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Author: Andrew Slaten
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the Government of Mexico generously reached out to the United States to offer life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to survivors in Puerto Rico. Even as Mexico was recovering from several disasters of its own, Mexican authorities worked closely with FEMA’s International Affairs Division to determine what assistance was most urgent for Puerto Rico. The Government of Mexico committed $100,000 for the purchase of humanitarian aid, and also dispatched Mexican experts to support recovery efforts.September saw Mexico struck by two hurricanes, Katia...
Posted On: November 16, 2017
Author: Stephanie Boswell
For the past months, FEMA Corps members Christopher Coles and Casey Regnier, both 22, have been on a number of site visits with the FEMA officials who check on the progress of Baton Rouge area residents living in FEMA mobile homes while making repairs to their storm-damaged houses.Coles, of Rockford, Michigan, and Regnier, of Neenah, Wisconsin, are part of a national service initiative through the federal AmeriCorps program. FEMA Corps provides opportunities for young adults to volunteer with FEMA and gain valuable emergency management experience. More than 300 FEMA Corps members were...
Posted On: October 25, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
While not the only areas impacted by the wildfires, when many think of Napa and Sonoma in California, it conjures up images of lush vineyards with rolling hills and vibrant green landscapes. Those mental images are in stark contrast to images of devastation wrought by the fires—filled with bold orange flames and gray ash as far as the eye can see. Vineyards, some of the hallmarks of the area, are being reduced to singed grapes and empty fields with nothing for a 2017 vintage; a somber reminder of its own. Many areas are being scorched, reduced to nothing more than their frames and...
Posted On: October 20, 2017
Author: Brig. Gen. Diana Holland
I will never forget the sadness I felt when I first flew over Puerto Rico in the days following Hurricane Maria. It looked as though a fireball had made landfall and burned a path through the center of the island. It was heartbreaking. As the commander of the South Atlantic Division, with responsibility for the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and the landmass south of the US-Mexico border, I felt responsible and obligated to do whatever possible to make a difference here and restore normalcy.The Corps is performing many important missions in Puerto Rico in support of FEMA and the...
Posted On: October 14, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Editor's Note: On October 7, we updated the title of this blog to reflect the new status of the storm. October for many brings thoughts of postseason baseball and pumpkin spice lattes. For us, it doesn’t change a whole lot, just the page of the calendar and maybe our coffee preferences, as we continue to monitor the potential for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic.Hurricane season doesn’t actually end until November—after the revelry of Thanksgiving has finished and some places in northern parts of the country have already seen their first snowfalls.This...
Posted On: October 5, 2017
Author: Jacob Vawter
On August 29, during a phone call with President Trump, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered a detachment of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 Chinook helicopters to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Chinooks and their crew have participated in joint training with the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) since 1996. President Trump accepted Singapore’s offer and FEMA was tasked with integrating the assets into the overall response effort.FEMA coordinated closely with the Department of Defense’s Northern Command and the National Guard to ensure...
Posted On: October 3, 2017
Author: FEMA Public Affairs
(Español) On August 25, 2017, FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) was fully activated to a Level I with all emergency support functions operational, including Department of Defense (DoD) liaisons in preparation for Hurricane Harvey. The NRCC remains at a Level I activation. Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria, federal personnel were already positioned on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to Hurricane Irma.These personnel included federal coordinating officers and Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) on both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto...
Posted On: September 29, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, have devastated the Caribbean in quick succession, causing an unprecedented amount of damage.Because the storms traveled so closely together, the teams we had deployed and were already on the ground in response to Irma had to shelter in place during Maria, choosing their shelter-in-place locations wisely.Now that the storms have passed, the response and recovery can begin.Federal agencies have come together to provide a variety of resources for impacted communities.Nearly 7,000 federal employees are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to...
Posted On: September 23, 2017
Author: Roy Wright
Normally, I spend my days at work sitting (or standing) at a desk in a windowless office in Washington, D.C., answering email, taking conference calls, and talking to experts about flood insurance and risk reduction. These are topics I am passionate about, but let’s be honest, most people don’t spend their days thinking about floods and risk. It’s a little different—a little out of the ordinary.But flooding is important. And its consequences are devastating. When flood waters enter a home, they don’t flow like treated water from a swimming pool. Floodwaters...
Posted On: September 21, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Over the years there have been several news articles to come out about a little something called the “Waffle House Index.” This index is pretty ingenious—it relies on the open or closed status of the well-known diner chain in disaster-affected areas.The index itself isn’t just about whether or not you can get pralines on your waffles or if you can get waffles at all, but rather about the damage in a neighborhood.If a Waffle House can serve a full menu, they’ve likely got power (or are running on a generator). A limited menu means an area may not have running...
Posted On: September 20, 2017