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Seismic Retrofits Pay Off For Murray Schools

15 hours 49 minutes ago
Seismic Retrofits Pay Off For Murray Schools

SALT LAKE CITY – “Earthquakes happen when they wanna happen,” says Doug Perry, public information officer for the Murray School District. “Unfortunately, the Magna Quake [March 18] happened in the middle of a pandemic. Not having to worry about our school buildings ─ that they survived and performed well ─ was a huge relief for our district.”

That’s because the Murray School District decided nearly a decade ago to mitigate against future earthquakes and other natural disasters by undertaking a multiyear retrofit program that brought all of its campuses up to current earthquake safety standards.

To some observers it seemed like an unnecessary move. Considerable time had passed since the last significant earthquake along the Wasatch Front and some people felt the threat was low.

However, that didn’t stop Murray School District from conducting a detailed risk assessment of its campuses as a part of a comprehensive capital planning effort in 2011.

“Seismic hazards, given that the schools that needed retrofits were constructed from the 1950s through the 1970s, came to the top of the list as the primary source of risk to the students and employees,” says John Masek, a licensed structural engineer who served as project manager for the Murray retrofits.

Rather than replace the older schools with brand new buildings, the district decided that retrofitting would be far more cost effective.

“Many professional journal articles and news articles have been published on the potential cost advantages of mitigating in advance ─ versus letting facilities be damaged during seismic events and then repairing them, if possible,” adds Masek.

“There’s often a large benefit–cost ratio to mitigating. In other words, it’s often much more cost effective to retrofit before an earthquake than repair or replace buildings after an earthquake damages them. Furthermore, and more importantly, seismic retrofitting helps to protect the lives of students and facility in the facilities.”

The long-term plan that emerged from the risk assessment determined that Riverview Junior High School was the first priority for seismic hazard mitigation.

Following severe flooding across the state, a major disaster declaration was declared in August of 2011, making FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds available to Utah communities. Murray School District successfully applied for available HMGP funds through the state and was granted $910,516 for the seismic retrofit of Riverview.

In 2013, Utah lawmakers approved a public-school seismic study requiring all districts that requested bond funding to perform structural seismic investigations on buildings constructed before 1975. That same year, Murray prepared a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan making the district eligible to apply for annual pre-disaster mitigation (PDM) funds.

The district secured two FEMA grants totaling $1,984,301 to perform seismic retrofits on four elementary schools in the district (McMillian, Parkside, Horizon and Viewmont.

These FEMA funds supplemented a larger effort by the district to retrofit all ten Murray campuses utilizing $4 million dollars of local bond funds.

The major thrust of the retrofit effort was establishing good exterior roof-to-wall connections on buildings with masonry walls. Meanwhile, some interior walls were braced to mitigate against possible collapse in an earthquake and there was some additional work related to vertical elements and structures.

The various life-safety retrofits were completed on all school buildings prior to the Magna Quake of March 2020. Murray School District reported damage to only one of its retrofitted campuses, a nonstructural footlong crack at Horizon Elementary. 

Had more serious damage occurred, a single new building could cost close to $40 million to construct and the life safety of almost 6,500 students throughout the district might have been at risk.

“It’s nice to see that there was virtually no damage to Murray School District structures,” says Masek. “However, several other buildings that were not part of the Murray School District ─ but were of a similar age, use, and in areas of similar ground shaking intensity ─ were damaged during the Magna Quake. I was pleased to hear that the Murray School District retrofits performed well.”

Murray’s multiyear mitigation project was successful because the district started with local planning/prioritization and raised local funds while also leveraging two federal grant programs over several years.

“The cool thing about Murray is the plan execution,” says Masek. “I’ve been involved in many mitigation plans over the years, and this was one of the best in terms of writing the plan and then executing the plan in less than five years. It’s really unusual to be able to do that. It was good work on the part of the district.”

“We’re always interested in putting together plans that will help mitigate risk and protect our students, staff and everyone in the community,” adds Perry. “Retrofitting and preparing ourselves for earthquakes is prudent. It’s simply something we should do, and we can rest easier at night knowing that we’ve done it.”

For more information on local earthquake risk and preparedness visit:  https://earthquakes.utah.gov/.

Brian.Hvinden Mon, 09/21/2020 - 18:08
Brian.Hvinden

FEMA Awards $5.3 Million for Hurricane Dorian Recovery in Florida

19 hours 34 minutes ago
FEMA Awards $5.3 Million for Hurricane Dorian Recovery in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – FEMA has awarded grants totaling $5,302,190 for the State of Florida to reimburse applicants for the costs of recovery from Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

The FEMA Public Assistance grants include:

  • Brevard County: $3,288,570 for beach renourishment, including the installations of 86,479 cubic yards of engineered beach sand and 439,000 native dune plants washed away by the storm.
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management: $2,013,620 for management costs as a result of the storm.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private nonprofit organizations, including some houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. The Florida Division of Emergency Management works with FEMA during all phases of the program and conducts final reviews of FEMA-approved projects.

The federal share for projects is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The state determines how the nonfederal share of the cost of a project (up to 25 percent) is split with the subrecipients like local and county governments.

mayshaunt.gary Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:23
mayshaunt.gary

FEMA Awards $39.1 Million for Hurricane Irma Recovery in Florida

19 hours 43 minutes ago
FEMA Awards $39.1 Million for Hurricane Irma Recovery in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – FEMA has awarded grants totaling $39,118,539 for the State of Florida to reimburse the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and other applicants for the costs of response and recovery following Hurricane Irma.

The FEMA Public Assistance grants include:

  • City of Lakeland: $1,133,077 for the costs of labor, equipment, materials and contracts for the city’s fire, police, public works, parks and recreation, telecommunications and water utilities departments, as well as for Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.
  • FDOT: $1,696,899 for debris removal in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties. Crews removed 13,940 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 139 tons of construction and demolition debris, 242 hazardous leaning trees and 4,335 hanging limbs.
  • FDOT: $4,946,968 for debris removal in Polk, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades, Hendry, DeSoto, Hardee, Charlotte, Lee, Manatee, Sarasota and Collier counties. Crews removed 47,175 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 872 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris, 10,135 hazardous leaning trees and 571 hanging limbs.
  • FDOT: $19,461,694 for debris removal in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Crews removed 361,406 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 157,746 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris, 1,094 large appliances,1,775 hazardous leaning trees and 1,941 hanging limbs.
  • FDOT: $7,720,125 for debris removal in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Crews removed 131,396 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 94,000 cubic yards of other debris, 359 hazardous leaning trees and 571 hanging limbs.
  • Miami-Dade County: $2,318,790 for repairs to the Venetian and Rickenbacker Causeways. Expenses included repair of roof tiles and pedestrian/bicycle railings, replacement of shoreline protection and administrative costs.
  • Polk County: $1,840,986 for administrative costs of tracking and accounting for 90 recovery projects after the storm.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private nonprofit organizations, including some houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. The Florida Division of Emergency Management works with FEMA during all phases of the program and conducts final reviews of FEMA-approved projects.

The federal share for projects is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The state determines how the nonfederal share of the cost of a project (up to 25 percent) is split with the subrecipients like local and county governments.

mayshaunt.gary Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:15
mayshaunt.gary

Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfire Response

20 hours 19 minutes ago
Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfire Response

WASHINGTON — FEMA continues close coordination with state, tribal and local governments for disaster response across the country. FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor has visited states impacted by recent fire and hurricane damage. President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Alabama and emergency declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate disaster relief efforts across the Gulf Coast. Major disaster declarations were also declared for California and Oregon wildfire response. FEMA teams and disaster recovery resources are on the ground assisting with state recovery efforts. Residents in affected states should continue paying attention to their local emergency managers for safety instructions and opportunities for assistance.

Federal, Local Leaders Discuss Hurricane Sally Impacts

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2020) -- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (left), FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, and FEMA Region 4 Administrator Gracia Szczech speak with Florida and Escambia County officials about damage caused by Hurricane Sally.  

FEMA photo by Noah Golding

Power Crews Stage Equipment for Power Restoration

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2020) -- Power crews stage equipment as they work to repair damaged power lines and restore electricity to the area.

FEMA photo Noah Golding

Crews Work to Repair Powerlines, Clear Debris

MARION COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 18, 2020) -- Crews work to clear the road and restore power along U.S. Highway 22.

FEMA photo by Dominick Del Vecchio

Crews Work to Repair Powerlines, Clear Debris

MARION COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 18, 2020) -- Crews work to clear the road and restore power along U.S. Highway 22.

FEMA photo by Dominick Del Vecchio

Crews Work to Repair Powerlines, Clear Debris

ASHLAND, Ore. (Sept. 17, 2020) -- A FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support technician works on an antenna tower trailer that was set up to support urban search and rescue operations.

FEMA photo by Jason Oud

 

Emergency Response Support Units are Supporting Search, Rescue Operations

LANE COUNTY, Ore. (Sep. 18, 2020) -- A FEMA Incident Response Vehicle provides communication support for urban search and rescue efforts from a burned-out orchard in the hills east of Springfield, Oregon.

FEMA photos by Don Sheppard

 

Historic Wildfires Leave Destruction in their Wake

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 18, 2020) -- Historic wildfires have left homes and neighborhoods destroyed in Lincoln County, Oregon. Most of the county, known as a coastal vacation spot, was placed under evacuation orders as a result of the Echo Mountain Complex Fire.

FEMA photos by David Yost

 

Historic Wildfires Leave Destruction in their Wake

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 18, 2020) -- Historic wildfires have left homes and neighborhoods destroyed in Lincoln County, Oregon. Most of the county, known as a coastal vacation spot, was placed under evacuation orders as a result of the Echo Mountain Complex Fire.

FEMA photos by David Yost

luther.wills-dudich Mon, 09/21/2020 - 13:39
luther.wills-dudich

FEMA Publishes Annual Preparedness Survey: Trends Show Americans Becoming Better Prepared

23 hours 32 minutes ago
FEMA Publishes Annual Preparedness Survey: Trends Show Americans Becoming Better Prepared

WASHINGTON -- FEMA has published its disaster preparedness survey, and the trends show Americans are becoming better prepared. The annual survey assesses how the culture of disaster preparedness and resilience has changed since 2007, and the 2020 survey results suggest that the public is experiencing a wave of culture change in disaster preparedness.

“The actions that people take to prepare for disasters serve as indicators for overall disaster preparedness,” said Aaron Levy, FEMA’s Acting Director of the Individual and Community Preparedness. “The survey provides valuable information that can be used by individuals, communities and all levels of government to prepare for and become more resilient to disasters.”

The 2020 results also show that 68% of those surveyed have taken three or more basic actions to prepare, which is a 6% increase over last year’s estimate. For example:

  • 81% have gathered supplies.
  • 65% have sought preparedness information.
  • 48% have created emergency plans.

The survey also assesses financial preparedness and suggests 68% of adults have set aside some money for an emergency. Of respondents, 77% reported having homeowners or renters insurance policies, while 22% had flood insurance.

Specifically, the public has continued building a strong intention to prepare for disasters, yet there remains a critical need to turn it into action, which has only increased by 2% since 2013.  

More than 5,000 adults were surveyed in both English and Spanish. The survey is a nationally representative sample that also includes hazard-specific samples for tornado, flood, hurricane, wildfire, earthquake and urban events. The survey tracks progress in personal disaster preparedness through examination of the American public's preparedness actions, attitudes, perceptions and motivations.

Based on these results, FEMA and its partners will continue connecting individuals, organizations and communities with messaging, research and tools to build and sustain capabilities to prepare for any disaster or emergency.

The survey is the only disaster preparedness survey administered by the federal government.

FEMA hosted a webinar on Sept. 10, to present national level findings and will hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 23, to report hazard-specific findings.

For more information on preparedness research, please visit: https://www.ready.gov/preparedness-research.

luther.wills-dudich Mon, 09/21/2020 - 10:25
luther.wills-dudich

Hurricane Sally Survivors in Baldwin, Mobile, and Escambia Counties Can Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance

1 day ago
Hurricane Sally Survivors in Baldwin, Mobile, and Escambia Counties Can Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance

CLANTON, Ala. – Homeowners and renters who suffered damage from Hurricane Sally in Baldwin, Mobile, and Escambia counties, should apply to FEMA for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible. Survivors may be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Sally.

Baldwin, Mobile, and Escambia counties were designated eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program under the Major Disaster Declaration signed by President Trump on Sept. 20, 2020, for damage and losses from Hurricane Sally that occurred beginning on Sept. 14, 2020.

If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately, before applying for federal assistance. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin. 

You can register for FEMA disaster assistance online by visiting  DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Multi-lingual operators are available. Lines are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You will need to have the following 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 damages and losses; and
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name.

If you cannot return to your home, or you are unable to live in your home, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) to determine what federal, state, local, or voluntary agency assistance may be available to you. 

If you can return to your home and it is safe, has working power, water, and sewer or septic service, visit DisasterAssistance.gov to determine if state, voluntary and local organizations in your community can address any unmet needs.

“We are very grateful to our federal partners for offering needed assistance to Alabamians during this difficult time,” said Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director, Brian Hastings. “Many people have been impacted by Hurricane Sally, and we are working closely with local and federal partners to meet the needs of everyone affected.”

Disaster assistance may provide temporary help and a place to stay while you build your own recovery plan. Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance, or those who may be underinsured, may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

“We’re working closely with Alabama EMA and voluntary agencies to get survivors the help they need,” said Allan Jarvis, FEMA’s chief coordinating official in Alabama.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and that do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

If referred, applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov or by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia counties and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians were also designated for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to reimburse the state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures.

                                                                     ###

 

neily.chapman Mon, 09/21/2020 - 09:38
neily.chapman

President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Alabama

1 day 19 hours ago
President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Alabama

WASHINGTON -- FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Alabama to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Sally from Sept. 14, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile 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.

Federal funding is also available to the state, eligible tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

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

Allan Jarvis has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.

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.

luther.wills-dudich Sun, 09/20/2020 - 14:45
luther.wills-dudich

FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

1 day 22 hours ago
FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

WASHINGTON - FEMA continues to support states impacted by Hurricane Sally with personnel and commodities in and near the areas of impact. There are three joint Preliminary Damage Assessment teams in Alabama, which are expected to complete assessments today, six distribution points operating in Alabama and seven in Florida distributing commodities such as water, ice, tarps and meals. FEMA is deploying 40 trucks of water and 45 trucks of food to the Florida Panhandle. Additionally, nearly 30 emergency generators have been delivered to Florida to use at critical care facilities, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities that lost power, and 4,000 tarps have been delivered to Alabama.

FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for Hurricane Sally, which are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • Over 4 million liters of bottled water
  • 3.2 million meals
  • 289,000 blankets
  • 117,000 tarps
  • 52,500 blue roof sheeting
  • 6,500 cots
  • 23 generators

FEMA has two Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) deployed in response to Hurricane Sally. One team is deployed to Alabama and one to Florida. FEMA also deployed two Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles, one to Alabama and one to Florida to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed.

As of today, 376 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of Hurricane Sally.

  • National Guard Bureau teams, including search and rescue and logistics operators, are staged throughout the affected areas.
  • Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from the Department of Defense are deployed in support of Florida.

President Trump approved Emergency Declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sally across the Gulf Coast.

Although Sally has moved offshore, there are still risks in areas impacted by the storm. Anyone in the forecast path of the storm should monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and follow evacuation orders from local officials.

  • State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.
  • Alabama residents should call or text 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • The American Red Cross (ARC) is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the ARC website.
  • Individuals in Alabama and Mississippi impacted by Sally may register for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
  • If you have been evacuated do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
  • Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Alabama and Florida should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Remember to stay safe, whether you’re a responder or survivor. Wear a mask in public settings especially when social distancing is not possible, and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • FEMA will conduct remote home inspections to expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to applicants based on their eligibility due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans.

If your property has been flooded due to Sally, call your insurance agent or company to file a claim. Be sure to ask about advance payments. FEMA has nearly $7 billion available to pay flood claims. The agency also has the authority to borrow another $10 billion for claims if necessary.

  • Have the name of your insurance company, your policy number and a telephone number or email address where you can be reached when you place your call.
  • If you need help finding your insurance agent, carrier or policy number, call the Flood Insurance call center at 877-336-2627.
  • Insurance agents and claims adjusters will work closely with you on your claim. With a remote adjustment, it may take several hours or more to document damage. During that time, you'll work with your adjuster to take high-quality photos and detailed measurements.
  • You should also discuss with your adjuster what your policy covers, ask any questions you may have about the claims process and determine your next steps.
  • For additional information, visit floodsmart.gov/start.

WILDFIRES IN THE WEST

FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for wildfires in the West. These commodities are available to each affected state, based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • 227,000 liters of bottled water
  • 208,896 meals
  • 54,735 blankets
  • 6,092 cots
  • Hygiene kits, commonly used shelter items and 27 generators are also staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.

FEMA has obligated more than $18 million in mission assignments and is processing 61 active resource requests in support of Oregon and California. FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are on the ground in California supporting survivor registrations and inquiries. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams have been deployed to Oregon and one team is deployed to California to support state operations. FEMA has also deployed Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams along with other specialized teams from federal partners to provide support, and one Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) unit is deployed to Oregon, providing communications support for command and control of federal resources in support of the Incident Support and US&R Teams.

As of today, 493 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of western wildfires.

  • FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) specialists will be in each Oregon Individual Assistance declared county by Sept. 23.
  • Three Mobile Communication Vehicles (MCVs) have been requested to support field operations. 
  • FEMA Disability Integration and Civil Rights staff are collaborating to ensure DSA and MCV operations are accessible.
  • Housing inspectors and quality control inspectors are completing inspections in all eight Oregon Individual Assistance declared counties.
  • A Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Incident Management Team is operational in on alert.
  • Health and Human Services Mortuary Affairs are deployed to Oregon to provide technical assistance.
  • Two Health and Human Services Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams assessment team deployed to provide forensic assessment and support for US&R in Jackson county in Oregon. 
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA) subject matter expertise, including sourcing available animal response equipment, deployment of one animal care and two (virtual) food and nutrition service subject matter experts to support pet and feeding operations, and deployment of one Veterinary Services IMT Incident Commander to support Oregon Department of Agriculture’s animal and agricultural response coordination. 

President Trump approved Major Disaster Declarations for California and Oregon to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to ongoing wildfires throughout the Western U.S. Registration is open for those affected by wildfires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties in Oregon. Apply by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 800-621-3362 or using the FEMA app.

  • Do not wait for a disaster recovery center or other fixed location to register for assistance.
  • Save your receipts and take photos before you begin the clean-up process. Documentation of losses will help FEMA process your claim.
  • Disaster assistance may 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.

Public safety is the No.1 priority: residents in at-risk areas should follow local officials’ instructions and be ready to take action.

  • If you are in a safe place, you can help by staying home and off the road. Due to changes to the landscape, even areas that are not traditionally flood prone are at risk of flash flooding and becoming unsafe,
  • If you are in an evacuation zone, heed warnings, and follow local official recommendations without delay.
  • Stay informed by calling 2-1-1 or 866-698-6155. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211). You can also visit wildfire.oregon.gov for the latest information and resources available to those affected by wildfires.
  • Know your evacuation levels! Level 1 - Be Ready. Level 2 - Be Set. Level 3 - Leave Immediately. DO NOT return the fire area until officials give the OK.
  • For a list of temporary shelters, see the Red Cross Oregon website.
  • If you are affected by the Oregon wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss homeowner insurance policies and wildfire coverage.  The Oregon Insurance Commission has insurance resources available online.
  • Please register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Visit ORVOAD.org to find out how to help Oregonians and donate to response organizations.
  • Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing, and wash hands frequently. 
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters. Call SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a trained crisis counselor.

 For additional preparedness information on all types of disasters, visit Ready.gov and download the FEMA app.

 

zella.campbell Sun, 09/20/2020 - 11:01
zella.campbell

Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Rapides and Winn Parishes

2 days 18 hours ago
Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Rapides and Winn Parishes

BATON ROUGE, La.  – Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers will open in Rapides and Winn parishes Tuesday, Sept. 22, to help Hurricane Laura survivors.

Different from the standard in-person facility, the new centers are an easy and COVID-safe way for Hurricane Laura survivors to have documents scanned into their case file.

Each drive-thru is staffed with FEMA personnel who are available to scan documents, assist with registration and answer questions about disaster-assistance programs.

The centers operate under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors are safe. Masks or face coverings are required for entry and service. Survivors remain in their cars. A specialist wearing a face mask will receive documents through the window and return them.

No appointments are necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The drive-thru centers are located at:

Rapides Parish                                                         Winn Parish

Rapides Parish Coliseum                                          Winn Parish Library

5600 Coliseum Blvd.                                                 200 North Saint John St.

Alexandria, LA 71303                                                Winnfield, LA 71483

Additional centers are already open in Louisiana. Survivors may visit any open center. To locate the closest center, call the FEMA Helpline, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator or download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.

Survivors do not need to visit a drive-thru center to apply or update their application. To ask individual questions or submit information:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.
  • Visit disasterassistance.gov/.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.
  • Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Hurricane Laura Disaster Loans

For businesses of any size and nonprofits: up to $2 million for property damage. For small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, most private nonprofits: up to $2 million for disaster working capital needs even if they had no property damage. There is a $2 million maximum business loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.

For homeowners up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents can apply online at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an SBA application call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.   

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

christopher.teed Sat, 09/19/2020 - 15:42
christopher.teed

Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfires Response

2 days 20 hours ago
Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfires Response

WASHINGTON — FEMA continues close coordination with our state, tribal and local governments for disaster responses across the country. President Trump approved emergency declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance for Hurricane Sally and major disaster declarations for California and Oregon to support wildfire response.  FEMA teams and disaster recovery resources are on the ground to support Hurricane Sally and the wildfires, assisting with state recovery efforts. Residents in affected states should continue paying close attention to their local emergency managers for safety instructions.

Wildfire Response Leaders Discuss Conditions on the Ground

LANE COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 17, 2020) -- Director of Northwest Policy, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Edward McGlone (left); District 5, East Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch; and Region 10 Regional Administrator Michael O’Hare discuss conditions in the fire affected areas.

 FEMA photo by Rob McCulloch

 

Wildfire Response Leaders Review Map of Inside Fire Zone

LANE COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 17, 2020) -- Region 10 Regional Administrator Michael O’Hare (left); Oregon Department of Forestry District Forester Chris Cline (center); Congressional District 4 District Director Dan Whelen, and District 5, East Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch, review a map of conditions inside the Holiday Fire Zone.

FEMA photo by Rob McCulloch

 

Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Swift Water Team Conducts Secondary Search and Rescue Missions

SEMINOLE, Ala. (Sept. 17, 2020) -- The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Fire and Rescue Swift Water Team performs secondary search and rescue missions on the Styx River in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.

FEMA photo by Alexis Hall

 

Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Swift Water Team Conducts Secondary Search and Rescue Missions

SEMINOLE, Ala. (Sept. 17, 2020) -- The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Fire and Rescue Swift Water Team performs secondary search and rescue missions on the Styx River in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.

FEMA photo by Alexis Hall

luther.wills-dudich Sat, 09/19/2020 - 13:30
luther.wills-dudich

FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

2 days 21 hours ago
FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

WASHINGTON - FEMA continues to support states impacted by Hurricane Sally with personnel and commodities in and near the areas of impact. Nearly 30 emergency generators have been delivered to Florida to use at critical care facilities, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities that lost power, and 4,000 tarps have been delivered to Alabama. FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for Hurricane Sally, which are available to each affected state, based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • Over 4 million liters of bottled water
  • 3.2 million meals
  • 289,000 blankets
  • 117,000 tarps
  • 52,500 blue roof sheeting
  • 6,500 cots
  • 23 generators

FEMA has two Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) deployed in response to Hurricane Sally. One team is deployed to Alabama and one to Florida. FEMA also deployed two Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles to Alabama to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed. As of today, 376 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of Hurricane Sally.

  • National Guard Bureau teams, including search and rescue and logistics operators, are staged throughout the affected areas.
  • Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from the Department of Defense are deployed in support of Florida.

President Trump approved Emergency Declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sally across the Gulf Coast. Although Sally has moved offshore, there are still risks in areas impacted by the storm. Anyone in the forecast path of the storm should monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and follow evacuation orders from local officials.

  • State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.
  • Alabama residents should call or text 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • The American Red Cross (ARC) is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the ARC website.
  • Individuals in Alabama and Mississippi impacted by Sally may register for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
  • If you have been evacuated do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
  • Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Alabama and Florida should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Remember to stay safe, whether you’re a responder or survivor. Wear a mask in public settings especially when social distancing is not possible, and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • FEMA will conduct remote home inspections to expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to applicants based on their eligibility due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans.

If your property has been flooded due to Sally, call your insurance agent or company to file a claim. Be sure to ask about advance payments. FEMA has nearly $7 billion available to pay flood claims. The agency also has the authority to borrow another $10 billion for claims if necessary.

  • Have the name of your insurance company, your policy number and a telephone number or email address where you can be reached when you place your call.
  • If you need help finding your insurance agent, carrier or policy number, call the Flood Insurance call center at 877-336-2627.
  • Insurance agents and claims adjusters will work closely with you on your claim. With a remote adjustment, it may take several hours or more to document damage. During that time, you'll work with your adjuster to take high-quality photos and detailed measurements.
  • You should also discuss with your adjuster what your policy covers, ask any questions you may have about the claims process and determine your next steps.
  • For additional information, visit floodsmart.gov/start.

WILDFIRES IN THE WEST

FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for wildfires in the West. These commodities are available to each affected state, based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • 227,000 liters of bottled water
  • 208,896 meals
  • 54,735 blankets
  • 6,092 cots
  • Hygiene kits, commonly used shelter items and 27 generators are also staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.

FEMA has obligated more than $1.9 million in mission assignments and is processing 47 active resource requests in support of Oregon. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams have been deployed to Oregon to support state operations and one team is deployed to California to support state operations. FEMA has also deployed Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams along with other specialized teams from federal partners to provide support, and two Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units are deployed to Oregon, providing communications support for command and control of federal resources in support of the Incident Support and US&R Teams.

As of today, 493 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of western wildfires.

  • FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) specialists will be in each Oregon Individual Assistance declared county by Sept. 23.
  • Three Mobile Communication Vehicles (MCVs) have been requested to support field operations. 
  • FEMA Disability Integration and Civil Rights staff are collaborating to ensure DSA and MCV operations are accessible.
  • Housing inspectors and quality control inspectors are completing inspections in all eight Oregon Individual Assistance declared counties.
  • A Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Incident Management Team is operational in Salem, Oregon.
  • Health and Human Services Mortuary Affairs are deployed to Oregon to provide technical assistance.
  • Two Health and Human Services Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams assessment team deployed to provide forensic assessment and support for US&R in Jackson and Lane counties in Oregon. 
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA) subject matter expertise, including sourcing available animal response equipment, deployment of one animal care and two (virtual) food and nutrition service subject matter experts to support pet and feeding operations, and deployment of one Veterinary Services IMT Incident Commander to support Oregon Department of Agriculture’s animal and agricultural response coordination. 

President Trump approved Major Disaster Declarations for California and Oregon to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to ongoing wildfires throughout the Western U.S. Registration is open for those affected by wildfires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties in Oregon. Apply by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 800-621-3362 or using the FEMA app.

  • Do not wait for a disaster recovery center or other fixed location to register for assistance.
  • Save your receipts and take photos before you begin the clean-up process. Documentation of losses will help FEMA process your claim.
  • Disaster assistance may 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.

Public safety is the No.1 priority: residents in at-risk areas should follow local officials’ instructions and be ready to take action.

  • If you are in a safe place, you can help by staying home and off the road. Due to changes to the landscape, even areas that are not traditionally flood prone are at risk of flash flooding and becoming unsafe,
  • If you are in an evacuation zone, heed warnings, and follow local official recommendations without delay.
  • Stay informed by calling 2-1-1 or 866-698-6155. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211). You can also visit wildfire.oregon.gov for the latest information and resources available to those affected by wildfires.
  • Know your evacuation levels! Level 1 - Be Ready. Level 2 - Be Set. Level 3 - Leave Immediately. DO NOT return the fire area until officials give the OK.
  • For a list of temporary shelters, see the Red Cross Oregon website.
  • If you are affected by the Oregon wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss homeowner insurance policies and wildfire coverage.  The Oregon Insurance Commission has insurance resources available online.
  • Please register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Visit ORVOAD.org to find out how to help Oregonians and donate to response organizations.
  • Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing, and wash hands frequently. 
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters. Call SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a trained crisis counselor.

For additional preparedness information on all types of disasters, visit Ready.gov and download the FEMA app.

luther.wills-dudich Sat, 09/19/2020 - 12:33
luther.wills-dudich

Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Center Opening in Cameron Parish

3 days 2 hours ago
Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Center Opening in Cameron Parish

BATON ROUGE, La.  – A drive-thru Disaster Recovery Center will open in Cameron Parish Saturday, Sept. 19, to help Hurricane Laura survivors.

Different from the standard in-person facility, the new center is an easy and COVID-safe way for Hurricane Laura survivors to have documents scanned into their case file.

The drive-thru is staffed with FEMA personnel who are available to scan documents, assist with registration and answer questions about disaster-assistance programs.

The center operates under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors are safe. Masks or face coverings are required for entry and service. Survivors remain in their cars. A specialist wearing a face mask will receive documents through the window and return them.

No appointments are necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The drive-thru center is located at:

Cameron Parish

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Center

1428 Highway 27

Bell City, LA 70630

Additional centers are already open in Louisiana. Survivors may visit any open center. To locate the closest center, call the FEMA Helpline, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator or download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.

Survivors do not need to visit a drive-thru center to apply or update their application. To ask individual questions or submit information:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585
  • Visit disasterassistance.gov/
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app
  • Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Hurricane Laura Disaster Loans

For businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations: up to $2 million for property damage. For small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, most private nonprofits: up to $2 million for disaster working capital needs even if they had no property damage. There is a $2 million maximum business loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.

For homeowners up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents can apply online at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an SBA application call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.   

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

christopher.teed Sat, 09/19/2020 - 07:06
christopher.teed

FEMA Mobile Registration Intake Center Hours Change in Sonoma County

3 days 12 hours ago
FEMA Mobile Registration Intake Center Hours Change in Sonoma County

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A FEMA Mobile Registration Intake Center serving wildfire survivors in Sonoma County will operate 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday starting Sept. 21.

The center, which was previously open Sundays as well, is located at the Sonoma County Office of Education, 5340 Skylane Blvd. Santa Rosa CA 95403. .

The Mobile Registration Intake Center is part of ongoing response and recovery mission for FEMA and the State of California to support wildfire survivors affected by the August/September fire siege.

Survivors can also register with FEMA in one of three ways:

  • online at disasterassistance.gov;
  • by downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet;
  • or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Pacific. The helpline staff can also answer questions about applications already submitted.

U.S. Small Business Administration assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration has established a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center that is open to help homeowners and renters. Customer service representatives are available daily to assist business owners and individuals answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete an electronic loan application.

Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center

Mondays – Sundays

5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific

FOCWAssistance@sba.gov

800-659-2955

###

bree-constance… Fri, 09/18/2020 - 21:12
bree-constance.huffin

Disaster Recovery Center in Cedar Rapids to Close September 26

3 days 16 hours ago
Disaster Recovery Center in Cedar Rapids to Close September 26

Help is still available for derecho survivors

DES MOINES, Iowa – A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center will close in Linn County on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.  However, help for survivors of the August derecho is just a phone call, a mouse click or a tap on the FEMA app away.

Survivors do not have to visit a DRC to register or submit documents to FEMA. 

Applicants may register in the following ways:

  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App for smartphones.
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. CT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Documents also may be submitted in any of the following ways:

  • Mail to FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055. 
  • Fax to 800-827-8112.
  • Submit them via a FEMA online account. To set up an online account,  visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions.

The DRC is located at:

The parking lot between Cedar Rapids Kernels Stadium and Kingston Stadium

950 Rockford Rd. SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

(Enter the parking lot from the corner of Veterans Memorial Drive and Kurt Warner Way).

Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time

Closed Sundays

Survivors in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story and Tama counties have until October 19 to register for disaster assistance.

thomas.wise Fri, 09/18/2020 - 17:15
thomas.wise

Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfires Response

3 days 21 hours ago
Photos of Whole-of-Government Sally, Wildfires Response

WASHINGTON — FEMA continues close coordination with our state, tribal and local governments for disaster response across the country. President Trump approved emergency declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance for Hurricane Sally and for California and Oregon to support wildfire response.  FEMA teams and disaster recovery resources are on the ground assisting with state recovery efforts. Residents in affected states should continue paying attention to their local emergency managers for safety instructions.

Search and Rescue Team on Duty in Oregon

MARION COUNTY, Ore. (Sept. 16, 2020) – A search and rescue team from Massachusetts Task Force 1 searches homes in Marion County, Oregon, in response to the wildfires.

FEMA photo by Dominick Del Vecchio

Washington State Search & Rescue Team Scours Homes, Autos

BLUE RIVER, Ore. (Sept. 15, 2020) – Keith Davis searches homes with his canine, Asher, in Blue River, Oregon. They are part of Washington Task Force 1. The Holiday Farm Fire destroyed businesses, homes and vehicles in Blue River.

FEMA photo by David Yost

FEMA Leadership Team Coordinates Sally Response in the Gulf 

GULF SHORES, Ala. (Sept. 17, 2020) – FEMA’s Operations Section Chief for Incident Management Assistance Team 2 Steven Hynes (left), Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Fred Choi (center) and Federal Coordinating Officer Allan Jarvis meet to discuss assessment and recovery strategy post Hurricane Sally landfall.

FEMA photo by Alexis Hall

FEMA Leaders Coordinate Hurricane Response with Alabama Emergency Management

GULF SHORES, Ala. (Sept. 17, 2020) – Federal Coordinating Officer Allan Jarvis (far left), Deputy FCO Fred Choi (center, left), and State Coordinating Officer for Response Eric Jones (center, right) discuss strategy and recovery efforts for Hurricane Sally with an Alabama Emergency Management representative at the agency.  

FEMA photo by Alexis Hall

luther.wills-dudich Fri, 09/18/2020 - 12:27
luther.wills-dudich

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available Following Hurricane Laura

3 days 22 hours ago
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available Following Hurricane Laura

BATON ROUGE, La. – Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to certain workers who lost income as a direct result of Hurricane Laura in Louisiana.

The purpose of DUA is to help workers whose primary incomes are lost or interrupted by a federally declared disaster. It differs from regular state unemployment insurance because it also provides benefits to people who are self-employed, farmers, loggers and employees who work on commission.

DUA benefits apply to weeks of unemployment beginning Aug. 23, 2020 up to Feb. 27, 2021 if the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

Affected workers in the 21 parishes designated for disaster assistance in Louisiana must first apply for regular unemployment insurance. The parishes are Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission notifies claimants if they are eligible to file for disaster unemployment assistance.

Applicants can apply by visiting www.laworks.net, the Helping Individuals Reach Employment portal.

Claimants may also file by telephone by calling the Benefits Analysis Team at 866-783-5567 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Applicants in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes must apply for disaster unemployment assistance by Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Applicants in Acadia, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermillion and Winn parishes must complete applications by Friday, Oct. 2.

Applicants in Morehouse and Union parishes must apply for disaster unemployment assistance by Monday, Oct. 12.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is also accepting applications for DUA from applicants in Caddo, La Salle and St. Landry parishes until Wednesday, Oct. 14.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

christopher.teed Fri, 09/18/2020 - 11:47
christopher.teed

FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

3 days 23 hours ago
FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

WASHINGTON - FEMA continues to support states impacted by Hurricane Sally with personnel and commodities in and near the areas of impact. Commodities are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance. Shuttle drivers and trailers are onsite where these commodities are staged, ready to move assets to fulfill state requests.

  • Over 4 million liters of bottled water
  • 3.2 million meals
  • 289,000 blankets
  • 117,000 tarps
  • 52,500 blue roof sheeting
  • 6,500 cots
  • 23 generators

FEMA has six Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) deployed in response to Hurricane Sally. Four teams are deployed to Louisiana, one to Alabama and one team is onsite in Florida. An additional IMAT is onsite at Mississippi’s Emergency Operations Center redeployed to Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee yesterday. FEMA also deployed Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed. Additionally, a FEMA liaison officer is in place at the Florida Emergency Operations Center. As of today, 372 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of Hurricane Sally:

  • Three National Guard Bureau teams are staged in Alabama.
  • In Mississippi, 60 people, 12 tactical vehicles, and six support Humvees are staged for high water rescue and recovery operations.
  • Three Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are available in Louisiana, and federal and state Ambulance Surge Units are on standby.
  • Two Urban Search and Rescue teams are staged in Hammond, Louisiana pending further coordination in repositioning with Region 4. Urban Search and Rescue team Tennessee Task Force One is staged in Meridian, Mississippi.
  • Personnel from the federal government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, DHS Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have been mission assigned to provide support to impacted states and tribes, as needed.
  • Department of Health and Human Services medical teams, incident management teams and logistics support are deployed to Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from the Department of Defense are deployed in support of Florida.  

President Trump approved Emergency Declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sally across the Gulf Coast. FEMA has nearly $7 billion available to pay flood claims and the authority to borrow another $10 billion for claims if necessary. Even after the storm has passed, we still ask everyone to stay focused on safety and encourage to practice the following:

  • State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.
  • Alabama residents should call or text 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • The American Red Cross (ARC) is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the ARC website.
  • Individuals in Alabama and Mississippi impacted by Sally may register for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
  • If you have been evacuated do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
  • Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Alabama and Florida should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Remember to stay safe, whether you’re a responder or survivor. Wear a mask in public settings especially when social distancing is not possible, and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • FEMA will conduct remote home inspections to expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to applicants based on their eligibility due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans.

WILDFIRES IN THE WEST

FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for wildfires in the West. These commodities are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

  • 227,000 liters of bottled water
  • 208,896 meals
  • 54,735 blankets
  • 6,092 cots
  • Hygiene kits, commonly used shelter items and 27 generators are also staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.

FEMA has obligated more than $1.2 million in mission assignments and is processing 46 active resource requests in support of Oregon. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to Oregon to support state operations, and one team is deployed to California to support state operations. FEMA has also deployed Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams along with other specialized teams from federal partners to provide support. Two Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units are deployed to Oregon, providing communications support for command and control of federal resources in support of the IST and US&R Teams. As of today, 478 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of western wildfires.

President Trump approved Major Disaster Declarations for California and Oregon to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to ongoing wildfires throughout the Western U.S. These declarations authorize FEMA to provide assistance, including direct federal assistance for emergency protective measures for:

  • Eight counties in Oregon are approved for Individual Assistance.
  • Twenty counties in Oregon are approved for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. Hazard mitigation is approved statewide.
  • Nine counties are approved for debris removal and 11 counties are approved for emergency protective measures.
  • Nine counties in California are approved for Individual Assistance.
  • Six counties in California are now eligible for permanent work assistance, including repairs done to roads, bridges, public buildings and utilities, water control facilities, and at parks or other recreational facilities
  • Eight counties in California are approved for debris removal.
  • Ten counties in California are approved for emergency protective measures.

Public safety is the No.1 priority: residents in at-risk areas should follow local officials’ instructions and be ready to take action.

  • An Oregon Wildfire Resource Website has been created to help Oregonians stay informed at wildfire.oregon.gov.
  • Know your evacuation levels! Level 1 - Be Ready. Level 2 - Be Set. Level 3 - Leave Immediately. DO NOT return to the fire area until officials give the OK.
  • If you are in an evacuation zone, heed warnings and follow local official recommendations without delay.
  • Local evacuation information can be found on the OEM Wildfire dashboard. Information is ever-changing, so continue to check back for updated content.
  • Check with your county office of emergency management to sign up for local emergency alerts.
  • If you are in a safe place, you can help by staying home and off the road.
  • The American Red Cross is operating several Temporary Evacuation Points where evacuees can go for information and assistance. Locations change with the need. Community members who need assistance can contact 2-1-1.
  • If you are affected by the Oregon wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss homeowner insurance policies and wildfire coverage. The Oregon Insurance Commission has insurance resources available online.
  • Register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.
  • Oregonians and others asking how to help, you can donate to response organizations. Visit ORVOAD.org.
  • Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing and wash hands frequently.

For additional preparedness information on all types of disasters, visit Ready.gov and download the FEMA app.

luther.wills-dudich Fri, 09/18/2020 - 10:36
luther.wills-dudich

FEMA Issues $2.7M Installment to California for Earthquake Protection

4 days 17 hours ago
FEMA Issues $2.7M Installment to California for Earthquake Protection

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released an additional $2.7 million installment to the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) for its Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program. The grant will subsidize a project of the California Residential Mitigation Program, a joint powers authority of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the CEA, for earthquake retrofits on 532 at-risk homes likely to shake from their foundations in the event of an earthquake.

EBB addresses two seismic vulnerabilities found in many older homes that may have short, wood-framed cripple walls under the first floor. The retrofit bolts the house to the foundation, and if short, wood-framed walls are present under the first floor, the retrofit braces those walls with plywood to reinforce and help prevent the house from collapsing or sliding off its foundation during a quake.

EBB is a code-compliant retrofit that lessens the potential for damage and may allow families to remain in their homes after earthquakes. Each EBB recipient receives a grant of up to $3,000 to bring their home up to seismic code compliance.

FEMA’s $2.7 million release from its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), in combination with the applicant’s $1.6 million, marks the latest installment of the $33.3 million project. The remaining $11.7 million will be released incrementally throughout the life of the grant, as applications are approved, to retrofit a total of 6,667 homes.

FEMA’s HMGP helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. Over the past 30 years, FEMA has invested more than $1.4 billion to reduce disaster risk in California.

###

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow FEMA Region 9 online at twitter.com/femaregion9 or view more news releases at fema.gov/fema-regions/region-ix.

robert.barker Thu, 09/17/2020 - 16:34
robert.barker

Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Sabine and Vernon Parishes

4 days 18 hours ago
Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Sabine and Vernon Parishes

BATON ROUGE, La.— Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers will open in Leesville and Many on Sunday, Sept. 20, to help Hurricane Laura survivors.

A new feature of the centers is an easy and COVID-safe way for Laura survivors to have documents scanned into their case file.

The drive-thru centers operate under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors are safe. Masks or face coverings are required for entry and service. Survivors remain in their cars. A specialist wearing a face mask will receive documents through the window and return them.

No appointments are necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The drive-thru centers will be located at:

Vernon Parish

Vernon Sheriff’s Office

203 Third St.

Leesville, LA 71446

Sabine Parish

Sabine Parish Courthouse

40 S. Capital

Many, LA 71449

Additional centers are already open in Louisiana. Survivors may visit any open center. To locate the closest center, call the FEMA Helpline, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator or download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.

Survivors do not need to visit a drive-thru center to apply or update their application. To ask individual questions or submit information:

U.S. Small Business Administration Hurricane Laura Disaster Loans are available for disaster survivors. For businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations: up to $2 million for property damage.

For small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations: up to $2 million for disaster working capital needs even if they had no property damage. There is a $2 million maximum business loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.

For homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents can apply online at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.   

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

christopher.teed Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:35
christopher.teed

Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Sabine and Vernon Parishes

4 days 18 hours ago
Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers Opening in Sabine and Vernon Parishes

BATON ROUGE, La.— Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers will open in Leesville and Many on Sunday, Sept. 20, to help Hurricane Laura survivors.

A new feature of the centers is an easy and COVID-safe way for Laura survivors to have documents scanned into their case file.

The drive-thru centers operate under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors are safe. Masks or face coverings are required for entry and service. Survivors remain in their cars. A specialist wearing a face mask will receive documents through the window and return them.

No appointments are necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The drive-thru centers will be located at:

Vernon Parish

Vernon Sheriff’s Office

203 Third St.

Leesville, LA 71446

Sabine Parish

Sabine Parish Courthouse

40 S. Capital

Many, LA 71449

Additional centers are already open in Louisiana. Survivors may visit any open center. To locate the closest center, call the FEMA Helpline, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator or download the FEMA Mobile App at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.

Survivors do not need to visit a drive-thru center to apply or update their application. To ask individual questions or submit information:

U.S. Small Business Administration Hurricane Laura Disaster Loans are available for disaster survivors. For businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations: up to $2 million for property damage.

For small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations: up to $2 million for disaster working capital needs even if they had no property damage. There is a $2 million maximum business loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.

For homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents can apply online at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.   

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

christopher.teed Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:23
christopher.teed
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1 hour 55 minutes ago
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