As Hurricane Laura approaches and wildfires continue to burn in the west, it is more important than ever to be prepared. As you make necessary preparations for your family and your home, FEMA is preparing too. The agency is working with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners to make sure the nation is ready for these tropical systems and wildfires.
One of the primary actions FEMA is taking is to strategically move resources into place. Having supplies and people in the quantity and location they need to be helps FEMA and our partners respond rapidly and efficiently.
In states that the storms threaten, there are FEMA personnel on the ground, including teams that help to coordinate federal support, provide mobile telecommunications, operational support, life support and provide power generation.
There are also teams in place in Louisiana and Texas state operations centers. The region is working to move 500,000 meals and 800,000 liters of water into Roseland Staging Area and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. Additionally, FEMA is placing another 250,000 meals and 400,000 liters of water on standby at its distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas that can be pushed to either Texas or Louisiana after the storms make landfall.
FEMA, other federal agencies and the American Red Cross have also spent the last couple of months preparing to face additional challenges that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents. They have modified policies and planning and have taken actions to ensure the federal government can respond to any disaster during the continued COVID-19 response efforts. Actions such as safe distancing in shelters have been taken into consideration when preparing shelter locations. You can read more about how to prepare for disaster during COVID-19 by visiting the Ready.gov website.
Emergency declarations have also been approved for Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Puerto Rico. These declarations help FEMA to rapidly and efficiently respond when states and individuals need aid after a disaster. They authorize FEMA to provide assistance, including reimbursement for mass care, evacuation and shelter support.
Additionally, President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for California. The declaration includes grants to individuals and households, and emergency work in eight counties impacted by wildfires. All areas in the state are also eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
To further make sure employees and disaster survivors stay safe from COVID-19, FEMA has added virtual options for meeting needs after disasters. These methods include virtual damage assessments and inspections for FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs, as well as for National Flood Insurance Program claims.
While FEMA makes preparations for the tropical storms and wildfire response, you can also stay prepared by downloading the FEMA app to receive emergency alerts and information. Visit Ready.gov to read more about what you and your loved ones might need to know before, during and after disasters.