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What We’re Watching: 3/30/12

 

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.

Ongoing Situations
We continue to watch the ongoing Lower North Fork Fire in Colorado. While significant progress has been made on containing the fire, fire conditions will be elevated this weekend. We're working closely with our state and local partners in Colorado, and recently provided a Fire Management Assistance Grant to help fund their firefighting costs. While parts of our country are dry, other parts are experiencing heavy precipitation. Recent heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in Puerto Rico, and we're working closely with municipalities in the Commonwealth to see what federal assistance may be required.

Weather Outlook
This weekend, heavy rain and flooding is expected for parts of the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Oregon and northern California. State and local officials in those states are working with their residents on voluntary evacuations. For some tips on how to prepare you and your family for an evacuation, visit Ready.gov. Heavy rain and severe weather is also expected in the southeastern U.S. in Mississippi and Louisiana. Beginning Sunday and into Monday, high winds are predicted throughout the western half of the U.S.

We encourage everyone to monitor your area's local forecast as weather conditions can change. Stay up-to-date on your local forecast by visiting weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.

Careers at FEMA
At FEMA, "every employee is an emergency manager" and we are always recruiting highly motivated people interested in a rewarding career in emergency management. FEMA has positions available across the country, and here are just a few open positions with the agency:


Visit our Careers page to browse through other opportunities that are available, learn more about FEMA, and watch testimonials from employees.

National Hurricane Conference
Earlier this week, Administrator Craig Fugate spoke at the 2012 National Hurricane Conference. The conference is a national forum for federal, tribal, state and local officials to come together to exchange ideas and recommend new policies for improving emergency management efforts related to hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Check out the video below, where Fugate encourages everyone to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season:
 

FEMA Think Tank for March 2012 Focuses on Disability Topics

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Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime and can impact anyone, so Wireless Emergency Communications project at Georgia Institute of Technology, to discuss the next Think Tank topic. Serino reminded participants that “FEMA needs to use the best technology available to communicate with disaster survivors and those with disabilities and access and functional needs.”

He also noted that the Emergency Alert System test held in November of 2011 revealed several areas of improvement necessary for modernizing our national alerting systems, including problems with speed of the content and message accessibility. As FEMA develops the next-generation system, lessons from the test will be applied to ensure a more accessible experience for everyone.

In her remarks, Dr. Mitchell noted that the explosion of devices and software platforms in the market gives wireless manufacturers and developers “a perfect opportunity for [them] to involve end users in creating new devices that will have accessible features at the front end.”

Dr. Mitchell also noted with the explosion of social media, 65% of all Americans and 63% of those with disabilities use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, emergency managers have begun looking at those systems for enhancing the delivery of emergency alerts.

As I mentioned during the conversation, when people have access to emergency alerts, they can actively participate in preparedness efforts. This, in turn, optimizes emergency response resources for individuals who truly need assistance.

During the event, folks on Twitter joined the conversation with over 100 tweets using the hashtag #FEMAThinkTank:

  • Everyone should have access to emergency alerts – @mkelly007
  • Incorporating social media into emergency communications systems – @CACPGT

Serino closed the session by saying, “Community is a crucial part of all preparedness plans. It requires effort from the whole community to get through a disaster.”

He also encouraged people to continue participating in the Think Tank, sharing and discussing the ideas posted. A full transcript of the event will be posted at www.fema.gov/thinktank shortly.

Mary Hudak Receives National Hurricane Conference Award for Distinguished Service

It is always gratifying when one of our FEMA team members is recognized by another organization for their outstanding work. So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that Mary Hudak, External Affairs Director for Region IV, received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference on Tuesday, March 27. It is well deserved recognition for her passion to improve crisis communication in emergency management so that survivors of disasters get the information they need.

Orlando, Fla., March 27, 2012 -- Mary Hudak, FEMA's Region IV External Affairs Director, is presented with the Distinguished Service Award from Former Director of the National Hurricane Center Max Mayfield (left), and current Director of the National Hurricane Center Bill Reed (right) at the 2012 National Hurricane Conference held in Orlando, Fla.

Orlando, Fla., March 27, 2012 -- Mary Hudak, FEMA's Region IV External Affairs Director, is presented with the Distinguished Service Award from Former Director of the National Hurricane Center Max Mayfield (left), and current Director of the National Hurricane Center Bill Reed (right) at the 2012 National Hurricane Conference held in Orlando, Fla.

Her nomination, which was written by Region IV Administrator Phil May and supported by Administrator Craig Fugate and Associate Administrator Bill Carwile, points to some of her outstanding achievements in how she has impacted the community of emergency managers in such a positive way. Here is an excerpt from her nomination:

Over the course of her more than 30 years of emergency management service, Mary Hudak has shown tireless dedication to excellence in serving those whose lives have been affected by disaster.

In addition to her work with FEMA, her support for the National Hurricane Conference over the years has been unwavering. She has served on both the Planning Committee and the Public Education/Media Committee for years and has been instrumental in getting subject matter experts to participate—from leaders in emergency management, to local and national media personnel, to crisis management specialists— Mary has been a driving force in support of the NHC. Her efforts have added immeasurably to the knowledge base of local, state and federal emergency managers across the country in strategic messaging and crisis communication. Her work has improved the quality of public information and messaging to disaster survivors all around the country and not just with hurricanes but with floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Mary has trained, mentored, coached, advised and taught literally thousands of emergency managers and communicators throughout the country, both “on the job” in her work with FEMA, as well as in settings such as the National Hurricane Conference.

The impact of her work is nearly impossible to measure because those who have learned so much from her carry it forward as they teach, coach and mentor others. Mary has literally touched the lives of thousands upon thousands through her mentoring and work in support of disaster survivors.

On behalf of the entire FEMA team, thank you, Mary. Your leadership and dedication to your work – and to every disaster survivor you’ve worked tirelessly to serve – stand as a model for all who work in emergency management. Well done!

Top U.S. and Israeli Emergency Managers Discuss Preparedness

Last Tuesday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate met Maj. Gen. Eyal Eizenberg, the current commanding general of Israel’s Home Front Command, who is visiting the United States for a series of key governmental meetings.

The Home Front Command and Israel’s National Emergency Management Authority (FEMA’s Israeli counterpart) have collaborated with us for over four years under an memorandum of understanding with DHS. The MOU provides the mechanism through which FEMA and Israel established an Emergency Management Working Group.

The working group seeks to develop exchanges of information and support between the two countries as they strengthen their emergency management systems to respond to disasters. Representatives from FEMA and NEMA meet annually to evaluate the past year’s activities under the MOU and identify items of interest for the year to come.

Washington, D.C., March 19, 2012 -- FEMA Administator Craig Fugate meets with Israeli Home Front Commander Maj. Gen.Eyal Eizenberg. The meeting focused on national preparedness and developing resilient communities and families.

Washington, D.C., March 19, 2012 -- FEMA Administator Craig Fugate meets with Israeli Home Front Commander Maj. Gen.Eyal Eizenberg. The meeting focused on national preparedness and developing resilient communities and families.

This meeting focused on national preparedness and developing resilient communities and families. Both countries face a wide variety of disasters and crises challenges. Israel is prone to earthquakes, droughts and wild land fires. In 2011, massive wild land fires ravaged Israel’s northern areas.

FEMA, HFC and NEMA have key missions to develop and implement programs that help all sectors of society to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Maj. Gen. Eizenberg shared new initiatives in Israel involving family preparedness that include looking at ways of working with families to enhance resiliency through education and training, while Administrator Fugate discussed the whole community initiative that FEMA has implemented.

The visit to FEMA headquarters was the first for Maj. Gen. Eizenberg, who praised the relationship between the two agencies.

The meeting served as a precursor to the 2012 FEMA-Israel Emergency Management Working Group meeting, scheduled for April in Washington.

What We’re Watching: 3/23/12

 
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.

Weather Outlook
We’re closely monitoring the severe weather conditions (tornadoes and thunderstorm watches/warnings) in several states, including Illinois and Missouri.

Looking further out this weekend, our friends at NOAA forecast heavy rain for parts of the Pacific Northwest with areas in the eastern Pacific Northwest and Northern California experiencing heavy snow. High winds are predicted for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coastal areas.

Additionally, flooding may occur in areas across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, much of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and isolated parts of Southwest Oregon. Visit www.ready.gov/floods for safety tips and other information on what to do before, during, and after a flood.

Severe drought conditions are expected to continue throughout parts of the Southeast, Central and Southern Great Plains, Southwest, and Upper Mississippi Valley.

We encourage everyone to monitor your area’s local forecast as weather conditions can change. Stay up-to-date on your local forecast by visiting weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.

National Hurricane Conference
The 2012 National Hurricane Conference begins next week Monday March 26 in Orlando, Fla. The conference serves as a national forum for federal, tribal, state and local officials to come together, exchange ideas and recommend new policies improving emergency management efforts and hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property.

On Tuesday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will speak at the conference and a roundtable discussion following his presentation.

The conference is a great opportunity for individuals interested in educational and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness. To register for the conference, visit www.hurricanemeeting.com.


Monitoring for the Endangered Houston Toad in Texas
In January, we blogged about how we work with numerous federal partners to ensure that recovery efforts avoid or minimize adverse impacts to the environment, especially potential impacts on endangered species. Here’s a short video detailing how we worked with wildlife experts from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bastrop County to monitor for the endangered Houston toad amid survivor recovery operations following the historic wildfires of 2011.



Photos of Ongoing Response & Recovery Efforts
Here are some photos highlighting our ongoing response and recovery efforts in Kentucky and Tennessee:

Kentucky

Crittenden, Ky., March 21, 2012 -- Margie and Ron Milner describe the layout of their totally destroyed home to a FEMA Contract Inspector. FEMA sends inspectors to all damaged properties after a disaster survivor has asked FEMA for help.


Crittenden, Ky., March 21, 2012 -- Margie and Ron Milner describe the layout of their totally destroyed home to a FEMA Contract Inspector. FEMA sends inspectors to all damaged properties after a disaster survivor has asked FEMA for help.

Butler, Ky., March 20, 2012 -- Lisa Demers, representing FEMA Individual Assistance, addresses the attendees at the Pendleton County community meeting. FEMA participates in local events sharing information and answering questions for those affected by the tornado.


Butler, Ky., March 20, 2012 -- Lisa Demers, representing FEMA Individual Assistance, addresses the attendees at the Pendleton County community meeting. FEMA participates in local events sharing information and answering questions for those affected by the tornado.

West Liberty, Ky., March 19, 2012 -- Over 100 volunteers from Morehead State University, are spending their spring break clearing debris and locating personal items in the damaged neighborhoods of West Liberty. FEMA works with volunteer organizations to coordinate getting aid to where is is most needed.


West Liberty, Ky., March 19, 2012 -- Over 100 volunteers from Morehead State University, are spending their spring break clearing debris and locating personal items in the damaged neighborhoods of West Liberty. FEMA works with volunteer organizations to coordinate getting aid to where is is most needed.

Tennessee

Etowah, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- FEMA's Julia Hall and TEMA's Roger Thompson go over details on setting up a Disaster Recovery Center with McMinn County Emergency Manager Linda Hamby. Having Disaster Recovery Centers up and running quickly to help survivors is a priority after a disaster has been declared.


Etowah, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- FEMA's Julia Hall and TEMA's Roger Thompson go over details on setting up a Disaster Recovery Center with McMinn County Emergency Manager Linda Hamby. Having Disaster Recovery Centers up and running quickly to help survivors is a priority after a disaster has been declared.

McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Community Relations Specialist Rico Borrazzo from FEMA and Al Libbrecht with the State of Tennessee meet with survivors of the March tornado. FEMA supports the State and local governments in order to get required information and resources to those who need it.


McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Community Relations Specialist Rico Borrazzo from FEMA and Al Libbrecht with the State of Tennessee meet with survivors of the March tornado. FEMA supports the State and local governments in order to get required information and resources to those who need it.

McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Michael Gann, Community Relations Specialists, leaves a registration information flyer at a damaged residence. FEMA and State representatives are on the ground giving information about registration and disaster assistance to residents.


McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Michael Gann, Community Relations Specialists, leaves a registration information flyer at a damaged residence. FEMA and State representatives are on the ground giving information about registration and disaster assistance to residents.

Doing Business with FEMA

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Small and minority business owners recently gathered in Dallas, Texas, to learn how to do business with FEMA and other federal and state agencies, in essence, becoming contractors. The dozens of business owners received critical information from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. General Services Administration and the Texas State Procurement Division.

As part of an effort to diversify the agency’s contractors, FEMA is actively seeking ways to strengthen partnerships with the private sector, and wants you to be a part of the process. You can access information online on how to become a federal contractor. The website provides a link to the Central Contractor Registration site, which collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions.

Additionally, the FEMA website contains information that will assist in identifying possible contracting opportunities with FEMA. Here you will be able to access the Federal Business Opportunities website, the governments' single point of entry where vendors and government buyers are invited to post, search, monitor, and retrieve opportunities solicited by the Federal contracting community.

In addition, FEMA seeks small businesses through the GSA Federal Supply Schedule program, which allows agencies to buy commonly used supplies and services. If you have not already done so, I encourage registering with the CCR, FBO and GSA.

I also encourage you visit the Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation website for information on Federal agencies that may have procured the same or similar services, as well as contracts awarded during disasters.

We at FEMA Region 6 and across the agency are committed to making sure local businesses and everyone in the private sector are part of the preparedness, response and recovery fabric of their communities; because, historically, you are traditionally the catalysts for an efficient and effective recovery in a community following a disaster.

Being Prepared: Makes Good Business Sense

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With historic numbers of disasters over the last eighteen months, the concept of private sector preparedness has proven to be a continued indicator of good business sense. With the DHS announcement last week that AT&T Inc. is the first company certified to PS-Prep™ standards, we have reached another important milestone in this journey.

PS-Prep is a voluntary program that encourages private sector organizations to prepare against all-hazards, and recognizes organizations that adopt a DHS-selected voluntary preparedness standard.

Why spend the time, energy and cost to become certified? Certification to a preparedness standard helps businesses develop a culture of preparedness into routine operations and management processes. A culture of preparedness can safeguard organizational investments, enhance employee confidence, and demonstrate a high level of commitment to suppliers and customers, which contributes to the organization’s bottom line and reinforces the organization’s ability to provide services in the event of a disruption.

Certification will enable businesses to:

  • develop a plan of action,
  • minimize potential impact to essential operations,
  • protect data and information,
  • increase reliability,
  • protect market share and minimize financial losses, and
  • gain industry recognition by promoting preparedness with suppliers and clients alike....

The question quickly becomes – why not become certified?

Whether a company, academic institution, or other non-governmental organization, you play a critical role in our nation’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

AT&T is the first company to work towards industry preparedness best practice by taking the additional step of becoming certified. I encourage your organization to be the next. Visit www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness for more information on the program.

Certification to a preparedness standard is a great tool and is one of many available to help organizations be prepared for all hazards. For general resources on private sector preparedness, visit http://www.ready.gov/ or the http://www.readyrating.org/.

What Preliminary Damage Assessments Really Mean

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Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked a lot about supporting several states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia) with joint preliminary damage assessments as a result of the recent wave of severe storms and tornadoes, and I wanted to provide a little information into what this means, and what a PDA team does when they are on the ground.

PDA Teams

Following a disaster, a Governor requests PDAs as the first step in the declaration process. Federal representatives, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, join state, tribal, and local officials to form what we call “PDA teams.” They are responsible for surveying damages in designated counties, and they do this by going city-by-city, street-by-street, door-to-door, until impacted areas identified by state, tribal, and local officials have been thoroughly assessed.

The joint PDA teams are not just looking at the numbers of damaged or destroyed homes, they’re also obtaining information on the impact to the community as a whole. In larger disasters or when affected areas are inaccessible, PDAs may be conducted by car or plane.

They talk to as many residents as possible to ensure detailed assessments are made. From walking door-to-door in neighborhoods that have experienced damage, to sometimes walking among debris piles and engaging one-on-one with survivors who have been personally impacted, the PDA teams conduct their assessments to fully understand how the disaster has and will impact you and your family. Even when the damage may not seem apparent, the team is looking for all types and signs of damage, such as water lines from flooding, damaged roof and windows, and damage to doors and windows.

Many of the questions the teams may ask are aimed to garner a clear understanding of the impacts, including: whether you have insurance; whether your utilities are out; whether you have a place to stay; was your job affected; did your children need to change schools; was your car damaged; and do you have special medical needs.

A PDA team may not need to talk to every survivor. If a disaster survivor has already reported their damages to local or state officials, those reports will be shared with the PDA team and cross-referenced with the street report, and then all of the information will be considered for the assessments.

Along with assessing the damages that affected individuals within a community, PDA teams consisting of state, federal, tribal and local officials will also assess the impact of the incident on public infrastructure. This includes the cost of emergency measures, such as debris removal, and repair or restoration of public facilities such as roads and buildings.

Once assessments for a jurisdiction such as a county or parish are completed, the team moves onto the next as the effort is consolidated to help out in other areas. The goal is to complete the job efficiently and thoroughly to ensure the teams have captured the total impact to the communities and area of the state affected by the disaster.

The Next Step

Once all of the data has been compiled, it’s turned over to the state’s Emergency Management Agency.

It is important to remember that PDA teams do not determine whether a major disaster declaration will be issued.

The information that is collected is provided to the state for a governor to determine if he or she will request federal assistance. If the Governor believes the damages “are beyond state and local capabilities,” he or she will submit the written request to the President and specify the type of assistance needed and which counties are affected. It is important to remember that FEMA assistance is supplementary in nature and will only be authorized when a disaster is of the severity and magnitude to be beyond the effective response of the state and affected local governments. Moreover, legally, FEMA cannot duplicate assistance received through any other source including insurance or other federal programs.

What Should I Be Doing Now?

What should you do while the Governor’s request is pending? As soon as possible, notify your insurance company and file a claim. Keep your receipts of any disaster-related expenses such as lodging, medical, repair and cleaning supplies, etc. You should also make a list of the major items that have been damaged such as utilities, appliances, furniture, and personal property.

If you have immediate needs such as shelter, food, water, clothing, etc., you should seek help from the local voluntary and faith-based groups in your area.

What is a Major Disaster Declaration?

If the President approves the request, the declaration will specify what forms of assistance are available. If the Presidential declaration includes Individual Assistance, then individuals can apply if their county was part of the declaration. Even if you have already reported your damage to the Red Cross, local, or state officials, and the PDA team stopped to talk with you – this IS NOT THE APPLICATION for FEMA assistance.

To be considered eligible for federal assistance, you need to apply with FEMA once a declaration has been made – either by calling our toll-free number (Call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) or registering on our full website or mobile site.

We understand that dealing with the aftermath of a disaster is a stressful and trying time, and we hope that you will never need to go through the process of assessing and reporting damages. The true fact is that disasters happen, and every bit of knowledge we have about the process arms us all in a way to make the recovery just maybe a small bit easier.

Calling for Nominations for National Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division is looking for youth leaders dedicated to public service and making a difference in their community to serve on FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council.

Bringing youth to the table provides a clear and true picture of the thoughts, needs, and capabilities of nearly 25% of our nation’s population. It is critical to listen to them and their peers, align our youth strategies as an agency to the message we hear, and to build up our nation’s future leaders in emergency preparedness.

The National Youth Preparedness Council is an opportunity for select youth leaders interested in expanding their impact as a national advocate for youth preparedness to serve on this highly distinguished national council. Members of the council will participate in a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington, D.C., and voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of national organizations working on youth preparedness.

Who is Eligible?

Young men and women from 12 to 17 years of age who want to make a difference in their community, have contributed to youth disaster preparedness in their community or have lived through a disaster and want to share their experiences are eligible to apply for the council.

Youth Preparedness Council nominees will represent a variety of young people: current and former students, youth members of a local Citizen Corps Council, a youth club or a member of a faith-based organization that is vocal and active in preparing peers, family, and neighborhoods for potential emergencies are encouraged to apply.

Similarly, if you know of a young person with any of these qualities, you may nominate him or her to serve on the council.

Interested in Applying?

Interested candidates or nominations should emphasize youth disaster preparedness activities that the candidate/nominee has participated in or can be related to a disaster the candidate/nominee has lived through. Nominations should describe a specific emergency situation and/or examples of youth disaster preparedness activities that would qualify the nominee to serve on the Council.

Some examples of preparedness activities include:

  • Teen CERT in Action
  • Citizen Corps Council Activities
  • After School Activities
  • Faith-based Youth Preparedness Activities
  • Increasing Local Disaster Awareness
  • Youth Club Activities (e.g., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts)

If you are nominating yourself, you must submit a letter of recommendation from any adult parent, guardian, community first responder, teacher or community leader that can attest to your community preparedness activities. If you are an adult nominating a young person to serve on the council, you do not have to include an additional letter unless you choose to do so.

Nominations must be received by April 6, 11:59 p.m. EDT. For complete instructions on applying, visit our website.

Youth Preparedness Council Participants will be announced in May 2012, and will be FEMA’s honored guests at a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington, D.C. on June 28 and 29.

Visit our website for more information on the National Youth Preparedness Council or to apply.

What We’re Watching: 3/16/12


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.

Weather Outlook
Over the next couple of days, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting severe weather conditions to include thunderstorms and heavy rain in parts of the Southeast and Southwest. Due to heavy rains, there is the potential for flooding.

Here are some flood terms that you should be familiar with:


  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.For more flood safety and preparedness tips visit, www.ready.gov/floods.

Additionally, heavy snow is expected over parts of Arizona and high winds are forecasted for Utah, Arizona, Central and Southern Rockies, the Great Plains, and the Northwest half of the Mississippi Valley.

We encourage everyone to monitor your area’s local forecast as weather conditions can rapidly change. Stay up-to-date on your local forecast by visiting weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.

Flood Safety Awareness Week Recap
In collaboration with NOAA for Flood Safety Awareness Week, we’ve shared information on potential hazards flooding presents, precautions individuals, families, and businesses can take to protect their families and homes from flooding and safety tips on what to do before, during, and after flooding. Flooding is the most common hazard in the United States -- but the good news is, there are simple steps everyone can take to prepare for flooding. Visit www.ready.gov/floods or www.noaa.gov for more information on floods and steps you can take to prepare today.

March Think Tank Call
On Thursday, March 22 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, Deputy Administrator Serino will host the next Think Tank conference call. This month’s call will focus on strategies and approaches for incorporating and integrating access and functional needs issues and concerns into all aspects of emergency management.

Here is the call-in information:


  • Date: Tuesday, March 22
  • Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT
  • Call-In Number: 800-593-0692
  • Pass Code: Think Tank March
  • Captioning for the event
  • Twitter: #femathinktank

We hope you can join us in this month’s call. Visit www.fema.gov/thinktank for more information.

FEMA Corps
Earlier this week, we announced our new partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service -- FEMA Corps. FEMA Corps will leverage a newly-created unit of 1,600 service corps members ages 18-24 from AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps who are solely devoted to FEMA disaster response and recovery.

Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano introduces the new partnership the Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. FEMA Corps is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano introduces the new partnership the Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. FEMA Corps is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.

The program will enhance the federal government’s capability to respond to and recover from disasters, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service, and expand education and economic opportunity for young people.

Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate speaks with AmeriCorps volunteers following the announcement of FEMA Corps, a new partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. The partnership is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate speaks with AmeriCorps volunteers following the announcement of FEMA Corps, a new partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. The partnership is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.

For more information on FEMA Corps visit our FEMA Corps page or the AmeriCorps website.

Preparedness Video to Share
We wanted to share this video from Prepare Metro KC that explains the importance of taking responsibility to prepare yourself and your family for potential emergencies. After you watch the video, head over to www.ready.gov for tips on preparing for an emergency.

Photos of Ongoing Response & Recovery Efforts
Here are some photos from the tornado response and recovery following the tornadoes that struck earlier this month.

Kentucky

West Liberty, Ky., March 12, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations specialists Kathryn Pullara and Helen Stephens explain the registration process to a storm survivor. FEMA, State, Local, and volunteer agencies are in areas affected by the tornado's on March 2nd.
West Liberty, Ky., March 12, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations specialists Kathryn Pullara and Helen Stephens explain the registration process to a storm survivor. FEMA, State, Local, and volunteer agencies are in areas affected by the tornado's on March 2nd.

Denver, Ky., March 13, 2012 -- Volunteers from the Christian Appalachian Project, Inc. help gut a destroyed home. Voluntary agencies team together with FEMA to assist in early response and recovery.
Denver, Ky., March 13, 2012 -- Volunteers from the Christian Appalachian Project, Inc. help gut a destroyed home. Voluntary agencies team together with FEMA to assist in early response and recovery.

Frenchburg, Ky., March 12, 2012 -- Michael Caulkins, Small Business Association Specialist, discusses with an applicant the SBA loan process. FEMA partners with the Small Business Association, which provides low interest loans to disaster survivors.
Frenchburg, Ky., March 12, 2012 -- Michael Caulkins, Small Business Association Specialist, discusses with an applicant the SBA loan process. FEMA partners with the Small Business Association, which provides low interest loans to disaster survivors.

Indiana

Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- The American Flag waves as a symbol of hope over the damaged homes and striped hillside after two tornadoes torn through the community of 1,900 residents in Southern Indiana on March 2. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on March 9, two days after the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments were completed in six counties.
Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- The American Flag waves as a symbol of hope over the damaged homes and striped hillside after two tornadoes torn through the community of 1,900 residents in Southern Indiana on March 2. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on March 9, two days after the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments were completed in six counties.
Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- Heavy equipment operators begin to remove the debris left behind in the wake of several tornadoes that struck southern Indiana on March 2. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on March 9, just two days after the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments were completed in six counties.
Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- Heavy equipment operators begin to remove the debris left behind in the wake of several tornadoes that struck southern Indiana on March 2. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on March 9, just two days after the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments were completed in six counties.

Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- Smoking Jim’s BBQ was just one of the local businesses and restaurants who pitched in to help with thousands of hot meals to survivors, repair crews and volunteers in the community of Henryville, Ind., which was struck by two tornadoes on March 2. The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other faith-based and community organizations rallied to the town's aid within hours.
Henryville, Ind., March 8, 2012 -- Smoking Jim’s BBQ was just one of the local businesses and restaurants who pitched in to help with thousands of hot meals to survivors, repair crews and volunteers in the community of Henryville, Ind., which was struck by two tornadoes on March 2. The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other faith-based and community organizations rallied to the town's aid within hours.

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