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Author: Michelle Breeland, Craig Crosby
As several storms have recently swept through the Atlantic and Pacific, it’s hard to believe that it has been a full five years since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee struck the East Coast. As the director and deputy director of Region III’s Individual Assistance Branch, we deployed to Maryland to work directly with the state and support their efforts in responding to and recovering from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.While the storms brought many tragedies, many were avoided because of everyone’s work, including state and federal agencies, voluntary agencies...
Posted On: September 14, 2016
Author: Cora Russell
Editor's Note: This post first appeared on USDA's blog.Incidents described as “thousand year storms and floods” and “the worst U.S. disaster since Hurricane Sandy” claimed the lives of more than 58 people in Louisiana, West Virginia and South Carolina over the last year. These disasters often remind us of the devastating impacts that families and their communities face after they strike.After emergency life saving operations, food and shelter assistance are the most important priorities with which emergency managers must contend. It was during these times that...
Posted On: September 13, 2016
Author: Raymond J. Piper
During a disaster members of the community seek opportunities to help each other. Neighbors, faith-based organizations, businesses and volunteer organizations that may not normally not focus on helping disaster survivors often chip in to lend a helping hand wherever it is needed.This assistance is a key part of a disaster response and recovery, but in the past has not often been fully coordinated with emergency managers.Thanks to ongoing work by the Department of Homeland Security and our Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, we’re improving our ability to coordinate...
Posted On: September 12, 2016
Author: Jeannie Moran
Water can be life-saving or a source of sporting fun, but not when it’s filling tens of thousands of basements and causing costly destruction to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. On August 11, 2014, up to six inches of rain fell in just a few hours throughout the Detroit metro area, where this scenario became all too real for residents there. Once insurance options were exhausted, FEMA disaster assistance became an important resource to help survivors take their first steps toward recovery.However, for many, there was still work to be done.Enter voluntary, faith-based...
Posted On: September 7, 2016
Author: Christina DiTolla
With a long title comes a volume of information. Roy E. Wright, FEMA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, carries FEMA’s longest title. Simply put, Mr. Wright is the Director of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Programs. Mr. Wright joined us last week in Baton Rouge to answer the questions you’ve asked our call centers and on social media.1. How do I purchase a flood insurance policy, and when will it become active?Roy: Flood insurance can be purchased in a number of ways. The easiest way to start shopping for flood insurance is to start with...
Posted On: September 5, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Walking through a pair of frosted glass doors, you immediately come upon a sea of red and blue vests swarming about a collection of brightly lit computer monitors. A visual treat. A wall of televisions blast the latest weather updates and the "tick-tock" (or "schedule" for folks outside of the agency) for the next round of reporting. Our main role as a coordinating agency is shown best in this room—known as the National Response Coordination Center.Here, where rows upon rows of rolling office chairs sit tucked neatly behind their desks on normal days, is where a lot...
Posted On: September 2, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Labor Day weekend is a time for a lot of people to head out on fun and relaxing vacations and celebrate the last “official” days of summer. Here, it’s historically a time we find ourselves at our busiest. Labor Day lies right smack dab in the middle of peak hurricane season—and if you’re like us and have been following the forecasts, you might know a little bit about what’s on our radars.Right now, we’re following several different storms forecast to hit two vastly different areas: the Big Island of Hawaii and the Big Bend of Florida. (For those of us...
Posted On: August 31, 2016
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
We’re here on the ground in Baton Rouge supporting those who have been impacted by the historic flooding here in Louisiana. We have been here since before the flooding began and we are doing as much as we can to help them get back on their feet and on the road to recovery. Chris Smith, who runs our Individual Assistance program, is also here making sure we are doing everything we can for the survivors.We have been getting a lot of questions about how to register with FEMA, how Individual Assistance works, and so we want to make sure we get enough information out there.Starting with the...
Posted On: August 26, 2016
Author: MaryAnn Tierney
All eyes were on Philly for the Democratic National Convention. Very few eyes were on the work being done behind the scenes by local, state, and federal agencies to prepare for a possible emergency.  And that’s exactly how it should be.As speeches and performances happened on stages, representatives from FEMA Region III, the Secret Service, Philadelphia police and fire departments, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of Emergency Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Parks Service, and many more...
Posted On: August 26, 2016
Author: Andrew Velasquez III
In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, many people were concerned about the potential for violent demonstrations, protests or other types of emergencies overwhelming the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.   What you may not have known was that FEMA Region V staff, and personnel from across all levels of government, spent more than a year preparing to ensure the only rocking and rolling during convention week in Cleveland were old-time classic songs.With approximately 3,000 Department of Homeland Security employees on hand, along with thousands of additional...
Posted On: August 26, 2016