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Federal News

FEMA Urges Continued Preparedness as Severe Weather Continues; Teams Deployed to Assist States’ Response Efforts and Coordinate Federal Support

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 04/28/2014 - 14:07

WASHINGTON – At the direction of President Obama, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is supporting impacted areas after last night’s severe weather outbreak in the central United States. FEMA has Incident Management Assistance Teams on the ground at the State Emergency Operations Centers in Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

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FEMA Urges Preparedness ahead of Severe Weather; Residents Encouraged to Monitor Conditions and Follow Direction of Local Officials

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 04/25/2014 - 17:41

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Denton, Texas, is monitoring a large-scale storm system moving across the western U.S. into the Great Plains which will potentially cause a multi-day severe weather outbreak this weekend and into early next week. Residents in potentially affected areas should take the time now to ensure they are prepared for severe weather.

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One Month before Caddo Parish, Louisiana Flood Maps Become Final

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:04

DENTON, Texas ––In one month, new flood maps for Caddo Parish, Louisiana will become effective.

Local, state and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps before Monday, May 19, 2014 in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.

Most property insurance policies do not cover the effects of a flood. Floods can place people at risk of uninsured loss to their businesses, homes and personal property if they don’t have either a private flood insurance policy or coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

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FEMA Awards more than $1.2 Million for Community Safe Room in Little Elm, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:58

DENTON, Texas — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $1.2 million to the state of Texas for construction of a community safe room in the city of Little Elm in Denton County, Texas.

The concrete safe room, which will also serve as a community center, will be 6,442 square feet with interior usable space of 5,025 square feet, and should provide protection from storms and tornadoes for the people of Little Elm. 

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) will pay 75 percent of the more than $1.6 million total cost for the project.

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Revised West Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia Maps Feature New Design

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 09:00
Summary: US Topo maps now have a crisper, cleaner design - enhancing readability of maps for online and printed use Newly designed US Topo maps covering West Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia are now available online for free download

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Bob Davis ( Phone: 573-308-3554 );



US Topo maps now have a crisper, cleaner design - enhancing readability of maps for online and printed use. Map symbols are easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off. Improvements to symbol definitions (color, line thickness, line symbols, area fills), layer order, and annotation fonts are additional features of this supplemental release. Users can now adjust the transparency for some features and layers to increase visibility of multiple competing layers.

This new design was launched earlier this year and is now part of the new US Topo quadrangles for West Virginia (418 maps), New Jersey (150) and Georgia (952 maps), replacing the first edition US Topo maps for those states.

“Users in West Virginia will appreciate improvements in the US Topo product, including the availability of improved contours, Forest Service trails, and vegetation cover (green tint),” said Craig Neidig, USGS Geospatial Liaison for West Virginia. “The product should find an audience among the many recreational users and outdoor enthusiasts in West Virginia, especially with the capability to use the US Topo maps on mobile devices.  We look forward to the addition of layers including mining sites, wetlands, and more historic features that users were accustomed to seeing on the old topographic quadrangles for the Mountain State.” 

US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous states coverage was completed in September of 2012.  Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps have recently been added. More than 400 new US Topo maps for Alaska have been added to the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, but will take several years to complete. 

Re-design enhancements and new features:

  • Crisper, cleaner design improves online and printed readability while retaining the look and feel of traditional USGS topographic maps
  • New functional road classification schema has been applied
  • A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers
  • Updated free fonts that support diacritics
  • New PDF Legend attachment
  • Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers
  • New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain
  • Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries
  • Starting with Georgia, the railroad dataset is much more complete from a new contractor

To enjoy earlier legacy quads for West Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia, go to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection. These scanned images of paper maps up through 2006 are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users. The new digital electronic topographic maps are delivered in GeoPDF image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no cost download.

For more information, go to: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

Historical map of the Cass, West Virginia area, 1922. (high resolution image 1.8 MB) US Topo map of the Cass, West Virginia quadrangle, March 2014. (high resolution image 1.2 MB)

One Month after the SR530 Slide, Recovery Continues

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:34

EVERETT, Wash. – One month after the State Route 530 Slide claimed the lives of at least 41 people, recovery continues. Local, state, tribal and federal partners have all collaborated in response to this tragedy.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards More Than $1.8 Million for Community Safe Rooms in Hardeman County, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 11:33

DENTON, Texas -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $1.8 million to the state of Texas for the construction of two community safe rooms in the city of Quanah in Hardeman County, Texas.

The concrete safe rooms will also serve as community centers; they will both be 6,442 square feet in size with interior usable space of 5,025 square feet. The safe rooms will provide protection from storms and tornadoes for the people of Quanah.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Indiana Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 14:36

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 Indiana.

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

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President Declares Disaster for Indiana

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 14:34

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 Indiana to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of January 5-9, 2014.

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3 Months Remain Before West Baton Rouge Parish, LA Flood Maps Become Final

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:26

DENTON, Texas ––In three months, new flood maps for West Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana will become effective.

Local, state and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps before Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.

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Categories: Federal News

Commuting Cost Assistance Available For Eligible SR530 Slide Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:47

EVERETT, Wash. – Commuting cost assistance is now available to eligible survivors of the March 22, 2014 SR530 Slide who are faced with long detours around the closed roadway between Arlington/Oso and Darrington.

As a result of the slide, SR530 remains impassible and the use of alternate routes has significantly increased the residents’ commuting distance and cost.

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As Local, State, Tribal, and Federal Partners Continue Supporting SR530 Slide Recovery, Saturday Recovery Centers Hours Are Extended

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 15:56

EVERETT, Wash. – As local, state, tribal, and federal partners continue SR530 Slide recovery efforts, Saturday hours at Disaster Recovery Centers have been extended. The centers are located in Arlington, Darrington and Oso. 

Starting Saturday, April 19, all DRCs will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Monday through Friday hours remain the same. The Centers are closed on Sundays.

Locations and new hours of operation of the recovery centers are as follows:

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FEMA Public Assistance Grants Help Oregon Communities Repair After Storm

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:50

SALEM, Ore. ─ Oregon’s severe winter storm in February left thousands of residents without power and roadways blocked with downed trees and other debris. Today, teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working side by side with state and local officials to help communities recover from the disaster.

The presidential disaster declaration stemming from the Feb. 6-10 storm makes FEMA grants available to eligible applicants in Benton, Lane, Lincoln and Linn counties.

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Categories: Federal News

As search continues, teams expand target focus on new areas

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 22:06

EVERETT, Wash. – SR530 slide search teams will direct their efforts to a smaller section as early as Friday morning.

In the coming days, workers at the slide area will shift the focus of their search to the area south of the temporary berm. Experts say this area, which includes two of the total 21 search zones, offers the highest probability of search success. 

Since the SR530 slide March 22, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified 39 individual fatalities. Four more people remain on the list of missing.

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Montana Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:37

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 Montana.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Montana

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:34

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Montana to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by ice jams and flooding during the period of March 1-16, 2014.

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USGS Releases New National Produced Waters Geochemical Database

USGS Newsroom Technical - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:06
Summary: Scientists studying produced waters and their geochemical and environmental impacts have a powerful new tool in the newly released USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database. This database is publicly available to all scientists and interested members of the public.

Contact Information:

Madalyn Blondes ( Phone: 703-648-6509 ); Alex Demas ( Phone: 703-648-4421 );



Scientists studying produced waters and their geochemical and environmental impacts have a powerful new tool in the newly released USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database. This database is publicly available to all scientists and interested members of the public.

Produced waters are those volumes of water that are typically recovered during oil and gas exploration, development, or production. This database is an update of the 2002 USGS Produced Waters Database, adding more than 100,000 new samples with greater spatial coverage and from both conventional and unconventional oil and gas development.

“This update of the database – with significantly more samples, types of analyses, and data from unconventional oil and gas wells – will be a tremendous tool for a number of stakeholders,” said USGS scientist Madalyn Blondes, who led the development of the database. “Industry can use the database to examine water quality for prospective plays and to plan for waste-water injection and recycling. Farmers can look up local produced water quality for possible remediation and reuse.  Local and national resource managers and economists will have new data to aid in tracking the composition of trace elements and quantifying strategic mineral commodities.”  

The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database has data on a comprehensive list of chemicals, including major elements, trace elements, isotopes, and time-series data. In addition, where available, each sample is identified according to what kind of well it was produced from, the properties of the rock formation it originated from, and the physical properties of the water in the sample.

The kind of well the sample originated from is important, as different well types involve different production methods and rock formations. The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database lists seven different well types: conventional oil and gas, shale gas, tight oil, tight gas, coal bed methane, geothermal, and groundwater.

The database is designed to be dynamic and easily updated with new data or corrections as needed. It is made up of 25 smaller databases, publications, and reports.

The Produced Waters project, as part of the USGS Energy Resources Program (ERP) examines the characterization, use, and impact of waters associated with oil and gas production.

The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database can be accessed here. To learn more about USGS produced waters and other energy research, please visit the USGS Energy Website, sign up for our Newsletter, or follow us on Twitter.

USGS Webinar: Using The National Map Services to Enable your Web and Mobile Mapping Efforts

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:00
Summary: Are you a developer, firm, or organization using mobile or web applications to enable your users?  The USGS has publicly available geospatial services and data to help you

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Brian Fox ( Phone: 303-202-4140 ); Rob Dollison ( Phone: 703-648-5724 );



Screen shot of a mobile mapping service integrating USGS topographic data; hiking and biking trails south of Golden, Colo. (larger image)

Are you a developer, firm, or organization using mobile or web applications to enable your users?  The USGS has publicly available geospatial services and data to help you!  

The USGS’ National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) will be hosting a 30 minute Webinar on “Using The National Map services to enable your web and mobile mapping efforts” on the 30th of April at 9am Mountain Time.  

This webinar will feature a brief overview of services, data, and products that are publicly available, a quick overview on how SingleTracks.com (http://www.singletracks.com/) a leading private firm is leveraging this public data to benefit their users, and a Question & Answer session with a USGS developer to help you get the most out of the national geospatial services.

“This is the first webinar from NGTOC to bring developers and users together for some demonstrations and starting some dialog”, said Brian Fox, the NGTOC Systems Development Branch Chief.  “Using this webinar format, we can simultaneously improve the awareness of USGS geospatial services and develop a better understanding of what users and developers need to make our data and services more available and usable.” 

To access the webinar, you’ll need to activate Adobe WebEx and call into the toll free conference number 855-547-8255 and use the security code: 33220038.  The webinar will display through WebEx. Direct link: http://bit.ly/OhNDx5 or browse the selections for that date and time. The WebEx and audio bridge will be live 15 prior to the start time.

To ensure that you have the appropriate players installed for this WebEx enabled Webinar: https://usgs.webex.com/usgs/systemdiagnosis.php

A simultaneous closed caption option will be available at: http://recapd.com/w-a5791c. The session will also be recorded and posted to the webinar website shortly after conclusion.

To find out more about this webinar conference, go to: http://ngtoc.usgs.gov/webinars.html

Asociados locales, estatales y federales están trabajando de cerca e individualmente con los sobrevivientes del deslizamiento de tierra SR530 mientras continúan la recuperación en Washington

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 20:21

BOTHELL, Wash. – Asociados locales, estatales y federales continúan trabajando en persona con los sobrevivientes del deslizamiento de tierra de la carretera estatal 530 en Washington para asegurar que todos ellos reciban la asistencia por desastre para la cual ellos pudieran calificar.

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FEMA Announces Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:53

WASHINGTON — Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing $112 million in funding available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens.

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Categories: Federal News