Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Florida.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from April 28 to May 6, 2014.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.Language English
PEARL, Miss. – Everyone receives a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after applying for disaster assistance. It explains FEMA’s decision, what to do next if you disagree with FEMA’s decision, and how grant money should be spent if you receive it.Language English
PEARL, Miss. – Three additional disaster recovery centers are open in Itawamba, Lowndes and Rankin counties to assist Mississippi residents affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
The disaster recovery centers will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are located at:
Mantachie Community Center
265 Tishtontee Drive
Mantachie, MS 38855
Lowndes CountyLanguage English
CLANTON, Ala. – Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Alabama are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.
The presidential disaster declaration on May 2 makes federal assistance available to eligible survivors in Baldwin, Jefferson, Lee and Limestone counties.
Disaster survivors have several ways to apply:Language English
Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansans in Pulaski, Randolph and White counties whose property was destroyed or damaged in the April 27 tornado and severe storms may now apply for federal and state disaster assistance.Language English
LINCROFT, N.J. -- When Superstorm Sandy struck and thousands of New Jersey residents were left looking for assistance, public agencies and private entities created resources and programs designed to help them. Nearly 18 months after the storm, the status and scope of these programs have changed, but many of them are still active and available.
Survivors facing urgent safety issues should call 911 or the New Jersey Emergency Response Hotline (800-JERSEY-7). The hotline’s backup numbers are 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471.Language English
LINCROFT, N.J. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has produced materials to give technical guidance to home builders and property owners planning post-Sandy construction or repairs in coastal areas.
Investigations conducted by FEMA and other organizations have consistently shown that properly sited, well-designed and well-constructed coastal residential buildings generally perform well in coastal disasters.Language English
LINCROFT, N.J. -- The impending arrival of spring will give homeowners with properties affected by Hurricane Sandy time and opportunity to make repairs and begin mitigation projects. The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to offer assistance programs designed to provide information and financial help to homeowners and renters.Language English
FEMA Corps Teaches Students Emergency Preparedness at Long Branch High School and Old Bridge Township’s Cooper Elementary
LINCROFT, N.J -- After two weeks of hard work at the Sandy Recovery Field Office, members of FEMA –Corps’ Fox Four team debuted their emergency preparedness presentation at Long Branch High School on Monday, April 7.
Formerly known as FEMA Connect, the program presented by FEMA Corps recently was renamed, “Ready, Steady, Strong” to more clearly communicate its focus on emergency preparedness.
LINCROFT, N.J. -- Communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy are getting some extra help with their recovery projects from students at colleges and universities throughout New Jersey.
Graduate and undergraduate students from Richard Stockton State College, Rowan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Monmouth University and Rutgers University are volunteering with projects that include grant writing, landscaping, dune maintenance and debris cleanup.
Little Rock, Ark. – State and federal disaster responders are acting at record pace to help survivors of the storms and tornadoes that tore through Arkansas on April 27. Federal disaster assistance approved for Arkansans has topped $1 million – and that’s just one of several milestones so far.
President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Faulkner County at 10 a.m. April 29. At 5:45 p.m., less than eight hours later, the first Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) opened for business in Vilonia.Language English
Little Rock, Ark. – For many Arkansans in Faulkner County affected by the April 27 tornadoes, cleanup is well underway. That means residents may have questions regarding the types of debris that can be left at the curb for collection and how to handle debris when a homeowner hires a contractor.
DEBRIS PLACED ON RIGHT OF WAYLanguage English
Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-202-4765 );
The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased by about 50 percent since October 2013, significantly increasing the chance for a damaging quake in central Oklahoma.
In a new joint statement by the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey, the agencies reported that 183 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater occurred in Oklahoma from October 2013 through April 14, 2014. This compares with a long-term average from 1978 to 2008 of only two magnitude 3.0 or larger earthquakes per year. As a result of the increased number of small and moderate shocks, the likelihood of future, damaging earthquakes has increased for central and north-central Oklahoma.
“We hope that this new advisory of increased hazard will become a crucial consideration in earthquake preparedness for residents, schools and businesses in the central Oklahoma area,” said Dr. Bill Leith, USGS Senior Science Advisor for Earthquakes and Geologic Hazards. “Building owners and government officials should have a special concern for older, unreinforced brick structures, which are vulnerable to serious damage during sufficient shaking.”
The joint statement indicates that a likely contributing factor to the increase in earthquakes is wastewater disposal by injection into deep geologic formations. The water injection can increase underground pressures, lubricate faults and cause earthquakes – a process known as injection-induced seismicity. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose. The recent earthquake rate changes are not due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates.
Oklahoma’s heightened earthquake activity since 2009 includes 20 magnitude 4.0 to 4.8 quakes, plus one of the two largest recorded earthquakes in Oklahoma’s history – a magnitude 5.6 earthquake that occurred near Prague on Nov. 5, 2011, which damaged a number of homes and the historic Benedictine Hall at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee.
As a result of the increased seismicity, the Oklahoma Geological Survey has increased the number of monitoring stations and now operates a seismograph network of 15 permanent stations and 17 temporary stations. Both agencies are actively involved in research to determine the cause of the increased earthquake rate and to quantify the increased hazard in central Oklahoma.
Rachel Pawlitz ( Phone: 352-264-3554 );
DAVIE, Fla.-- The diverse patterns on the diamondback terrapins’ intricately grooved shell may be their claim to fame, but a newly published U.S. Geological Survey study of the genetic variation underneath their shell holds one key to rescuing these coastal turtles.
Listed as an endangered species in Rhode Island and deemed threatened in Massachusetts, the terrapin is the only turtle in North America that spends its entire life in coastal marshes and mangroves. Seven different subspecies of terrapins are currently recognized by scientists based on external traits, such as their skin color and the shape of their shells. Each subspecies occupies a strip of the eastern seaboard or Gulf of Mexico coastline, from as far north as Massachusetts to as far west as Texas.
Many of the coastal states where terrapins are found have designated it a species of special concern, and the states are looking to address the issues the terrapins face due to fragmentation of their coastal habitats. An increasingly patchy swath of isolated coastal marshes makes it harder for terrapins to find each other and continue interbreeding as they have in the past.
“Before now, it was not clear how terrapin genetics varied across the range,” said Kristen Hart, a USGS research ecologist and lead author of the study. “Understanding this variation across the landscape helps land managers develop conservation plans. For example, they may pinpoint areas where habitat protection can be supplemented with migration corridors.”
Agencies often maintain migration corridors to help wildlife continue to breed based on their historic patterns. These are areas where habitat restoration, regulatory policies, or other means are used to ensure animals can pass safely between two or more prime areas of habitat. Well-placed corridors could maintain the terrapins’ existing natural diversity and keep their overall population numbers robust, explained Hart.
“Diversity loss can be a silent threat to many species,” explained Maggie Hunter, a USGS research geneticist and co-author of the study. “The threat to long-term survival of terrapins occurs if they become separated into isolated groups. Isolation can affect their overall survival several generations down the line.”
To support a healthy mix of genetic diversity, however, managers must first understand the existing genetic variation.
“Healthy interbreeding doesn’t mean that turtles from Maine have to interbreed with those from Texas,” explained Hunter. “Once managers know where ‘natural breaks’ in populations occur, they can focus on keeping terrapin populations healthy by enabling reproduction within each of those distinct groups.”
To identify those natural genetic breaks, Hart teamed up with Hunter and USGS research geneticist Tim King to study their breeding patterns using DNA from the blood samples of nearly a thousand terrapins. Based on their variation in 12 genetic markers -- strands of DNA that King had decoded for comparative purposes -- the terrapins were assigned into genetically similar groups.
They found only 4 genetically distinct populations, which came as a surprise, given there are 7 recognized terrapin subspecies. This means the ‘natural breaks’ in breeding don’t correspond to the ranges of those subspecies.
The results of the genetic study offer one more benefit. During the 1920s, terrapins were considered a delicacy and hunted for their meat, and they still occasionally turn up as food in markets around the country. Now, wildlife agencies can use a DNA test to determine where these turtles came from, so they can return rescued turtles back to their original habitat.
The study, “Regional differentiation among populations of the Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)” was recently published in the journal Conservation Genetics.
PEARL, Miss. – Specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are reaching out to survivors in Mississippi’s storm-ravaged communities to help individuals register for assistance. Survivors may meet a specialist in their neighborhood or speak to one on the phone.Language English
State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Louisville and Tupelo
PEARL, Miss. – Mississippi residents affected by the recent series of storms, tornadoes and flooding can now visit disaster recovery centers in Louisville and Tupelo if they have questions about disaster assistance. Additional recovery centers are being planned for the other declared counties.
The disaster recovery centers will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are located at:
Winston CountyLanguage English
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Alabama.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Alabama and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on April 28, 2014 and continuing.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Baldwin, Jefferson, Lee, and Limestone counties.Language English
PEARL, Miss. – Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Mississippi are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.
The presidential disaster declaration of April 30 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Rankin, Wayne and Winston counties.Language English