survivors – always ready to do what is needed for the American people during some of their most trying times.
Throughout the years, we’ve continued to refine, redefine, and reshape the way we do business to better serve the American people. Since April 1, 1979, when President Jimmy Carter signed the executive order that created FEMA, our commitment to the people we serve and the belief in our survivor centric mission has and will never change.
Visit our 35th Anniversary page to see a timeline of our activity over the past 35 years.
Have a safe weekend!