Emergency Management

A Disaster Recovery Center Opens for Four Days in Belle Glade

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:55

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opens Tuesday, Nov. 7 for four days in Belle Glade to help Florida storm survivors.  

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Hurricane Maria Update

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:48

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – One and a half months after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico nearing category 5 strength, the government of Puerto Rico, FEMA and its federal partners have been making progress in one of the nation’s most logistically complex responses in history.

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Free Repair Advice Available in Brazoria, Galveston, Nueces and Victoria Counties

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:53

AUSTIN, Texas – As Texans repair or rebuild their homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding, FEMA and home-improvement stores in Brazoria, Galveston, Nueces and Victoria counties are teaming up to provide free information, tips and literature on making homes stronger and safer.

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Virgin Islands Disaster Recovery Centers to be Closed on Sundays

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 10:55

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands — All nine Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) across the territory will be closed on Sundays starting this Sunday, November 12. The centers provide information and help for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

DRCs will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

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Understanding FEMA Verified Loss

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 09:44

ORLANDO, Fla. – You may be eligible for FEMA help to restore your home to a safe, sanitary and functional condition following a disaster, if you don’t have insurance coverage – or if you have received an insurance settlement that is less than the cost to make your home habitable.

FEMA assistance is not the same as insurance. Assistance only provides the basic needs for a home to be habitable.  

Once you register for assistance, FEMA is required to verify losses to determine your eligibility for disaster assistance.

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Disaster Recovery Centers in Two Counties Change Hours of Operation

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:00

AUSTIN, Texas –Two State of Texas/Federal Disaster Recovery Centers will change their hours of operation starting Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. The recovery centers are located at:

Harris County

Klein Multi-Purpose Center
7500 Farm to Market #2920
Klein, TX  77379

Brazoria County

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Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency achieves highest national honor for its emergency management program

State - RI Emergency Management - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:00
AWARD CRANSTON, RI- The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) has earned the prestigious distinction of being awarded national accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). This is a significant achievement that demonstrates the State of Rhode Island has...

Help Remains after Disaster Recovery Center Closes in Montgomery County

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:55

AUSTIN, Texas – A State of Texas/Federal Disaster Recovery Center in Montgomery County in the city of Magnolia will close permanently at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. The center is at the following location:

Friendship Center/Community Center
31355 Friendship Dr.
Magnolia, TX 77355

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Disaster Recovery Centers for Hurricane Survivors Top 10,000 Visitors

FEMA - News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 06:49

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – The deadline for Virgin Island hurricane survivors to sign up with Operation Blue Roof for free temporary roofing repairs to their homes has been extended to Thursday, November 23.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the territorial government’s request to extend the deadline to allow those who left the islands due to impacts from hurricanes Irma and Maria to take full advantage of the program. 

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UPDATED: Local Assistance Centers are Available for Wildfire Victims

State - California - CALOES - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 18:53

Several Local Assistance Centers (LAC) or Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) remain open to serve the communities and individuals that were impacted by the devastating wildfires.

The LAC or DRC provides a single facility at which individuals, families and businesses can access available disaster assistance programs and services. The following is a list of locations for LACs or DRCs. Services will vary by location. Local, county, state and federal representation will vary by location as well.

Representation may include, but is not limited to: Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, Contractors State License Board, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Veterans Affairs, California Department of Social Services – State Supplemental Grant Program, Housing and Community Development upon need in each individual county.

Other services and in-person representation by agencies may be available, please check ahead of time with your Local Assistance Center or Disaster Recovery Center.

Individuals who are interested in finding out more information about eligibility other assistance programs should call or register at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

Lake County
Clearlake Community Center
3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake

Hours: 10a-7p Daily Mendocino County
1375 N. State Street

Hours: 10a-7p Daily Napa County
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive
Building A, Napa

Hours: 10a-7p Monday – Friday

10a-5p Saturday

Closed Sundays Sonoma County
Press Democrat Building
427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Hours: 9a-7p Daily ​Disaster Recovery Center
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma

Hours: 9a-7p Daily Disaster Recovery Center
Yuba County Govt. Center
915 8th Street, Marysville

Hours: 9a-7p Daily

Fact Sheet: Rumor Control

FEMA - News - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:37

During times of crisis, there are often broken lines of communication and false information being shared. Although the circulation of incorrect information is not always intended, some may use the opportunity to take advantage of others’ vulnerability. Below are some trending topics with answers as to what is true and what is not:

Can I get money at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)?

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FEMA Disaster Recovery Center now open in Aguadilla

FEMA - News - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 10:38

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A government of Puerto Rico and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened Sunday Nov. 5 in Aguadilla.

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INSIDE LOOK: Recovery & Remembrance from Devastating Wildfires

State - California - CALOES - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 18:50

Watch Video Here if Not Showing Above: https://youtu.be/Nb9_HiLDIlI

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On this edition of Inside Look. It was the deadliest week of wildfires in California’s history.

We go back to some of the hardest hit neighborhoods and show you signs of hope already rising from the ashes.

We hear from residents who are lining up to take the next steps toward rebuilding.

We talk with the state’s top emergency manager about the recovery process.

And, we never forget.

[SHOW BEGINS] I’m Brian May, thanks for joining us. It was the deadliest week in California wildfire history. 8900 structures burned. 43 people dead and now begins a time of healing. A time of recovery. A time to rebuild.

[Music bagpipes] On Saturday of this past week a day of remembrance was held at Santa Rosa Junior College. The program included a moving bell ceremony. One toll for each of the lives lost and it included first-hand accounts of what it was like for the first responders there that night.

This event giving residents of Sonoma County a chance to meet face to face with those first responders, to say thanks, offer handshakes and hugs.

[Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “Overwhelming support. Just amazing. I mean I have stories I can’t even… I’ve heard like three of them I’ve heard 3% of the stories and I could talk for hours about the things the neighbor that rescued the neighbor the neighbor that carried their neighbor out. The neighbor that got the neighbors horses out. You know, it’s just endless the kind of work that was done to protect people here and it shows when you look at how many lives were saved.”

[Fire Chief] “So Rob brought up dispatch. I’m gonna share a one little story they are the unsung heroes. So they’re they’re sending us to calls for service, and I’ll tell you when they’re on the phone and they got someone on the other line saying ‘there is fire everywhere and I can’t get out’ they say we’re gonna get somebody to you. And, when they hear on the other line that we can’t get to them, those dispatchers stay on the line with everyone until the line goes silent.” [voice breaking with emotion]

[Bryan May] One of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the fires was Coffey Park in Santa Rosa. Overnight almost the entire neighborhood gone. Don Millerick has lived in Coffey Park for 41 years, but on the Saturday we met him, he had come back to salvage what was left of the two vintage cars that were in his garage when the fire just ripped through his house and the 40 year old redwoods that once stood proud in his backyard.

Millerick, like many of his neighbors, said after discussing his debris removal options with his insurance agent he knew that signing the Right of Entry form was the way to go.

[Don Millerick] “I think I’m gonna, yeah, pretty sure, yeah I talked to the insurance guy and he said there was an X number of dollars in my policy for cleaning up and he said that sounds like a bargain to him. Yeah, so that’s probably the way to go right now. I’m just relieved that I got the few things that I wanted out of here and I know now it’s probably gonna take, you know, looks like it’ll be weeks before you see an awful lot of activity out here. But I know the hazmat guys have already started and that’s a mandatory operation right.”

[Bryan May] There are two phases to the cleanup of property. The first phase, the removal of household hazardous waste. Items like propane tanks, pesticides, paint.

The second phase is the actual debris removal, and the only way that process can start, if you opt to have the state do it for you, is to sign the Right of Entry form.

Cleanup crews have been mobilized and are ready to go, but the first step begins with a signed Right of Entry form.

[Mark Ghilarducci] “It’s really important that the sooner we can get the debris cleared from these lots, the faster we can begin the recovery process within the community. People can feel like they’re beginning the recovery process. There is action taking place moving forward. 

And look, we know winter’s coming. This is the biggest disaster in loss of structures in totality that we have seen in in recent times and there’s no time to sort of dilly-dally on this. We need to work very decisively, and we need to move rapidly to get our community back up.

What our goal is to address the needs of the people that have lost. Make sure our local communities rebound and the economy gets back operational. And, that we rebuild in a positive, safe and secure manner.”

[Bryan May] We know that many of you still have questions about those right of entry forms. So here to shed some light on what they are, and where to get those questions answered, here’s Shawn Boyd.

[Shawn Boyd] About a hundred people a day make their way to the “ROE Center” here at 625 Fifth Street in Santa Rosa. It is the first big step that they need to take to get their homes rebuilt and their lives back to normal. [sounds of debris sifting] The stress of losing one’s home only starts with the rubble left behind. Survivors’ resilience is now being tested by the long and arduous task of rebuilding their lives.

[John McCall] “It’s actually been my job mission over the last two weeks is to figure this whole thing out.”

[Shawn Boyd] That’s why a right of entry center, like this one, has been established in each of the counties affected by the October wildfires. “Right of Entry,” or ROE, is a form that, once completed and signed by the homeowner, allows contractors onto their property to remove all that fire debris and clean the land of any toxics.

With that form comes a lot of questions and that’s the reason for the centers.

[Ruth O’Connor] “The hardest part was finding it. Once we found it, it was… Went in had a five minute wait until somebody put us behind a computer. The guy was just helpful…”

[Shawn Boyd] Like Ruth O’Connor from Larkfield, everyone here is a wild fire victim. But they each have a unique situation.

Eric Pearson of Glen Ellyn is the anchor tenant for a ranch that lost four homes.

[Eric Pearson] “Sure. Four houses can get cleaned up pretty easily they’re 1,500 square feet each but we’ve got 50,000 square foot of barn with old chemicals and toxic and that needs to be cleaned up too.”

[Shawn Boyd] Other property owners were hit more than once. John McCall has multiple properties all over Sonoma County that burned to the ground. He’s got his signed ROE form firmly in hand.

[Shawn Asks a Question] So initially did you have any reservations about about signing one of those?

[John McCall] “Well, I’m an attorney so I looked it over and not really…”

[Shawn Boyd] But many do have reservations, and by coming to the ROE Center, questions are answered.

[Shawn Asks a Question] Did they answer all of your questions?

[Ruth O’Connor] “Yes he did. He was very knowledgeable. It wasn’t his first rodeo.”

[Shawn Boyd] And those that can’t be answered immediately will be researched by staff and then relayed to the property owner by phone. This Center is open seven days a week, nine to six, but they won’t be here forever time is ticking.

[Sonoma County Official] “This process is going to be coming to an end, and so we do need them to start making those decisions quickly. So if they have questions, come down and talk to us.”

[Shawn Boyd] Ruth left the ROE Center with a smile on her face. Her future can now begin.

[Ruth O’Conner] “We’ll start rebuilding process and start all over again.”

[Shawn Boyd] So we can’t stress enough the importance of coming down to the ROE Center. Not only to get that form, get it filled out and turned in, but also to answer any of those questions you may have. A lot of the questions that are out there are happening because the information is changing so quickly. Well these folks here are updated continuously, so they have that real-time information – those answers that you’re looking for. Back to you.

[Bryan May] Shawn, thank you. The path of destruction for these wildfires spared nothing that includes hundreds of schools that were affected either by fire damage, smoke damage, or in many cases, it just wasn’t safe for students and staff to get there. But that is not the case today. Jonathan Gudel was part of a school’s task force at Cal OES. He has an update.

[Jonathan Gudel] Thanks Brian. Students in Sonoma County were out of school for weeks. It wasn’t because of a holiday break and certainly not because of the reasons they would prefer. Not even the place where kids come to learn to play with their friends was spared from devastating wildfires that ravaged Northern California communities. Thousands of students were impacted and hundreds of schools were closed.

[Juan Mireles, California Department of Education] “Unfortunately, there were a lot of schools affected. not just the schools but the students the parents of teachers the community. At its peak, there were approximately 650 schools that were closed affecting about 290 thousand students.”

[Jonathan Gudel] Coordination from state local and federal partners worked quickly to put students back on campus – either at their previous school or an alternate site.

[Juan Mireles, California Department of Education] “There’s still concerns. Once again, opening the schools that remain closed and being able to clean a debris and reconstruct so that they can open up those schools again.”

[Jonathan Gudel] All students are now back in school.

[Bryan May] By the time the October wildfires were contained they had burned over eight thousand nine hundred structures across multiple counties. But recovery is already underway. With more on that, here’s Monica Vargas.

[Monica Vargas] California is on its way to recovery. Helping all whose lives are changed by the fires remains a top priority for the state. Agencies continue to work around the clock to help these community begin rebuilding and progress is being made. So what does recovery look like?

Let’s take a look at assistance centers. Sonoma County has a Local Assistance Center, Disaster Recovery Center and Business Recovery Center available. Napa County has a Local Assistance Center. Mendocino County has a Disaster Recovery Center. Lake County, Disaster Recovery Center. Yuba County, Disaster Recovery Center and that one is also serving Butte and Nevada counties. Nevada County also has a Disaster Loan Outreach Center as does Butte County.

All together, almost 15,000 households have been served by these current centers. When it comes to cleanup efforts, household hazardous waste cleanup has begun in Sonoma County. 3091 parcels have been completed. Napa 309. Mendocino 160. Lake 143 which is all of them. Yuba 173. Nevada all 39 are completed.

The figures are encouraging and the numbers will continue to grow. For resource center locations, dates and times, or for any other questions you may have go to wildfire recovery dot org. Stay tuned for more updates as we keep moving forward on the road to recovery. Bryan?

[Bryan May] Monica, thank you. And one last reminder – If you live in one of the areas affected by the wildfires, visit your Local Assistance Centers. They’re there to answer the questions that you may have. Also monitor your local county agencies. They’ve got great information. And, we’ve put together all the counties on our website. It is www.wildfirerecovery.org.

We leave you now with some of the lasting images over the last 30 days.

[Music and News Reporter Talking] “…this fire has crossed the highway several times in the last couple hours.”

[music] [Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “People ran from their homes in the middle of the night while their cars were on fire so many people made it through this and were saved and rescued and got out.”

[music] [Don Millerick pointing to his burned lot] “…that was all engulfed over there and it was coming this way.”

[music] [Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “…we lost lives in this and thousands lost their homes. People lost their family members. They lost their friends.”

[Speaker at podium] “We are a community of heroes after this experience.”

[Bill Withers – ‘Lean on Me’ song by Choir] “…lean on me, when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend… I’ll help you carry on.”

[Mark Ghilarducci] “You are not alone. We will recover. We will rebuild. And, we will come back stronger together.”

[music continues to play] [Choir] “…call me. call me… Call me.”

[Cheering and clapping with appreciation – END OF SHOW]

For more information, visit www.WildfireRecovery.org


Contact FEMA with Insurance Settlement Documentation

FEMA - News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:51

ORLANDO, Fla. – Survivors who suffered wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma and find themselves insured for some, but not all damages, may initially be designated ineligible for FEMA disaster assistance due to insurance coverage.

Even if you received an initial denial from FEMA, you may be eligible later for help after your insurance claims have been settled if you can demonstrate that your insurance didn’t cover essential needs.

Contact your insurance company and request a settlement letter that details exactly what is covered under the claim.

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FEMA Disaster Recovery Center now open in Camuy

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 18:22

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A government of Puerto Rico and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened Saturday Nov. 4 in Camuy.

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Additional Counties Eligible for Public Assistance Funding in South Carolina

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 14:22

ATLANTA – Abbeville, Newberry, and Saluda counties are now eligible to apply for funding under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas that sustained damage from Hurricane Irma.

Assistance to those three counties may cover eligible debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair or rebuilding of public facilities such as roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, public utilities, parks and recreational facilities.

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Disaster Recovery Centers for Hurricane Survivors Top 10,000 Visitors

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 14:01

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands — Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) across the U.S. Virgin Islands have reached a milestone, topping 10,000 visits in the few weeks since the first one opened on October 8.

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Ineligibility Due to Insurance Coverage May Not Be the Last Word on Assistance

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:12

ORLANDO, Fla. – Survivors who suffered wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma and find themselves insured for some, but not all damages, may initially be designated ineligible for FEMA disaster assistance due to insurance coverage.

Even if you received an initial denial from FEMA, you may be eligible later for help after your insurance claims have been settled if you can demonstrate that your insurance didn’t cover essential needs.

Contact your insurance company and request a settlement letter that details exactly what is covered under the claim.

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Governor Brown, California Congressional Delegation Request $7.4 Billion in Federal Disaster Relief Funding to Aid Wildfire Recovery

State - California - CALOES - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:02

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined California’s two U.S. Senators and 39 members of the California congressional delegation to request $7.4 billion in federal funding for wildfire relief and recovery efforts in California. Governor Brown also expedited more than $40 million in state aid for immediate recovery efforts.

The letter from the Governor and members of the state’s Congressional delegation, sent to the White House today, urges the President and Congress to work quickly to adopt a third supplemental disaster-related appropriations bill to support the state as it recovers from October’s devastating wildfires that killed 43 people and destroyed approximately 8,900 residential and commercial structures.

This $7.4 billion in federal funding would flow to a variety of federal cleanup, recovery and assistance programs and support housing, transportation, agriculture, environmental protection, local health services, long-term recovery planning, reconstruction and small businesses. 

Separately today, Governor Brown directed the California Department of Finance to expedite the allocation of $41.5 million in funding to help support immediate needs in impacted areas, including cleanup, hazardous waste removal and assistance for Californians impacted by the fires who are not eligible for federal aid. 

Under the state appropriation, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will dedicate $35 million to debris removal and cleanup efforts, while the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will direct $1.5 million to support hazardous waste cleanup operations. This funding will support debris removal and household hazardous waste cleanup at lots impacted by the fires. Household hazardous waste has already been removed from more than 3,000 lots and debris removal is starting across the impacted counties.

The appropriation also includes $5 million – managed by the California Department of Social Services – to aid wildfire victims who are not eligible to receive federal disaster assistance because of their immigration status. The funds will help these individuals and families affected by the fires with food, housing, utility and other expenses. 

During the wildfire disaster last month, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for the counties of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange and secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support the state and local response to the fires, within 24 hours of making the request. Federal direct aid was also secured for residents of Napa, Sonoma, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Orange and Nevada counties who suffered losses due to the fires as well as Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits for workers in these counties who lost jobs or had work hours substantially reduced as a result of the fires. Governor Brown also issued an executive order to help cut red tape and streamline recovery efforts in impacted communities and last Saturday declared a “Day of Remembrance of the Northern California Fires” in recognition of victims and first responders.

Additional information on California’s wildfire emergency response and recovery efforts is available at: http://wildfirerecovery.org.  

Aviso a los Medios: Aclaración sobre el rol Federal en la reapertura de las escuelas

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:00

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – El Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de EE.UU. (USACE, por sus siglas en inglés) no toma la decisión en cuanto a si una escuela debe de abrir o permanecer cerrada. Su único propósito es proveer asistencia técnica  sobre la integridad estructural de las facilidades de las escuelas. Esa información se le provee al Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico, quien también toma en cuenta las evaluaciones de otras agencias gubernamentales de Puerto Rico y luego toma la decisión final de abrir o no abrir una escuela.


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