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Don’t Get Scammed: Protect Yourself from Contractor Fraud

2 days 6 hours ago
Don’t Get Scammed: Protect Yourself from Contractor Fraud

DENTON, Texas – State and federal recovery officials urge disaster survivors in the 16 designated counties to register for disaster assistance as soon as possible. If you have insurance and are applying for assistance for damages your home sustained following the winter storms, you must also file a claim with your insurance company.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Oklahomans are also asked to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.

Disasters often bring communities together but con artists, identity thieves and other criminals may target survivors. The most common types of post-disaster fraud include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations, fake offers of municipal or federal aid and charging for free services.

Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, through the internet, or in person. It is important to remain alert, ask questions and always ask for identification when someone claims to represent FEMA or another government agency. Con artists are creative and resourceful. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it should be questioned.

Here are some tips to protect yourself:

  • Don’t wire money or pay with reloadable debit cards or gift cards. There is no legitimate reason to request those forms of payment.  
  • Don’t offer personal financial information over the phone. Know who you are dealing with and always ask for identification.
  • If your project involves roof repair, make sure that the contractor is registered with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board (www.ok.gov/cib/ or 405-521-6550).
  • Get the agreement in writing. Read the contract carefully, and if you don’t understand every word, take it to an expert. Never sign a contract with blank spaces to be filled in. 
  • Make sure the contract details all work to be performed, the costs, a projected completion date and how to negotiate changes and settle disputes.
  • Do your research. Scam artists will usually come to you to offer their services — either at your door, on the phone or through email — so be especially wary of solicitors.
  • Get estimates from multiple contractors and your insurance company. Reject any offer that seems too good to be true.
  • Ask for references from past customers.
  • Use the Better Business Bureau, www.bbb.org, and internet search engines. Fraudulent firms change names frequently, so search the web for their address and phone number, and include terms like “review,” “scam” and “complaint.”
  • FEMA does not certify contractors.
  • Verify insurance. Contractors should have disability and workers' compensation insurance. If they don’t, you may be liable for accidents on your property.
  • Make sure contractors have the proper licensing and are bonded.
  • Ensure the contractors obtain the necessary permits to do the job.
  • Demand satisfaction. Don’t sign completion papers or make final payment until the work is done correctly.
  • Take a picture of your contractor, their vehicle and license plate.
  • Take a picture of your contractor’s business card and driver’s license.
  • Report your concerns. Potential fraud should be reported to your local law enforcement agency. You can also contact the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General by calling 833-681-1895 or by downloading a consumer complaint form. You also can call the free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 available 24-hours a day.

As a reminder, Oklahoma homeowners and renters in the 16 counties designated for

individual assistance who sustained damage may now apply for disaster assistance with

FEMA. The counties are: Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Comanche, Cotton, Hughes, Jefferson, Le Flore, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Stephens, Tulsa, and Wagoner.

The easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. There is no wait to register online and it is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Carmen.Castro Sat, 02/27/2021 - 00:31
Carmen.Castro

FEMA Supporting Vaccination Centers Nationwide

2 days 9 hours ago
FEMA Supporting Vaccination Centers Nationwide

WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues taking action to support President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s battle against COVID-19.  Since Jan. 20, FEMA has obligated more than $3.97 billion towards the vaccination efforts, establishing or expanding more than 440 community vaccination centers nationwide and providing critical support in the form of personnel, supplies and funding.

These community vaccination centers will help meet the President’s goal of administering 100 million shots in 100 days and getting vaccines to everyone who wants one more rapidly and equitably.

Federal support to community vaccination centers nationwide includes:

  • 171 centers supported by federal personnel: More than 2,200 federal personnel are deployed nationwide to support vaccination operations, including expert logisticians, vaccinators and non-medical operational staff serving as greeters, clerks and in other critical support roles. Of those personnel, FEMA has deployed over 1,800 staff members while still supporting recent disaster declarations in Texas and Oklahoma.
  • 177 centers receiving federal funding: At the President’s direction, FEMA is reimbursing 100% of costs for vaccination operations. This funding covers critical supplies, staffing, training and transportation needs that support increased vaccination distribution and administration. The funding flows to states, localities, tribes, territories and eligible non-profits.  
  • 62 centers receiving federal equipment: From folding chairs to sharps containers, the federal government has provided a range of equipment to meet state, tribal, territory and local needs and help establish or expand centers.
  • 312 centers supported by federally-funded National Guard members under Title 32 orders: This means more people to deliver vaccinations, handle logistics and coordinate the pandemic response. In total, the Administration is supporting 1,200 National Guard vaccinators across 43 states and territories.
Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Centers

The federal government announced 18 community vaccination centers established through coordination between the federal government and state partners with the ability to administer a total of 61,000 shots per day at full capacity.

FEMA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local partners, to situate vaccination centers in places that promote equity using CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index and similar measures. Equity is embedded into the design of federal pilot community vaccination centers, with features including weekend and extended daytime hours, reserved slots for registration through faith-based and community-based organizations and some centers have mobile vaccination units to help vaccinate surrounding communities.

Two centers opened in California on Feb. 16, administering over 90,000 shots since opening. To bring vaccinations directly to nearby underserved communities, these centers are the base for four mobile clinics as well. Additional centers in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and North Carolina are launching in the coming weeks, with more to be announced. Launched Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Centers:

  • California
    • Oakland Coliseum -- Oakland: FEMA partnered with the state of California to open the center on Feb. 16, with the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a day. At the time of launch, 231 federal personnel were deployed to support center vaccinations and operations, including 125 from FEMA.
    • California State University Los Angeles -- Los Angeles: FEMA partnered with the state of California to open the center on Feb. 16, with the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a day. At the time of launch, 256 personnel were deployed to support center vaccinations and operations, including 30 from FEMA. This institution is one of the most diverse public universities in the country, serving a large Latinx community.
  • Texas
    • NRG Stadium -- Houston: FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management opened this center on Feb. 24, with the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a day. Harris County is highly diverse, home to the nation’s second-largest Hispanic and Latinx population of any U.S. county.
    • Fair Park -- Dallas: FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management opened the center on Feb. 24, with the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day. Dallas County is highly diverse, with nearly two-thirds of its population Hispanic and/or Black.
    • Globe Life Field -- Arlington: FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will open the center on Feb. 26, with the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day. Dallas County is highly diverse, with nearly two-thirds of its population Hispanic and/or Black.
  • New York
    • Medgar Evers College -- Brooklyn: FEMA and New York State opened the center on Feb. 23, with the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day. The center is located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
    • York College – Queens: New York State and FEMA opened the center on Feb. 23, with the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day. The center is located in Jamaica, Queens.

Announced Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Centers, opening soon:

  • Florida
    • Miami-Dade Community College -- Miami: With state partners, FEMA will open a center in Miami-Dade County on Mar. 3. The center location will be the North Campus of Miami-Dade Community College and is expected to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day.
    • Tampa Greyhound Track -- Tampa: With state partners, FEMA will open a center in Hillsborough County Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day.
    • Valencia College -- West Campus, Orlando: With state partners, FEMA will open a center in Orange County Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day.
    • Gateway Mall -- Jacksonville: With state partners, FEMA will open a center in Duval County Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day.
  • New York
    • New York National Guard Armory -- Yonkers: FEMA and the State of New York will open the center on Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 1,000 individuals a day and will operate with extended hours to better reach local residents.
    • Former Kodak Hawkeye Lot -- Rochester: FEMA and the State of New York will open the center on Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 1,000 individuals a day and will operate with extended hours to better reach local residents.
    • Delavan Grider Community Center -- Buffalo: FEMA and the State of New York will open the center on Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 1,000 individuals a day and will operate with extended hours to better reach local residents.
    • Washington Avenue Armory -- Albany: FEMA and the State of New York will open the center on Mar. 3. The center is expected to vaccinate 1,000 individuals a day and will operate with extended hours to better reach local residents.
  • Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania Convention Center -- Philadelphia: With state partners, FEMA will open this center on Mar. 4, which is expected to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a day.
  • Illinois
    • United Center -- Chicago: With state partners, FEMA will open this center on Mar. 10. The center is expected to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a day.
  • North Carolina
    • Four Seasons Center -- Greensboro: With state partners, FEMA will open this center on Mar. 10. The center is expected to vaccinate 3,000 individuals a day.
mayshaunt.gary Fri, 02/26/2021 - 20:54
mayshaunt.gary

Texas Winter Storm Survivors in 18 Additional Counties Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

2 days 10 hours ago
Texas Winter Storm Survivors in 18 Additional Counties Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

DENTON, Texas – Texas homeowners and renters in 18 additional counties who suffered damage from the winter storm that recently struck Texas may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.

If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

The 18 additional counties are: Atascosa, Bandera, Brooks, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Goliad, Howard, Jim Hogg, Karnes, Kleberg, Leon, Llano, Newton, Robertson, Trinity, Webb and Willacy.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name

If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

The additional counties join the 108 counties previously approved for disaster assistance.

The counties are: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Bosque, Bowie, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Limestone, Lubbock, Medina, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise and Wood

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

christopher.teed Fri, 02/26/2021 - 20:46
christopher.teed

FEMA Updates Flood Maps in Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties

2 days 11 hours ago
FEMA Updates Flood Maps in Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating portions of Imperial, Riverside and San Diego County flood maps in 2021. The new maps identify the current flood hazards in the Oasis drainage area located west and northwest of the Salton Sea that help building officials, contractors and homeowners make effective mitigation decisions, thereby contributing to safer and more resilient communities.

Before the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) become effective, there is a 90-day appeal period from Feb. 25, 2021 to May 26, 2021. During that time, residents with technical and scientific information, such as detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, can appeal the flood risk information on the preliminary maps. View the preliminary FIRMs at fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata.

Flood hazards are dynamic and change frequently for many reasons, including weather patterns, erosion and community development. Officials from FEMA, Imperial, Riverside (via the Coachella Valley Water District), and San Diego counties worked together to collect new data and provide updated information about alluvial fans in the Oasis drainage area to better reflect the flood risk. These changes may also affect future building standards or insurance requirements.

The local mapping project is part of a national effort led by FEMA to increase local knowledge of flood risks and support actions to address and reduce the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. FEMA encourages residents to review the preliminary flood maps to learn about local flood risks, potential future flood insurance requirements and identify any concerns or questions about the information provided.

Risk of flooding affects almost every corner of the nation. In total, 98% of counties have experienced a flood event, which makes floods the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters.

For more information, contact Imperial County at (442) 265-1736 or jim.minnick@co.imperial.ca.us, Riverside County via the Coachella Valley Water District at (760) 398-2651 or SStrosnider@cvwd.org, or San Diego County at (858) 495-5417 or Mehdi.Khalili@sdcounty.ca.gov.

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow FEMA Region 9 online at twitter.com/femaregion9.

robert.barker Fri, 02/26/2021 - 19:05
robert.barker

Oklahomans Affected by Winter Weather Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

2 days 17 hours ago
Oklahomans Affected by Winter Weather Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

DENTON, Texas – Oklahoma homeowners and renters in the 16 counties designated for individual assistance who sustained damage may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.

If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

The counties are: Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Comanche, Cotton, Hughes, Jefferson, Le Flore, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Stephens, Tulsa, and Wagoner.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name

If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

thomas.wise Fri, 02/26/2021 - 13:33
thomas.wise

FEMA Expands its Reinsurance Program by Transferring $575 Million in Flood Risk to Capital Markets

3 days 10 hours ago
FEMA Expands its Reinsurance Program by Transferring $575 Million in Flood Risk to Capital Markets

WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues to engage reinsurance markets to help strengthen the financial framework of the National Flood Insurance Program and promote private sector participation in flood-risk management. 

On Feb. 23, 2021 FEMA entered into the agency’s fourth, three-year reinsurance agreement with Hannover Re (Ireland) Designated Activity Company. In turn, Hannover transferred $575 million of the program’s financial flood risk to qualified investors of capital markets by sponsoring catastrophe bonds. 

As part of the agreement, FEMA will pay $79.44 million in premiums for the first year of reinsurance coverage. Additionally, the agreement will cover 12.5% of losses for any single flood event with losses between $6 billion and $7 billion, and 22.5% if that same flood event has losses that rise to $7 billion to $9 billion.  

"FEMA continues to view reinsurance as an integral tool in helping strengthen the fiscal structure of the NFIP,” said FEMA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation David Maurstad, the senior executive in charge of the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Accessing reinsurance from the capital and traditional markets spreads risk and thereby provides a more stable means to supplement the claims-paying capacity of the NFIP in the event of a devastating flood.  Utilizing all facets of the risk-transfer market also ensures that FEMA is positioned to manage cost as efficiently as possible across different phases of the financial and insurance markets so that we continue to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”             

This placement builds on the existing transfer of the program’s flood risk to capital markets investors since 2018. Each placement is a three-year term: 

  • $500 million in August 2018 
  • $300 million in April 2019 
  • $400 million in February 2020 

Combined with the previous three capital market placements and January 2021 traditional reinsurance placement, FEMA has transferred $2.928 billion of the program’s flood risk to the private sector ahead of the 2021 hurricane season, with $500 million in coverage expiring in August 2021.

Visit FEMA.gov for congressional authorities and more information about the reinsurance programs for the National Flood Insurance Program.

zella.campbell Thu, 02/25/2021 - 20:11
zella.campbell

FEMA Region 3 Awards More Than $1.2B to Reimburse States for COVID-19 Costs

3 days 11 hours ago
FEMA Region 3 Awards More Than $1.2B to Reimburse States for COVID-19 Costs

PHILADELPHIA – The COVID-19 virus has taken the entire nation into unprecedented territory. For the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 3, the event has proven the largest response and recovery effort in the region’s history.

So far, FEMA Region 3 has obligated $1.29 billion to reimburse pandemic-related costs in its five states, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. That’s more than twice the combined totals for Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, Tropical Storm Lee and the 2016 winter storms in Region 3.

“Passing the $1 billion milestone is a major step for FEMA Region 3 and our state and district partners,” said Acting Regional Administrator Janice Barlow. “This is the first billion-dollar event in Region 3’s history, and that underscores the urgency, scope and complexity of this mission to save lives.”

The figure reflects some of the funds spent so far by Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement is a snapshot in time and does not reflect where funding levels may be next week, or next month, as our partners submit more projects related to the COVID-19 mission.  

Work and projects covered by the funds include measures to keep people safe and well: non-congregate sheltering, feeding and food distribution operations, alternate care sites, testing (including community-based testing sites), medical care, personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, and most recently, vaccination operations.

To date, FEMA Region 3 has released the following funding by state:

District of Columbia:  $149,893,486           

Delaware:                   $29,017,593

Maryland:                   $649,676,722

Pennsylvania:            $185,637,061

Virginia:                      $270,246,249

West Virginia:             $10,101,615

The funds come through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. Procedures vary from state to state in this ongoing collaborative effort; Region 3 works closely with every applicant to make sure all eligible expenses are covered so frontline workers can continue their life-saving efforts with federal support.    

“We are making sure our partners receive all the federal funds they are eligible for,” Barlow said. “We are proud to serve alongside them as we all continue to protect their residents and frontline workers in this unprecedented pandemic.”

###

For media inquiries about FEMA or FEMA Region 3 support of its partners, please contact the FEMA Region 3 Office of External Affairs at femar3newsdesk@fema.dhs.gov.  

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.FEMA Region3sjurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Follow us on Twitter attwitter.com/femaregion3 and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/femaregion3

gabriel.lugo Thu, 02/25/2021 - 19:46
gabriel.lugo

FEMA to Evaluate Readiness of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

3 days 14 hours ago
FEMA to Evaluate Readiness of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will evaluate a Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. The exercise will occur during the week of March 1, 2021 to assess the ability of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to respond to an emergency at the nuclear facility.

“These drills are held every other year to evaluate government’s ability to protect public health and safety,” said Janice Barlow, Acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 3. “We assess state and local government emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Within 90 days, FEMA will send its evaluation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for use in licensing decisions.  The final report will be available to the public approximately 120 days after the exercise.

FEMA will present preliminary findings of the exercise during a public meeting at 10:00 a.m. on March 5, 2021.  Due to the Public Health Emergency the meeting will be conducted in a virtual format via Zoom.   Planned speakers include representatives from FEMA.

 Access to the public meeting is provided below:

Launch Meeting - Zoom (zoomgov.com)

Passcode – 858248

Meeting ID - 161 693 9695

 

At the public meeting, FEMA may request that questions or comments be submitted in writing for review and response. Written comments may also be submitted after the meeting by emailing FEMAR3NewsDesk@fema.dhs.gov or by mail to:

 

Janice P. Barlow

Acting Regional Administrator

FEMA Region III

615 Chestnut Street, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19106

FEMA created the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program to (1) ensure the health and safety of citizens living around commercial nuclear power plants would be adequately protected in the event of a nuclear power plant accident and (2) inform and educate the public about radiological emergency preparedness.

REP Program responsibilities cover only “offsite” activities, that is, state and local government emergency planning and preparedness activities that take place beyond the nuclear power plant boundaries. Onsite activities continue to be the responsibility of the NRC.

Additional information on FEMA’s REP Program is available online at FEMA.gov/Radiological-Emergency-Preparedness-Program.

###

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3 and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/femaregion3

gabriel.lugo Thu, 02/25/2021 - 15:58
gabriel.lugo

FEMA Awards Over $64 Million to Rhode Island for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

3 days 16 hours ago
FEMA Awards Over $64 Million to Rhode Island for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

REGION 1 – The State of Rhode Island received a grant totaling more than $64 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for costs associated with COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. Since January of 2020, COVID-19 has created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public requiring emergency response and protective measures.

The grant of $64,889,924 is given to the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency as the agency sets up and outfits various types of vaccine distribution sites, both state and individual municipality-run, throughout the state.  FEMA provides the funding directly to the State of Rhode Island for the period of January 21, 2021 to April 21, 2021.

Funds are awarded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program which reimburses communities for actions taken in the immediate response and recovery activities during a disaster. 

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, personal protection equipment (PPE); supplies and equipment required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting and administering COVID-19 vaccines, such as coolers, freezers, temperature monitoring devices, and portable vaccine storage units for transportation.  This grant will also cover emergency medical supplies for emergency medical care needs that may arise in the administration of the vaccine, and equipment needed for medical waste. Transportation support includes refrigerated trucks and transport security; facility support costs such as leasing space for storage and/or administration of vaccines; utilities; maintenance and security; additional staff if necessary, including medical and support staff not paid for by another funding source; and opening a  call center for scheduling vaccine activity.

“We are pleased to provide funding to the State of Rhode Island to support their Vaccination program and meet the financial demands they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.” said Acting Regional Administrator and Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ford, who oversees FEMA’s operations in New England.  “We continue to work closely with the state in the efficient and safe distribution of the vaccine as part of our shared efforts to respond to this pandemic.”

Additional information about FEMA’s Public Assistance program is found at:

https://www.fema.gov/pubic-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit

                                                                                     ###

FEMA ’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters

 

adrien.urbani Thu, 02/25/2021 - 14:20
adrien.urbani

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oklahoma

3 days 16 hours ago
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oklahoma

WASHINGTON — FEMA announced federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of Oklahoma to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe winter storms from Feb. 8-20, 2021.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Comanche, Cotton, Hughes, Jefferson, Le Flore, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Stephens, Tulsa and Wagoner counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, statewide.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Adam D. Burpee has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations for the affected area. Additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

zella.campbell Thu, 02/25/2021 - 14:11
zella.campbell

FEMA Provides $179 Million to Virginia for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

3 days 17 hours ago
FEMA Provides $179 Million to Virginia for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

PHILADELPHIA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 3 has obligated more than $179 million to Virginia through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to aid vaccine distribution to combat COVID-19. This will assist the      Commonwealth of Virginia in their comprehensive planning effort to identify multiple locations across the Commonwealth capable of functioning as large community vaccination centers (CVC). The Commonwealth has been conducting site surveys and health equity studies to determine the best location for      the setup and operation of these CVCs, if needed.    

Items that are funded include:

  • Costs associated with Vaccine Administration.
  • Facility lease costs.
  • Communication materials that keep the public informed.
  • Training personnel on vaccine distribution and administration.

“FEMA continues to support the Commonwealth of Virginia in administering the vaccine to the public,” said Janice Barlow, acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 3. “Our onsite team is working closely with VDEM to determine needs and provide Virginia with the tools required to combat this virus.”

VDEM has identified potential sites across the Commonwealth with sufficient space for the administration of vaccines and ample parking to allow for safe traffic control. No new construction or ground disturbance will be performed to establish these CVCs. These sites will allow the Commonwealth to administer mass vaccination clinics initially to priority residents and then the general public.    

As of Feb. 22, 2021, FEMA has obligated $3.81 billion to our partners across the country at 100% federal cost share. This funding is for critical supplies and staffing that can help protect and save lives.

To register for a COVID-19 vaccination in Virginia go to http://www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN VA (1-877-829-4682), 8am – 8pm. Language translation available, TTY users dial 7-1-1.

###

For any media questions about this news release, please contact femar3newsdesk@fema.dhs.gov.  

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3 and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/femaregion3

gabriel.lugo Thu, 02/25/2021 - 13:34
gabriel.lugo

Help Texans Affected by Winter Storms: Donate Blood, Donate Money

4 days 13 hours ago
Help Texans Affected by Winter Storms: Donate Blood, Donate Money

DENTON, Texas – Last week’s winter storms wreaked havoc on communities across Texas. To make the most of your contributions, consider these tips for donating and volunteering responsibly.

Cash is the most efficient method of donating. Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through businesses local to the disaster, which supports economic recovery.

Cash donations rather than unsolicited donated goods avoid the complicated, costly and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, and distributing the goods.

Volunteer with a recognized organization. There are many voluntary organizations with considerable experience in disaster relief in areas such as needs assessment, clean-up, mass feeding, mass sheltering, first aid, crisis counseling, home repair and many other areas.

To find a list of trusted organizations that can put your generous contributions of money, donations and time to the best possible use, visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

The severe cold, snow and ice canceled blood drives across the nation. Officials are encouraging eligible individuals to give blood to help restock the shelves — especially those with type O blood. To find out more about donating blood, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/.

Full recovery takes time and requires support long after the storms have passed. A blood donation or cash contribution will make a difference in someone’s life and support those Texans in need.

thomas.wise Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:32
thomas.wise

FEMA Obligations Promote Recovery of Natural Reserves

4 days 18 hours ago
FEMA Obligations Promote Recovery of Natural Reserves

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — After Hurricanes Irma and María, trees, endemic birds and other forms of wildlife lost their habitats, or their populations dwindled in various protected areas in Puerto Rico. To help the recovery of the different structures in these ecologically valuable areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted over $2.2 million to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA, for its Spanish acronym) and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, known as Para la Naturaleza.

These federal funds will be used to repair various structures in nine areas catalogued as nature reserves, refuges, protected areas or recreational sites in seven municipalities. They are home to local fauna and flora, some of which are endemic or protected, bodies of water and even particular geological features.

“The island's recovery encompasses aspects of infrastructure reconstruction and includes works to help renew our natural resources. These are part of the heritage for future generations to enjoy,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero Tirado.

One of the places that has been awarded funds is the Efraín Archilla Diez Nature Reserve in Humacao, for about $285,000. Here the most affected areas were the floating docks, pavilions, aquatic and terrestrial trails, and the loss of wildlife, flora and fauna, among others. The reserve, which before María received 12,000 visitors a year, is home to endemic species such as the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, the brown pelican, the Puerto Rican boa and the “palancú” crab. It also has six lagoons that help control the flow of water during heavy rainfall events, making it an important water retention center, according to data provided by Dr. Carlos Toledo Hernández, a FEMA environmental specialist with a doctorate in biology.

On the other hand, according to the reserve's management officer, Luis Encarnación Santiago, this space is a main point for local and international tourism and directly benefits various businesses in the town of Punta Santiago. “The floating docks, located in Laguna Santa Teresa and Lagunas Palma, are used for recreational fishing, aquatic bird watching, recreation and education,” said Encarnación. “They are also used for bird watching and to educate visiting school groups.”

For the DRNA, the federal funds represent support for its plans. In this regard, DRNA Secretary Rafael Machargo Maldonado said that since he took office in March 2020, this has been his priority. “We hope to soon reestablish each of the reserves, natural areas and forests under the jurisdiction of the DRNA, for the enjoyment of all our visitors and thus help promote the economic development of the regions where they are located, through green tourism,” he added.

Likewise, Cayo Ratones will benefit from an obligation of just over $650,000, as well as the Iris Alameda Wildlife Refuge with about $544,000, both located in Cabo Rojo and administered by the DRNA. Cayo Ratones, a small one-acre island a quarter mile offshore used for recreational purposes, will use the funds for repairs to the boat dock, covered pavilions and barbecue facilities. The Iris Alameda Refuge, which includes the Boquerón State Forest and has space for amateur and recreational fishing, will repair its docks, solar-powered fishing stations and bird-watching station.

Another area that has an allocation of just over $700,000 is the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, one of the island's main tourist attractions. Under the administration of Para la Naturaleza, this reserve is home to the Fajardo Lighthouse, the second oldest of Puerto Rico's lighthouse system and one of the three bodies of water on the island-and one of the few in the world-where bioluminescent microorganisms live. Also in Laguna Grande grows turtle grass that serves as a fish hatchery, an important resource for the local economy. The funds will be used to rebuild the lighthouse, visitor's pavilion and observation platform, among others.

Similarly, $17,000 was allocated to the Medio Mundo y Daguao Nature Reserve. This protected area between Ceiba and Naguabo contains the second largest mangrove forest on the island and is home to 26 species catalogued as rare, vulnerable or endangered, including the Puerto Rican yellow-shouldered blackbird and several species of turtles. The funds will be used to replace the facility’s contents and roof components.

Thanking FEMA for the allocation of funds, the executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience of Puerto Rico, or COR3, engineer Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, emphasized the importance of moving forward with the development of these and other projects that protect the environment. “Our commitment is to continue joining efforts with the DNRA to guarantee the execution of projects for the recovery of nature reserves, refuges and protected areas, among others,” said Laboy.

[Video] To learn more about the recovery of the Efraín Archilla Diez Nature Reserve in Humacao, click here.

For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and recuperacion.pr. Follow us on our social networks at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico (Feb. 16, 2021)–One of the places that has been awarded funds is the Efraín Archilla Diez Nature Reserve in Humacao, for about $285,000. The reserve is home to endemic species such as the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, the brown pelican, the Puerto Rican boa and the “palancú” crab. Photo FEMA/Eduardo Martínez

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico (Feb. 16, 2021)–The Efraín Archilla Diez Nature Reserve in Humacao has six lagoons that help control the flow of water during heavy rainfall events, making it an important water retention center. Photo/Eduardo Martínez

frances.acevedo-pico Wed, 02/24/2021 - 12:08
frances.acevedo-pico

FEMA Responds to Severe Winter Weather

5 days 6 hours ago
FEMA Responds to Severe Winter Weather

WASHINGTON -- Texas homeowners and renters in 31 additional counties can now apply for federal disaster assistance with FEMA. The additional counties were approved last night, paving the way for more individuals and families impacted by the winter storms to receive much needed grants that can be used for temporary housing and home repairs. Since the Texas major disaster declaration on Feb. 19, more than $2.8 million in grants has now been awarded to survivors in Texas.

If you received damages from the Texas storms and have insurance - file a claim. When you apply for FEMA disaster assistance, you will also need to provide your claim information. The Texas Department of Insurance can provide contact information for insurance companies and answer questions about how to file a claim. Call 800-252-3439 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. Survivors can also view insurance company contact information online.

The quickest way to apply for disaster assistance is online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Additional food assistance is also available in Texas through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Recipients may apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed by dialing 2-1-1.

After a disaster, people want to know how to help. Cash donations to the non-profit of your choice is the best way to assist with recovery efforts. To find a list of trusted organizations that can put your generous contributions to the best possible use, visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Texas Disaster Declaration

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s major disaster declaration now provides assistance for disaster survivors in 108 counties. This assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of this storm. Local resources and volunteers may be able to assist with needs not covered by insurance. Visit Texas 211 for a list of resources searchable by zip code or call 2-1-1. Survivors who have underinsured or unsured losses in the counties approved for assistance may apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Federal Assistance to Texas

FEMA has provided personnel, equipment and resources to the state to alleviate impacts from these storms. As of Feb. 22:  

  • FEMA provided 60 generators, 70,000 gallons of winterized diesel and 70,000 gallons of gasoline to support critical infrastructure over a seven-day period starting Feb. 20
  • FEMA has provided over 5.1 million liters of water, more than 126,900 blankets and more than 1.5 million meals.
  • Incident Management Assistance Teams are in Austin and Houston supporting response and recovery efforts.
  • FEMA has provided 50 ambulances through the National EMS contract.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed due to the severe winter weather by dialing 2-1-1. Recipients need to apply for replacement food benefits for regular SNAP allotments and SNAP emergency allotments that were provided in response to COVID-19. To assist people in the impacted area in coping with the stress of the winter storms, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated the Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support line provides immediate crisis counseling and support. Residents in affected areas may call or text 800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

 

Avoid Scams

The best information on legitimate sources of help in your area will come from local officials. Do not disclose information to any unsolicited telephone calls and e-mails. Do not trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information. The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff never charge for disaster assistance. Beware of visits, calls or emails from people claiming to be from FEMA asking for your social security number, bank account or other sensitive information. Giving out this type of information can lead to identify theft. The Texas Department of Insurance is warning people to be aware of potential contracting scams as they begin making repairs. They are operating a help line to prevent contractor scams: 800-252-3439.

Donate Blood

The severe cold, snow and ice canceled blood drives across the nation. As weather improves, it’s vital that eligible individuals give blood to ensure patients have continued access to the treatments they need. Appointments can be made by contacting:

 

###

mayshaunt.gary Wed, 02/24/2021 - 00:25
mayshaunt.gary

FEMA Responds to Severe Winter Weather

5 days 6 hours ago
FEMA Responds to Severe Winter Weather

WASHINGTON -- Texas homeowners and renters in 31 additional counties can now apply for federal disaster assistance with FEMA. The additional counties were approved last night, paving the way for more individuals and families impacted by the winter storms to receive much needed grants that can be used for temporary housing and home repairs. Since the Texas major disaster declaration on Feb. 19, more than $2.8 million in grants has now been awarded to survivors in Texas.

If you received damages from the Texas storms and have insurance - file a claim. When you apply for FEMA disaster assistance, you will also need to provide your claim information. The Texas Department of Insurance can provide contact information for insurance companies and answer questions about how to file a claim. Call 800-252-3439 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. Survivors can also view insurance company contact information online.

The quickest way to apply for disaster assistance is online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Additional food assistance is also available in Texas through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Recipients may apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed by dialing 2-1-1.

After a disaster, people want to know how to help. Cash donations to the non-profit of your choice is the best way to assist with recovery efforts. To find a list of trusted organizations that can put your generous contributions to the best possible use, visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Texas Disaster Declaration

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s major disaster declaration now provides assistance for disaster survivors in 108 counties. This assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of this storm.

Local resources and volunteers may be able to assist with needs not covered by insurance. Visit Texas 211 for a list of resources searchable by zip code or call 2-1-1.

Survivors who have underinsured or unsured losses in the counties approved for assistance may apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Federal Assistance to Texas

FEMA has provided personnel, equipment and resources to the state to alleviate impacts from these storms. As of Feb. 22:  

  • FEMA provided 60 generators, 70,000 gallons of winterized diesel and 70,000 gallons of gasoline to support critical infrastructure over a seven-day period starting Feb. 20
  • FEMA has provided over 5.1 million liters of water, more than 126,900 blankets and more than 1.5 million meals.
  • Incident Management Assistance Teams are in Austin and Houston supporting response and recovery efforts.
  • FEMA has provided 50 ambulances through the National EMS contract.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed due to the severe winter weather by dialing 2-1-1. Recipients need to apply for replacement food benefits for regular SNAP allotments and SNAP emergency allotments that were provided in response to COVID-19.

To assist people in the impacted area in coping with the stress of the winter storms, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated the Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support line provides immediate crisis counseling and support. Residents in affected areas may call or text 800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Avoid Scams

The best information on legitimate sources of help in your area will come from local officials. Do not disclose information to any unsolicited telephone calls and e-mails. Do not trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information. The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff never charge for disaster assistance.

Beware of visits, calls or emails from people claiming to be from FEMA asking for your social security number, bank account or other sensitive information. Giving out this type of information can lead to identify theft.

The Texas Department of Insurance is warning people to be aware of potential contracting scams as they begin making repairs. They are operating a help line to prevent contractor scams: 800-252-3439.

Donate Blood

The severe cold, snow and ice canceled blood drives across the nation. As weather improves, it’s vital that eligible individuals give blood to ensure patients have continued access to the treatments they need. Appointments can be made by contacting:

mayshaunt.gary Wed, 02/24/2021 - 00:09
mayshaunt.gary

Determination Letters Can Help You Find Disaster Assistance Answers

5 days 8 hours ago
Determination Letters Can Help You Find Disaster Assistance Answers

DENTON, Texas – If you received a letter from FEMA that says you’re ineligible for help or that there is “no decision,” read the letter carefully. FEMA may need additional information from you to continue processing your application. If you have insurance and are applying for federal assistance, you must file a claim with your insurance provider. If applicable, you will need to provide a copy of your insurance settlement approval or denial letter.

A few common reasons for being determined ineligible or receiving “no decision” include:

  • You are insured. You must provide a copy of your insurance settlement approval or denial letter to FEMA. If your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-related needs, you may be eligible for federal assistance. Contact FEMA to provide any additional information or documentation.
  • You reported no home damage or minimal damage when you registered with FEMA. If you reported your home had no disaster-related damage but later discover it’s not habitable, contact FEMA to let them know. Documentation from a local official or contractor supporting your appeal may help you prove that your home is not habitable.
  • Proof of occupancy. When FEMA is unable to verify the occupancy of your primary residence, you may need to provide documentation, such as utility bills, a bank or credit card statement, phone bill, pay stubs, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card or voter registration card showing the damaged dwelling’s address.
  • No initial rental assistance. You indicated to the inspector that you were not willing to move while your damaged home was being repaired. This made you ineligible for FEMA temporary rental assistance. If you later found further damage to your home or your housing needs have changed, contact FEMA as soon as possible to update your housing status and explain why you have a need to relocate.
  • No communication with FEMA. If you missed an inspection and did not follow up with FEMA, your assistance could be affected. Make sure that FEMA has your contact information. If you are unable to meet with an inspector as planned, let FEMA know.
  • Your home is safe to occupy. FEMA housing assistance typically only covers costs to make your home habitable. Damage to non-essential space, landscaping or spoiled food is not covered by FEMA grants.

If you have questions or need to speak about your eligibility status, call 800-621-3362, open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., CDT. Multilingual operators are available.

Applicants can appeal a FEMA determination, to do so, you need to submit supporting information along with a letter describing in detail the reason (or reasons) you are appealing.

You should include your full name, FEMA application number and disaster number, pre-disaster primary residence address and current phone number and address on all submitted documents. You can find the application and disaster number printed on page 1 of your determination letter.

You can submit your appeal and any associated documentation by:

  1. Uploading your documentation online at disasterassistance.gov.
  2. Mailing your documents and letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to the address below. Your letter with accompanying documents must be postmarked within 60 days of the date on your letter from FEMA regarding your eligibility.

FEMA National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

  1. Faxing your information to 800-827-8112.

Survivors should register online at disasterassistance.gov. If you cannot register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

thomas.wise Tue, 02/23/2021 - 22:09
thomas.wise

Federal Assistance for California Wildfires Tops $103M

5 days 9 hours ago
Federal Assistance for California Wildfires Tops $103M

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Since historic wildfires swept across the State of California in 2020, more than $103 million in federal disaster assistance has been disbursed to help homeowners, renters and businesses recover, with more than 95 percent of those who lost their homes placed in temporary housing.

Here is a snapshot of the Individual Assistance disaster-recovery effort as of Feb. 16, 2021:

  • More than 41,600 Californians have contacted FEMA for information or registered for assistance with FEMA and more than $26.8 million in aid has been approved for them.
  • Housing Assistance approved: more than $20.9 million
  • Other Needs Assistance approved: more than $5.9 million
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $76.2 million in low-interest disaster loans to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. To date, 657 loans have been approved: 592 home loans and 65 business loans.
  • FEMA operated 27 Mobile Recovery Intake Centers in the affected areas. During their operation, more than 4,665 survivors visited the centers to register for disaster assistance and receive information and advice for their recovery.

Residents in Butte and Siskiyou counties eligible for FEMA’s Direct Housing Program who opted for temporary housing, such as travel trailers and manufactured housing units, have been placed in existing mobile home parks. More than 75 percent of disaster survivors who chose the direct lease option have been matched with a place to live and are moving into apartments.

A Housing Task Force, created to implement FEMA’s Direct Housing Program, focused on locating temporary housing solutions for eligible survivors in Butte and Siskiyou counties. The task force worked with vendors to secure apartment units and matched survivors to units and locations that meet their family’s needs. 

Survivors in Siskiyou County have been placed in travel trailers in commercial parks. In Butte County, survivors have been placed in temporary housing in commercial parks and apartments. This was the most efficient and quickest way to get survivors into temporary housing solutions, keeping them as close to home as possible. 

Wildfire survivors receiving rental assistance for temporary housing through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program must let FEMA know if they have a continuing need. Extensions on rental assistance may be granted for three-month periods, up to a maximum of 18 months from the date of the presidential declarations: Aug. 22, 2020, for Disaster 4558 and Oct. 16, 2020, for Disaster 4569.

Rental assistance is for paying rent, including a security deposit, at a place other than your damaged home. To continue to receive it, you must prove an ongoing need, which may be that suitable housing is not available, or that your permanent housing plan has not been completed through no fault of your own.

Two federal disasters were declared for California wildfires in 2020. The first was DR-4558-CA for August/September wildfires in the counties of Butte, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tulare and Yolo. The second was DR-4569-CA for later fires in the counties of Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma.

There is still time for small businesses to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For Disaster 4558 (the 1st Disaster) the deadline to apply for an EIDL in these counties is May 24, 2021.  For Disaster 4569 (the 2nd Disaster) the deadline to apply for an EIDL in these counties is July 16, 2021.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

Survivors who registered for assistance with FEMA should continue to track their cases and notify the agency of changes to their mailing or email addresses or phone numbers, and to report insurance settlements or additional damage discovered since their home inspection.

Here’s how to reach FEMA:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Download the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet.
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. PST, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide FEMA with the specific number assigned to that service when they register. Multilingual operators are available.

FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) grant program provides federal assistance to state and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations following a presidential disaster declaration. As of Feb. 5, there have been 160 eligible Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs).

  • Through the program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain private nonprofit organizations.
  • The PA program benefits everyone – neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, states and their residents. PA funds are used for projects to renovate classrooms, refurbish hospitals, restore parks and repair public transportation systems so students can go to safe schools, doctors and nurses can provide medical care, and families can enjoy the outdoors in public parks.
  • The federal share of Public Assistance is at least 75 percent of the eligible cost. 

For the latest information on wildfire recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4558 or fema.gov/disaster/4569 and follow the FEMA Region 9 Twitter account at twitter.com/femaregion9.

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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at SBA.gov/disaster.

robert.barker Tue, 02/23/2021 - 21:12
robert.barker

Maryland to Open COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Waldorf with FEMA Support

5 days 10 hours ago
Maryland to Open COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Waldorf with FEMA Support

PHILADELPHIA – Marylanders in and around Charles County will soon have a community vaccination center in Waldorf where they can receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

With support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Maryland will open a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Regency Furniture Stadium, a minor-league baseball stadium. Located at 11765 St. Linus Dr., Waldorf, Md., 20602, the center is expected to open for operation in early March. As more vaccine doses become available over time, state officials expect to increase the center’s capacity from a few hundred shots per day to a few thousand daily doses by the end of the month.  

Charles County lies south of Prince George’s County and is home to more than 163,000 people. Nearly 60 percent identify as African American, Latino, Asian or Native American, according to census data. As of Feb. 16, less than eight percent of county residents had received the first dose of the vaccine, and 2.3 percent had received the second of the two-shot dose.

“Ensuring that all Marylanders have access to COVID-19 vaccines is our priority,” said Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Russ Strickland. “We are committed to helping vulnerable and historically underserved populations, and this site will make sure our residents in Charles County and the surrounding area have access to vaccinations.”

“Maryland has worked hard to make sure that all of its residents, regardless of race, age and economic status, will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they choose,” said FEMA Region 3 Acting Regional Administrator Janice Barlow. “The selection of this site ties in with FEMA’s core values of compassion, fairness, integrity and respect. We are proud to support our state partners as they work to serve vulnerable residents throughout the state.”

Marylanders interested in receiving a vaccination at any state-run site should click covidlink.maryland.gov for more information. 

 “We appreciate the help of our federal partners to provide vaccinations to Marylanders who need them,” Strickland said. “We’re committed to keeping our residents safe and healthy, and we’re thankful to have the help of FEMA and the federal government.”

Early in the unprecedented global emergency, FEMA engaged with its government and private sector partners to help facilitate this vaccine mission.         

 “The safety of the American people is our priority in any disaster, including this one,” Barlow said. “We’ll be here in Maryland, and across the nation, until our mission is complete.”

###

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3 and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/femaregion3

gabriel.lugo Tue, 02/23/2021 - 20:08
gabriel.lugo

Public Invited to Appeal or Comment on Flood Maps in Greene County, Arkansas

5 days 10 hours ago
Public Invited to Appeal or Comment on Flood Maps in Greene County, Arkansas

DENTON, Texas – New preliminary flood risk information and updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are available for review by residents and business owners in Greene County, Arkansas. Property owners are encouraged to review the latest information to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. Community stakeholders can identify any concerns or questions about the information provided and participate in the 90-day appeal and comment period.

The new flood hazard information from FEMA has been generated in coordination with local community, state and FEMA officials. Significant community review has already taken place.

The 90-day appeal period will begin Feb. 23, 2021. Residents and business owners are also encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. 

Appeals/comments may be submitted through May 24, 2021, for:

  • The unincorporated areas of Greene County

Residents may submit an appeal if they consider modeling or data used to create the map is technically or scientifically incorrect.

  • An appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim.
  • Appeals cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study is in progress.
  • If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information—such as a missing or misspelled road name in the Special Flood Hazard Area or an incorrect corporate boundary—they can submit a written comment.

The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.

To review the preliminary maps or submit appeals and comments, visit your local floodplain administrator (FPA). A FEMA Map Specialist can identify your community FPA. Specialists are available by telephone at 877-FEMA-MAP (877-336-2627) or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.

The preliminary maps may also be viewed online:

For more information about the flood maps:

  • Use a live chat service about flood maps at http://go.usa.gov/r6C (just click on the “Live Chat” icon).
  • Contact a FEMA Map Specialist by telephone at 877-FEMA-MAP (877-336-2627) or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. There are cost-saving options available for those newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone. Learn more about your flood insurance options by talking with your insurance agent or visiting https://www.floodsmart.gov.

 

Carmen.Castro Tue, 02/23/2021 - 20:00
Carmen.Castro

FEMA Provides $3 Million to the Minnesota Department of Health for Vaccine Distribution Costs

5 days 12 hours ago
FEMA Provides $3 Million to the Minnesota Department of Health for Vaccine Distribution Costs

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the  Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (DPS-HSEM) announced today that $3 million in federal funding has been made available to the Minnesota Department of Health for costs related to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan under the federal disaster declaration of April 7, 2020.

This funding is an advance payment to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for eligible reimbursable costs to setup three vaccination centers throughout the state for rapid distribution and administration of available COVID-19 vaccines. A call center and website were also established to disseminate public information regarding vaccinations.

“Our main priority is to ensure vaccinations are accessible and are distributed equitably across Minnesota,” said Joe Kelly, director of DPS-HSEM. “These funds helped Minnesota launch the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which allows MDH to alert those who signed up about eligibility and upcoming vaccination opportunities.”

“FEMA is committed to ensuring anyone who wants a vaccine can get one,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This expedited grant funding will help Minnesota fight this pandemic and expand availability of COVID-19 vaccines across the state.”

FEMA provides a 100 percent federal share of eligible reimbursable expenses for this project.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding to local government jurisdictions and eligible private non-profits for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure as well as costs incurred for emergency actions taken to protect lives or property.  To learn more, visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit. For more information about FEMA’s COVID-19 vaccine support efforts, visit www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/vaccine-support.

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FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

troy.christensen Tue, 02/23/2021 - 18:11
troy.christensen
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2 hours 17 minutes ago
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