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Federal News

Arizona to receive FEMA funding to battle Kearney River fire in Pinal County

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 15:20

OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of Arizona combat the Kearney River Fire in Pinal County. 

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Houston, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 13:57

AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Harris County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Specialists from the State of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), nongovernmental organizations and the local community are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

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Categories: Federal News

A New Era of Space Collaboration between Australia and U.S.

USGS Newsroom Technical - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 08:00
Summary: On June 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia, the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia signed a comprehensive new partnership to maximize land remote sensing operations and data that can help to address issues of national and international significance

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Tom Holm ( Phone: 605-594-6127 );



On June 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia, the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia signed a comprehensive new partnership to maximize land remote sensing operations and data that can help to address issues of national and international significance.

"This partnership builds on a long history of collaboration between the USGS and Geoscience Australia and creates an exciting opportunity for us to pool resources across our organizations,” said Dr. Frank Kelly, USGS Space Policy Advisor and Director of the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center. “We will work collaboratively to implement a shared vision for continental-scale monitoring of land surface change using time-series of Earth observations to detect change as it happens.”

Dr. Chris Pigram, Geoscience Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, also welcomed the agreement. “This new partnership elevates an already very strong relationship to a new level, and will see both organizations harness their respective skillsets to further unlock the deep understanding of our planet that the Landsat program provides.”

Dr. Kelly and Dr. Pigram both observed, “Our shared vision is to develop systems that enable us to monitor the Earth and detect change as it happens.  The ability to do this will be critical to our ability to engage with major challenges like water security, agricultural productivity, and environmental sustainability.”

A key element of the partnership involves a major upgrade to Geoscience Australia’s Alice Springs satellite antenna which will see the station play a much more significant role in the international Landsat ground-station network. Following this $3 million (AUD) upgrade committed to by the Australian Government, the Alice Springs antenna will transmit command-and-control signals to the Landsat satellites and support downloading of satellite imagery for the broader South East-Asia and Pacific region. Alice Springs will be one of only three international collaborator ground stations worldwide playing such a vital role in the Landsat program.

Dr. Kelly noted, “We are very pleased to see such a commitment from Australia to the future success and sustainability of the Landsat program.  We appreciate the essential role that Australia continues to play in ensuring that Landsat data for this region is collected and then made available for societal benefit.”

The partnership will also include a strong focus on applying new science and ‘big data’ techniques, such as Geoscience Australia’s Geoscience Data Cube and the USGS’s land change monitoring, assessment, and projection capability, to help users unlock the full value of the data from the Landsat program.

Dr. Suzette Kimball, acting Director of the USGS, recently noted, “We are now beginning to see that the combination of high performance computing, data storage facilities, data preparation techniques, and advanced systems can materially accelerate the value of Landsat data.”

Dr. Kimball added, “By lowering barriers to this technology, we can enable government, research and industry users in the United States and Australia, as well as the broader world, to realize the full benefits of this open-access and freely available data.”

Mobile Registration Intake Center Opens in Fort Bend County for Texas Flood Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:20

AUSTIN, Texas – A Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) has opened in Rosenberg, Texas, to serve homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms and flooding.

Specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are there to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

Location and dates of operation

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Categories: Federal News

State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Van Zandt County, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:18

AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Van Zandt County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Specialists from the State of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), nongovernmental organizations and the local community are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

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Categories: Federal News

State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Bastrop, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:15

AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Bastrop County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Specialists from the State of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), nongovernmental organizations and the local community are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA provides federal funds to help fight Card Street Fire

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 13:38

SEATTLE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Card Street Fire, burning in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Card Street Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on June 16, 2015 at 4:54 p.m. AKDT. This is the second FMAG approved in Alaska this fire season.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Launches Innovative National Volunteer Program to Enhance Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts Nationwide

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 11:08

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with seven technology organizations to provide state, local, tribal and territorial governments with technology resources during a disaster to expedite response and recovery.

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Categories: Federal News

NOAA, Partners Predict an Average 'Dead Zone' for Gulf of Mexico

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 11:00
Summary: Scientists are expecting that this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, also called the “dead zone,” will be approximately 5,483 square miles or about the size of Connecticut — the same as it has averaged over the last several years Outlook incorporates multiple hypoxia models for first time

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell, USGS ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Ben  Sherman, NOAA ( Phone: 202-253-5256 ); Jim  Erickson ( Phone: 734-647-1842 );



Additional contacts:  Dave Malmquist, VIMS, 804-684-7011, davem@vims.edu  and William (Matt) Shipman, NCSU, 919-515-6386, matt_shipman@ncsu.edu

Scientists are expecting that this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, also called the “dead zone,” will be approximately 5,483 square miles or about the size of Connecticut — the same as it has averaged over the last several years. 

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico affects nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries and threatens the region's economy. Hypoxic zones hold very little oxygen, and are caused by excessive nutrient pollution, primarily from activities such as agriculture and wastewater. The low oxygen levels cannot support most marine life and habitats in near-bottom waters. 

This year marks the first time the results of four models were combined. The four model predictions ranged from 4,344 to 5,985 square miles, and had a collective predictive interval of 3,205 to 7,645 square miles, which take into account variations in weather and oceanographic conditions. 

The NOAA-sponsored Gulf of Mexico hypoxia forecast has improved steadily in recent years, a result of advancements of individual models and an increase in the number of models used for the forecast. Forecasts based on multiple models are called ensemble forecasts and are commonly used in hurricane and other weather forecasts. 

The ensemble models were developed by NOAA-sponsored modeling teams and researchers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences/College of William and Mary, Texas A&M University, North Carolina State University, and the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS). The hypoxia forecast is part of a larger NOAA effort to deliver ecological forecasts that support human health and well-being, coastal economies, and coastal and marine stewardship.

“NOAA, along with our partners, continues to improve our capability to generate environmental data that can help mitigate and manage this threat to Gulf fisheries and economies,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We are adding models to increase the accuracy of our dead zone forecast." 

The Gulf of Mexico hypoxia forecast is based on nutrient runoff and river stream data from the USGS. The USGS operates more than 3,000 real-time stream gauges, 50 real-time nitrate sensors, and collects water quality data at long-term stations throughout the Mississippi River basin to track how nutrient loads are changing over time. 

The USGS estimates that 104,000 metric tons of nitrate and 19,300 metric tons of phosphorus flowed down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers into the Gulf of Mexico in May 2015. This is about 21 percent below the long-term (1980-2014) average for nitrogen and 16 percent above the long-term average for phosphorus. 

"Real-time nitrate sensors are advancing our understanding of how nitrate is transported in small streams and large rivers, including the main stem of the Mississippi River,” said William Werkheiser, USGS associate director for water. “Long-term monitoring is critical for tracking how nutrient levels are changing in response to management actions and for improving modeling tools to estimate which sources and areas are contributing the largest amounts of nutrients to the Gulf. " 

The confirmed size of the 2015 Gulf hypoxic zone will be released in early August, following a monitoring survey led by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium from July 28 to August 4.

Texans in Seven Additional Counties May Now Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:35

AUSTIN, Texas – The federal disaster declaration for Texas has been expanded to include Individual Assistance for seven additional counties as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began May 4, according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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Categories: Federal News

PREVENTING MOLD: CLEAN IT, DRY IT OR DISCARD IT

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:03

OKLAHOMA CITY – Not all of the damage from flooding takes place while your home or business is under water. Long after the flood waters have receded, mold and mildew can present serious and ongoing health issues.

Oklahomans impacted by the severe storms and flooding that took place between May 5 and June 4 should take steps to protect the health of their family or employees by treating or discarding mold- and mildew-infected items as soon as possible.

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Categories: Federal News

STATE/FEMA RECOVERY CENTER NOW OPEN IN LE FLORE COUNTY

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 09:59

OKLAHOMA CITY – Another Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will be available to help people in Oklahoma who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes that struck May 5 through June 4.

A Mobile DRC officially opens Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 7 a.m. in Le Flore County at:

Community Safe Room/Poteau High School

100 Pirate Lane

Poteau, OK 74953

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday

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Categories: Federal News

Pulaski County, Arkansas Flood Maps Become Final in July

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 08:41

DENTON, Texas ––New flood maps for Pulaski County will become effective early next month.

Local, state and federal officials encourage everyone to view the maps before Monday, July 6, 2015 in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.

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Categories: Federal News

Natchitoches Parish Flood Maps Become Final in July

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 08:39

DENTON, Texas ––New flood maps for Natchitoches Parish will become effective early next month.

Local, state and federal officials encourage everyone to view the maps before Monday, July 6, 2015 in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA provides federal funds to help fight the Sockeye Fire

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 13:18

SEATTLE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Sockeye Fire, burning in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Sockeye Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on June 15, 2015 at 6:37 p.m. AKDT.

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Categories: Federal News

National Flood Insurance Program Call Center Opens for Policyholders and Disaster Survivors Nationwide

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 15:49

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) call center pilot program to serve and support policyholders with the servicing of their claims.

Flood insurance claims can be complicated, and policyholders may have questions in the days and weeks following a disaster.

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Categories: Federal News

National Flood Insurance Program Call Center Opens for Policyholders and Disaster Survivors Nationwide

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 15:09

DENTON, Texas – Today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) call center pilot program to serve and support policyholders with the servicing of their claims.

Flood insurance claims can be complicated, and policyholders may have questions in the days and weeks following a disaster.

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Categories: Federal News

Digital Preliminary Flood Maps for Richland County Ready for Public Viewing

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:11

ATLANTA -- Newly revised preliminary digital flood insurance rate maps for Richland County, SC will be available for residents to review at a public open house at the Richland County Office Building on June 24, 2015, from 4 to 7 p.m. Flood maps show the extent to which areas are at risk for flooding, and are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements.

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Categories: Federal News

DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR SBA LOAN APPLICATION

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:05

OKLAHOMA CITY – If you live in one of 20 Oklahoma counties designated for Individual Assistance as a result of the severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4, be sure to complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application. Discarding it could be like throwing away money.

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Categories: Federal News

DISASTER ASSISTANCE EXPANDS TO INCLUDE SEVEN MORE COUNTIES FOR RECENT OKLAHOMA STORMS

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:23

OKLAHOMA CITY – Homeowners, renters and business owners in seven more Oklahoma counties affected by the recent severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding starting on May 5 through June 4 can now apply for state and federal disaster assistance. Those counties include Beckham, Caddo, Canadian, Marshall, McIntosh, Seminole and Wagoner, which now brings the total to 20.

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Categories: Federal News