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Federal News

Federal Disaster Aid for Alabama Tops $40 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:16

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Federal aid provided to Alabama residents affected by the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding has reached more than $40 million.

The following numbers, compiled July 17, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:

Funds approved:

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA local hires and spending boost Alabama’s economy as tornado recovery continues

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:11

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  – Some Alabamians saw their homes and cars destroyed by this spring’s tornadoes and floods while others saw their jobs or businesses demolished.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping put the state’s economy back on track, not only by providing financial assistance to families and state and local governments, but also by hiring Alabama residents to help with the recovery efforts and spending money in the local economy.

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Categories: Federal News

Volunteers: The Often Overlooked Backbone of Disaster Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:22

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The backbreaking work accomplished by volunteers in Alabama  following the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding seems to have occurred out of the clear blue sky.

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Categories: Federal News

Being Alert to Fraud Helps Both Recovery and the Taxpayer

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:19

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The great majority of people registering with Federal Emergency Management Agency for help have genuine needs.

Unfortunately, the rush to get assistance by those affected by the Alabama tornadoes, severe storms and flooding of April 28 through May 5 also may present opportunities to defraud taxpayers.

Fraud increases the cost of recovery after a disaster and gives money to those without disaster-related losses, say emergency management officials.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Registration Period in Alabama Closes Tuesday

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:08

Tuesday, July 15 is the deadline in Alabama to register with FEMA and to return an application for physical damage to the SBA.

Persons who suffered damage in the spring storms of April 28 through May 5 who have yet to register with FEMA should do so as soon as possible. The registration process takes about 30 minutes. The ways to register are:

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Federal Aid for Alabama Reaches More Than $38 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:04

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Federal aid provided to Alabama residents affected by the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding has reached nearly $38 million.

The following numbers, compiled July 10, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:

Funds approved:

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Categories: Federal News

Portland Disaster Relief Trials Pedal for Earthquake Preparedness

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:42

Portland, Ore. – Gear up for the third annual Portland Disaster Relief Trials (DRT), taking place this upcoming Saturday, July 19. This 30-mile earthquake preparedness exercise is designed to highlight how cargo bikes can be used in disaster supply runs, helping mitigate some of the fuel and transportation problems that typically affect cars and other vehicles after major earthquakes.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal funds authorized to help fight Chiwakum Fire

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:40

Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Chiwaukum Fire, burning in Chelan County, Washington.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Chiwaukum Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.  Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on July 16, 2014 at 11:54 p.m. PDT.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal funds authorized to help fight Carlton Complex Fire

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:37

Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Carlton Complex Fire, burning in Okanogan County, Washington.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Carlton Complex Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.  Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on July 17, 2014 at 12:25 a.m. PDT.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal funds authorized to help fight Moccasin Hill Fire

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:34

Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Moccasin Hill Fire, burning in Klamath County, Oregon.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Moccasin Hill Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.  Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on July 14, 2014 at 11:16 a.m. PDT.

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Categories: Federal News

Nearly $19.7 Million Approved for Mississippi Disaster Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:49

JACKSON, Miss. Federal assistance approved for disaster survivors in 12 Mississippi counties has reached nearly $19.7 million.

Here is a summary of all federal assistance to individuals and households in the 12 Mississippi counties designated for FEMA Individual Assistance. The severe storms, tornadoes and flooding occurred from April 28 through May 3, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

What's the Deal with 3DEP?

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:00
Summary: The USGS, along with other federal, state, local and private agencies is establishing a new 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) designed to respond to the growing needs for three-dimensional mapping data of the United States. This coordinated partnership can help meet the country’s needs for high-quality, 3D elevation data. Replacing outdated and inconsistent elevation data will save lives and improve prosperity across our Nation

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Vicki Lukas ( Phone: 703-648-4646 );



The USGS, along with other federal, state, local and private agencies is establishing a new 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) designed to respond to the growing needs for three-dimensional mapping data of the United States. This coordinated partnership can help meet the country’s needs for high-quality, 3D elevation data.

Current and accurate 3D elevation data are essential to help communities cope with natural hazards and disasters such as floods and landslides, support infrastructure, ensure agricultural success, strengthen environmental decision-making and bolster national security.

The primary goal of the 3DEP partnership is to systematically collect 3D elevation data across the Nation, using lidar, a remote sensing detection system that works on the principle of radar, but uses light from a laser.

“We are excited about working with partners to apply the game-changing technology of lidar to benefit many critical needs of national importance,” said Kevin Gallagher, USGS Associate Director of Core Science Systems. “For example, FEMA and NOAA are some of our strongest partners because they rely on this type of data to significantly improve floodplain mapping and to better communicate flood risks to communities and citizens.”

The 3DEP initiative is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment that documented more than 600 business and science uses across 34 Federal agencies, all 50 States, selected local government and Tribal offices, and private and nonprofit organizations.  The assessment also shows that 3DEP would provide more than $690 million annually in new benefits to government entities, the private sector, and citizens.

A recent White House fact sheet described how accessibility of accurate, high-quality 3D elevation data provides the foundation to the Administration’s overall plan to assist populations in the areas of flood risk management, water resource planning, mitigation of coastal erosion and storm surge impacts, and identification of landslide hazards.

The USGS will host a briefing on Capitol Hill on July 25 to further describe the importance, benefits and growing needs for 3D elevation data.

More information about 3DEP and state specific fact sheets is available online.

A comparison of an air photo and a lidar image of an area along Secondary Road and Camp Creek, 12 miles north of John Day, OR. The lidar image allows identification of landslide activity that is otherwise masked by trees. (Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries).

USGS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Water Resources Research Act

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:00
Summary: The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964 Vital research on water flows from 1964 law

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Earl  Greene ( Phone: 443-498-5505 );



The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964. 

Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico. “Abundant, good water is essential to continued economic growth and progress,” said President Johnson at the time in a prepared statement. “The Congress has found that we have entered a period in which acute water shortages are hampering our industries, our agriculture, our recreation, and our individual health and happiness.”

“Water makes life on Earth possible, defines our landscape, and shapes our natural heritage.  It is key to our continued prosperity,” observed Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science at the Department of the Interior.  “The keen appreciation of the importance of water resources that was expressed by our nation’s leaders in 1964 appears even more visionary today as we are facing the challenges of population growth, increased demand, and climate change.”

The WRRA’s geographically distributed approach to water research and education, Johnson’s 1964 statement continued, “will enlist the intellectual power of universities and research institutes in a nationwide effort to conserve and utilize our water resources for the common benefit.  The new centers will be concerned with municipal and regional, as well as with national water problems.  Their ready accessibility to state and local officials will permit each problem to be attacked on an individual basis, the only way in which the complex characteristics of each water deficiency can be resolved.” 

Subsequent amendments to the 1964 act broadened the list of National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) so that, by 1983, there were 54 institutes, one in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. 

The Water Resources Research Institute Program originally authorized by WRRA in 1964 is a federal-state partnership that provides for competitive grants to be awarded for research projects focusing on the state and region. Each of the 54 institutes is charged with overseeing competent research that addresses water problems or expands the understanding of water and water-related phenomena. They are also responsible for aiding the entry of new research scientists into water resources fields, helping to train future water scientists and engineers, and transferring the results of sponsored research to water managers and the public. 

“The water research partnerships fostered by the Water Resources Research Act are unparalleled,” said Sharon Megdal, Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center and president-elect of NIWR.  “The network of Water Resources Research Institutes connects within states, across regions, and with USGS and other federal agencies to tackle the most pressing water resource challenges of our nation." 

Fifty years later, the Water Resources Research Institutes, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, continue to fulfill their roles assigned by Congress in 1964. They have produced path-breaking research, developed innovative information and technology transfer programs, and provided training to more than 25,000 students in their 50-year history.

Learn more

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than a Week for Florida FEMA Deadline

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:04

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Less than a week remains for storm and flood survivors in Florida to apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The deadline to register is Monday, July 21.

Survivors in Escambia, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties are eligible to apply for disaster assistance that may include money to help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Announces Membership of New Technical Mapping Advisory Council

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:27

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the membership of the newly created Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC). As directed by Congress, the Council is tasked with developing recommendations for FEMA’s flood mapping program to ensure that flood insurance rate maps reflect the best available science and are based on the best available methodologies for considering the impact of future development on flood risk.

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Categories: Federal News

ASU, USGS Create Sharpest Map Ever of Mars Surface Properties

USGS Newsroom Technical - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:11
Summary: TEMPE, Ariz. – A heat-sensing camera designed at Arizona State University has provided data to create the most detailed global map yet of Martian surface properties. The map uses data from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), a nine-band visual and infrared camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. An online version of the map optimized for scientific researchers is also available.

Contact Information:

Robin Fergason ( Phone: 928-556-7034 );



TEMPE, Ariz. – A heat-sensing camera designed at Arizona State University has provided data to create the most detailed global map yet of Martian surface properties. The map uses data from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), a nine-band visual and infrared camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. An online version of the map optimized for scientific researchers is also available.

The new Mars map was developed by Robin Fergason of the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, in collaboration with researchers at ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility. The work reflects the close ties between space exploration efforts at Arizona universities and the USGS. 

"We used more than 20,000 THEMIS nighttime temperature images to generate the highest resolution surface property map of Mars ever created," said Fergason, who earned her Ph.D. degree at ASU in 2006. "Now these data are freely available to researchers and the public alike."

Surface properties tell geologists about the physical nature of a planet or moon's surface. Is a particular area coated with dust, and if so, how thick is it likely to be? Where are the outcrops of bedrock? How loose are the sediments that fill this crater or that valley? A map of surface properties lets scientists begin to answer such questions.

The new map uses nighttime temperature images to derive the "thermal inertia" for football field-sized areas of Mars. Thermal inertia is a calculated value that represents how fast a surface heats up and cools off. As night follows day on Mars, loose fine-grain materials such as sand and dust change temperature quickly and thus have low values of thermal inertia. Bedrock has a high thermal inertia because it cools off slowly at night and warms up slowly by day.

"Darker areas in the map have a lower thermal inertia and likely contain fine particles, such as dust, silt or fine sand," said Fergason. “Brighter regions have higher thermal inertia surfaces, consisting perhaps of coarser sand, surface crusts, rock fragments, bedrock or combinations of these materials.”

The designer and principal investigator for the THEMIS camera is Philip Christensen, Regents' Professor of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe campus. Four years ago, Christensen and ASU researchers used daytime THEMIS images to create a global Mars map depicting the planet's landforms, such as craters, volcanoes, outflow channels, landslides, lava flows and other features.

"A tremendous amount of effort has gone into this great global product, which will serve engineers, scientists and the public for many years to come," Christensen said. "This map provides data not previously available and will enable regional and global studies of surface properties. I'm eager to use it to discover new insights into the recent surface history of Mars."

Fergason noted that there's a practical side, too.

"NASA used THEMIS images to find safe landing sites for the Mars Exploration Rovers in 2004 and Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, in 2012," she said. "THEMIS images are now helping to select a landing site for NASA's next Mars rover in 2020."

July Anniversaries are an Important Reminder to Prepare for Wildfires

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 01:02

DENVER – This month marks two key wildfire anniversaries, which serve as an important reminder that families need to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their property against wildfires. 

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Categories: Federal News

Farmers and Gardeners: Prepare Now to Weather the Whims of Mother Nature

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:35

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- New Jersey comes by its nickname, “The Garden State,” honestly, as the agricultural industry brings more than $987 million into the state’s economy. The state is among the top ten producers of cranberries, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, blueberries, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes in the United States, according to the New Jersey Farm Service Agency.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Rebuilding Specialists Providing Advice in Flowood This Week

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:19

JACKSON, Miss. – Rebuilding or repairing property damaged from the recent severe storms?  Residents can get advice on building safer and stronger this week from Federal Emergency Management Agency specialists in Rankin County.

FEMA mitigation specialists will be at Lowe’s in Flowood Tuesday through Saturday to offer information on rebuilding after a disaster. The advisors can answer questions about protecting homes from future disaster-related damage and offer tips to build hazard-resistant homes.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs For The State of Iowa Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:03

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Iowa.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News