AUSTIN, Texas – State and federal recovery officials encourage Texans to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals. Also, be aware FEMA does not endorse any commercial businesses, products or services.
FEMA encourages survivors as well as local residents and businesses to be especially vigilant for these common post-disaster fraud practices:
Fraudulent building contractors. When hiring a contractor:Language English
DENTON, Texas– New preliminary flood maps for residents and business owners in Willacy and Cameron counties are now ready for residents to review. Local, state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials teamed up to produce them.
Residents and business owners are encouraged to view the maps for a better understanding of their flood risks. This understanding will help make informed decisions about building plans. It will also help decide whether to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.Language English
DENTON, Texas – New preliminary flood maps for residents of Chambers, Liberty and San Jacinto counties area ready for residents to review. Communities affected by the maps include Liberty, Dayton, Dayton Lakes, and Mont Belvieu.Language English
DENTON, Texas – The state of Texas has been awarded more than $3.3 million in federal disaster assistance for repairs to roads in Hidalgo County. Road damages were a result of the severe storms and flooding in May and June 2015.
The funding, which is made possible by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance program, covers the cost to restore the roads to their pre-flood form and function. More than 10 miles of roadways in and around Mercedes and Edcouch will be repaired.Language English
Baton Rouge, La – Louisiana disaster survivors in Avoyelles Parish may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Their first step is to register with FEMA.
Individuals in the 36 designated parishes who had storm damage may apply for federal disaster assistance three ways:Language English
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Mitigation experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say there is no better time than now for Missouri homeowners to start thinking about how to prepare for the next flood.Language English
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Free publications are available now in three library systems to help Missouri residents rebuild safer and stronger from the Missouri flooding. FEMA’s outreach teams created displays to provide information along with the publications.
Libraries in Cole, Camden and St. Louis counties are providing the information to help Missourians learn more about damage from weather, prepare for disasters, rebuild safer and learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program.
Libraries providing the publications include:Language English
Louisiana Disaster Survivors in Ouachita, Tangipahoa and Beauregard Parishes Can Get Rebuilding Tips at Local Home Improvement Stores
Baton Rouge, La. — Survivors from Ouachita, Tangipahoa and Beauregard parishes who are rebuilding after the March severe storms and floods can receive a free consultation with hazard mitigation advisers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The free mitigation stations will be open on a walk-in basis at Lowe’s in Monroe, Ouachita Parish; Lowe’s in Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish; and Stine Lumber-Building in DeRidder, Beauregard Parish, starting Friday, April 8, 2016.Language English
BATON ROUGE, La. –If you are one of the Louisiana flood and storm survivors referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s important to complete and submit the loan application you receive to ensure that your disaster recovery process continues to move forward.Language English
Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Roseland, Tangipahoa Parish, and Coushatta, Red River Parish for Louisiana Survivors
BATON ROUGE, La. – Disaster recovery centers will open Thursday, April 7, in Roseland, Tangipahoa Parish and Coushatta, Red River Parish to help Louisiana flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.
The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:
The National Guard Pavilion RSA
62589 Holloway Rd.
USGS Director Suzette Kimball testified about the priorities and capabilities of the USGS today before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Her written remarks follow:
Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell, members of the committee, thank you very much for inviting me to testify today. I am excited for this opportunity to share some of my views on the state of the USGS and its mission. I would like to start this conversation with some history.
In 1879, Congress passed legislation that merged several Federal scientific and mapping surveys. We call this statute our Organic Act, because it inaugurated the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). From the beginning, the mission of this combined endeavor was not only to map the West and locate resources, but also to push the boundaries of science. USGS scientists, for almost 140 years now, have pursued that mission with an uncommon dedication. I am honored to be their 16th Director and cognizant of the responsibility that the President, the Congress, and this committee have entrusted to me.
Not only is the USGS older than 12 of the States, it is also the forbearer of several important government agencies, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. In the time since we were established, technology and Earth science have evolved and we have evolved along with it, to meet the scientific needs of the Nation. For example, with the increase in global demand for critical mineral commodities, USGS has focused on conducting research to understand geologic processes that have concentrated known mineral resources at specific localities in the Earth’s crust and to estimate or assess quantities, qualities and areas of undiscovered mineral resources, or potential future supply. We have increased resources toward the National Geospatial program, earthquake early warning, volcano monitoring and the national streamgage network. USGS has also focused our activities on fulfilling statutory authorities, most recently by addressing national water availability and use through the SECURE Water Act.
Our evolution is evident, as you noted two years ago, Madame Chairman, in a resolution recognizing the anniversary of the massive earthquake that occurred in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska on March 27, 1964 (the Good Friday Earthquake). USGS science in response to that event helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics, fundamentally changing earthquake science. Shortly thereafter, in 1966, Bill Pecora, our 8th Director, advocated for the use of satellites to study natural resources. This innovation led to Landsat and opened the age of Earth observation from space.
In 1995, Congress merged biologists from the National Biological Survey with the USGS, helping us to become an integrated Earth science agency. As scientific and technological advances have revealed the complexity of the issues we face, the value of bringing Earth science disciplines together has become ever more apparent. Today’s challenges demand the innovation made possible by integrating the full breadth of USGS capabilities.
One example that illustrates the value of USGS’s diverse scientific capabilities is our leadership in understanding methylation processes of mercury. Mercury is a toxin that can build up in the food chain, becoming deadly to humans. It is most dangerous after undergoing a specific chemical change, methylation. Our geological expertise allows us to understand how and where methylation occurs, and our biological expertise allows us to understand how it affects plants, animals, and humans. Combining the talents, tools, and methods from these two disciplines is necessary to correctly assess methylmercury and its potential impacts.
I want to stress that we rely on numerous partnerships to pursue our scientific mission. The state geological surveys, universities, municipal governments, other Federal agencies, and foreign governments all count as critical partners of the USGS. As you may know, our budget is leveraged resulting in, approximately, an additional half a billion dollars contributed by our partners, especially State governments and other Federal agencies. We see this as an indication of their confidence in and support for our work. Such partnerships also have made it possible, for example, to create and publish a whole-lifecycle mining report, that offers industry and regulators guidance on how to site, develop, and close a mine with resource and environmental implications taken into account. In the future, we plan to do similar work for energy resources.
The USGS works closely with other Interior bureaus such as the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as other Federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rather than duplicate those agencies’ missions, the USGS complements their research activities and contributes sound science for their decisionmaking. We are pleased to know that Congress looks to us, too, because researchers from the USGS are here hundreds of times a year meeting with you and your offices.
While I am proud of our integrated approach to problem solving, drawing on geological and biological science, remote sensing, epidemiology, ecology, or any of the myriad disciplines that constitute Earth science, innovation is the characteristic I most hope to nurture during my tenure in this office. While the Bureau has often been at the forefront of innovative research and science, we must take advantage of technological change and respond to emerging scientific directions to meet our full potential.
Today USGS labs are spearheading novel technologies. For example we are using eDNA to monitor the spread of Asian carp. We also work on other invasive species such as zebra mussels, brown tree snakes, and cheatgrass. Through our groundbreaking work on white-nosed syndrome, avian influenza and other wildlife diseases, the Bureau has become known as “the CDC of wildlife,” and is on the front lines of possible future epidemics.
One of our ongoing pursuits is 21st century mapping. In Alaska, we are harnessing our partnerships with the State and the University of Alaska, along with the technology of interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or ifsar, to produce modern geospatial information for the State. Back in the lower 48, high resolution elevation data are being collected using lidar technology by a coalition of Federal, State and private industry partners, to inform decisionmaking and enable newfound abilities like mapping and even forecasting landslides. The landslide tragedy at Oso, Washington, in 2014, not unlike the Good Friday Earthquake, pushes us to look farther, aim higher, and complete a scientific achievement worthy of the investment and trust placed in us by the American people.
Speaking of hazards, the USGS has long led Federal research into various geologic hazards and we are pressing forward on innovative approaches in this area, too. Along the West Coast, we are establishing, in cooperation with states, universities, and philanthropic partners, a state-of-the-art earthquake early warning system. This system could readily be expanded to Alaska and other high-risk regions of the country. We are also applying advanced telemetry and remote sensing technologies, making a volcano early warning system a reality. For many of your constituents, these are hazards they live with every day and they are also threats to the Nation as a whole.
The unknown unknowns of Earth science motivate us to advance our understanding of the natural world. As we look toward the future I see challenges where we are positioned to lead, all of which I have touched on: water security and availability, tools for protection from and response to natural hazards, assessment of critical minerals, forecasting and preventing biological threats, and creating the next generation of mapping tools and technology.
I have every confidence that the USGS will continue to meet these challenges, and I am heartened by a recent survey of marine and coastal scientists and managers which found the USGS to be the most credible Federal science agency. This is not a reason to boast, but a calling to meet such high expectations.
The mission of the USGS in the 21st century will not only be to locate natural resources for the benefit of the Nation, but to find ways of exploiting those resources sustainably so that our prosperity is not fleeting or fragile. For example, we are researching microbial production of natural gas, which may someday make it possible harness the energy of coal resources while avoiding many of the environmental costs traditionally associated with it. It is the job of the USGS, working with our partners, to help bring that future to fruition.
On behalf of the approximately 8,000 employees of the USGS, thank you again for inviting me here today. I would be happy to answer any questions you have.
New US Topo maps for Texas and Oklahoma are now available in the USGS Store for free download. One of the main improvements is the inclusion of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) road data.
“The US Topo digital maps are a great public resource to provide authoritative, robust maps to emergency management field personnel and first responders when response time matters”, said Michael Ouimet, Critical Information Systems Manager for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “Our agency deployed the US Topo digital maps to our field personnel across the state.”
Other important additions to the new US Topo maps for Texas and Oklahoma are the integration of wetlands layers using data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory, along with the continued incorporation of “crowdsourced” trail data from the International Mountain Bike Association.
The US Topo map improvement program has entered its third, three-year cycle of revising and updating digital US Topo quadrangles. These new US Topo maps replace the second edition US Topo maps and are available for no-cost file download from The National Map, the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website , and several other USGS applications.
The USGS recently released US Topo maps for Wisconsin, Iowa and Kansas which were the first set of states to feature TIGER data. The TIGER database contains all geographic features — such as roads (more than 6.3 million miles), railroads, rivers, and legal and statistical geographic boundaries — needed to support the Census Bureau’s data collection and dissemination programs.
To compare change over time, scans of legacy USGS topo maps, some dating back to the late 1800s, can be downloaded from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection.
For more information on US Topo maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/.Scan of the 1886 legacy topographic map quadrangle of the greater Austin, Texas area from the USGS Historic Topographic Map Collection Updated 2016 version of the East Austin US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned off to better see the improved road network. (1:24,000 scale) Updated 2016 version of the East Austin US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned on. (1:24,000 scale)
PEARL, Miss. – Nearly $3.3 million in state and federal disaster assistance has been disbursed to help those affected by the storms and flooding in Mississippi that began March 9, 2016.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been contacted by nearly 2,200 people for help or information regarding disaster assistance.Language English
Push Notifications to Remind Users to Take Simple Steps to Prepare for Disasters, Provide Easy Access to Information on How to Be Ready for Fires, Severe Weather, and other HazardsLanguage English
Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Pineville, Rapides Parish and Many, Sabine Parish for Louisiana Survivors
BATON ROUGE, La. – Disaster recovery centers will open Wednesday, April 6, in Pineville, Rapides Parish and Many, Sabine Parish to help Louisiana flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.
The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:
The Old Cleco Bldg
201 Cleco Drive
PEARL, Miss. – Mississippians whose homes were damaged in the recent storms and flooding may encounter people attempting to cheat them by posing as inspectors, government officials, volunteers or contractors. These people may try to obtain personal information or collect payment for disaster assistance or repairs.Language English
AUSTIN, Texas – At the request of the state of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has added Henderson, Limestone, Shelby and Tyler to the federal disaster declaration of March 19. They join the nine counties already approved for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance: Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Marion, Newton, Orange and Parker.Language English
PEARL, Miss. – A disaster recovery center is now open in Quitman County to provide assistance to survivors of the severe storms and flooding that began March 9, 2016.
Recovery centers are run jointly by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives of state, federal and voluntary agencies are set up in the center to explain the various programs designed to help survivors recover.
The Quitman County center is located at the Marks Fire Department, 108 W. Main St,
Marks, MS 38646.Language English
PEARL, Miss. – At the request of Governor Phil Bryant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has amended a recent disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding that began March 9, 2016. Survivors in George and Pearl River counties can now register with FEMA for disaster assistance through the Individual Assistance program.Language English