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Even if You Have Insurance, Register with FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:46

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you live in Calaveras or Lake counties and were affected by the recent wildfires and are insured, you may still be eligible for FEMA assistance.

By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help survivors with uninsured or underinsured losses or if their insurance settlement is delayed. Applicants should notify FEMA of their situation and provide insurance company documentation.

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Categories: Federal News

Chain of Wetlands Project Reduces Flood Risks in City of Dallas

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:31

FEMA and the state of Texas are highlighting Texas communities that have taken steps to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property.

DALLAS – After years of serious flooding, Dallas officials made a decision to reduce flood risk by redesigning an important ecosystem located in the heart of the city. The outcome not only solved a major problem, it resulted in a beautiful outdoor recreation area.

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Categories: Federal News

Kentucky Storm Survivors Have One Week Left to Register With FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 10:31

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Survivors of Kentucky’s July storms have until Oct. 12, 2015, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance.

Survivors who suffered losses during the severe storms in July in Breathitt, Carter, Fleming, Johnson, Leslie, Perry, Rowan and Trimble counties who have delayed registering for any reason should apply for potential assistance that could include:

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of South Carolina Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 10/03/2015 - 17:21

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

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

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President Obama Signs Emergency Declaration for South Carolina

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 10/03/2015 - 17:14

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of South Carolina to supplement state, local, and tribal response efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on October 1, 2015, and continuing.

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Categories: Federal News

Atlantic Beaches Still Likely to be Affected by Hurricane Joaquin

USGS Newsroom - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 18:16
Summary: As the path of Hurricane Joaquin continues to move farther offshore, making landfall in the U.S. less likely, U.S. Geological Survey coastal change experts say there’s still a high probability of dune erosion along parts of the Atlantic coast, from the North Carolina Outer Banks to Cape Cod

Contact Information:

Nathaniel Plant ( Phone: 727-502-8072 ); Hannah  Hamilton ( Phone: 703-314-1601 );



USGS coastal scientists visit Nags Head in the Outer Banks to examine coastal erosion impacts that occurred from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. (High resolution image)

As the path of Hurricane Joaquin continues to move farther offshore, making landfall in the U.S. less likely, U.S. Geological Survey coastal change experts say there’s still a high probability of dune erosion along parts of the Atlantic coast, from the North Carolina Outer Banks to Cape Cod.

“The storm’s winds are generating ocean swells capable of causing coastal erosion along the Outer banks, Virginia, and Maryland, as well as areas of the New England, most likely to see the effects,” said Nathaniel Plant, a USGS research oceanographer. “Isolated locations along the New Jersey and New York coast, areas that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, could also experience dune erosion.”

As the hurricane’s track has shifted farther offshore, overwash due to wave runup overtopping the dunes is not currently expected to occur, except at isolated locations where dunes are relatively low.

The USGS coastal-change forecasts, which integrate information produced by both the USGS and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Hurricane Center, will continue to be updated daily and results will be posted to the Coastal Change Hazards Portal. The portal provides a wealth of information for coastal residents, emergency managers and community leaders. To access current forecasts, click on the Portal’s ‘Active Storm’ tab located on the upper right corner of the portal’s web page.

“We are collaborating with NOAA to explain what weather and storm conditions mean for coastal communities. Combining weather data with coastal process information enables us to make detailed predictions of the runup of waves along the coast” said Plant. “We are also developing a time series forecast of predicted high water levels, which we can use to forecast the timing and likelihood that storm waves will erode beaches, damage dunes, overtop the dunes and inundate the land with seawater or open breaches in barrier islands. The expected storm impacts from Joaquin are particularly interesting because high water levels are primarily due to Joaquin’s waves rather than storm surge.”

The researchers indicate that Joaquin is a perfect storm to test the accuracy of the coastal erosion forecasts.  Within the USGS, water scientists who are collecting wave and storm surge data from sensors developed using supplemental funding following Hurricane Sandy, along with scientists from the coastal-change hazards team, will be working together to evaluate and improve the accuracy of future coastal-change forecasts. 

The forecasts and updated information collected from Joaquin will better position the USGS to support emergency managers, coastal planners and community leaders, who can combine the information found on the portal with other data to identify where hazards pose the greatest risks to their communities, thereby allowing them to develop specific plans of action before a storm’s impacts threaten homes, schools, businesses and critical habitats.

Screenshot of portal entry page. (high resolution image) Forecast probability of overwash is reduced. (high resolution image) Forecast probability of dune erosion is still high in many areas from Outer Banks to Cape Cod. (high resolution image)

New State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Lake County

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 16:00

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Clearlake is open to help survivors impacted by the Valley Fire. Disaster Recovery Centers are operated by the California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the county and local agencies. 

DRC Location:

The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center in Clearlake

Old Apria Health Care

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FEMA Eligibility Letter May Not Be Last Word on Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 20:59

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you applied for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and received a letter or text message saying you were not eligible for disaster aid, you should know that the first communication may not be the last word.  While applicants may be ineligible for FEMA disaster grants, they may receive assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

And there may be an easy-to-resolve reason why some wildfire survivors received a notice stating that they are ineligible for assistance. 

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Media Advisory: USGS Deploys Crews in Advance of Hurricane Joaquin in Virginia

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 19:02
Summary: USGS field crews will be out deploying storm tide sensors along the Virginia coast near Virginia Beach, along the Western Chesapeake Bay, and on the Eastern Shore ahead of Hurricane Joaquin Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS crew as they prepare for flooding associated with Hurricane Joaquin? Please contact Shaun Wicklein or Hannah Hamilton.

Contact Information:

Shaun Wicklein ( Phone: 804-399-9929 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-314-1601 );



USGS scientist Carlos Rodriguez, deploying a sensor at Newmarket Creek at Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, VA. Credit: USGS(High resolution image)

USGS field crews will be out deploying storm tide sensors along the Virginia coast near Virginia Beach, along the Western Chesapeake Bay, and on the Eastern Shore ahead of Hurricane Joaquin. Storm tide sensors measure the tidal fluctuations and height of the tide relative to land surface.

Currently, Hurricane Joaquin’s track remains uncertain, and the National Hurricane Center is providing updates on potential future movement.

USGS is deploying storm tide sensors along the Virginia coast in an effort to measure storm-tides, which are expected to be above normal even if Hurricane Joaquin does not make landfall. The information these sensors collect is important to future models of coastal impacts from storms.

These sensors are part of a relatively new USGS mobile network of rapidly deployable, experimental instruments that are used to observe and document hurricane-induced storm-surge, waves and tides as they make landfall and interact with coastal features.

This network, known as USGS SWATH, consists of water-level and barometric-pressure monitoring devices that are deployed in the days and hours just prior to a potential widespread storm-surge event, and then retrieved shortly after event occurrence. The network also includes a smaller number of Rapid Deployment Gauges, which are temporary water-stage sensors with autonomous data-transmission capacity. RDGs are set up in advance of an event to provide short-term water-level and meteorological data during the event for areas that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of storm surge.

The SWATH Network was supported by Congressional funding provided to the Department of the Interior post superstorm Sandy (2012).

WHO: USGS field crews

WHAT:  Reporters are invited to join USGS field crews deploying tidal sensors in advance of Hurricane Joaquin.

WHEN: Friday, October 2, 2015

WHERE: Virginia Beach, along the Western Chesapeake Bay, and on the Eastern Shore

Many Atolls May be Uninhabitable Within Decades Due to Climate Change

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 16:30
Summary: A new study shows that the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on island atolls may be more severe and happen sooner than previous estimates of inundation predicted by passive “bathtub” modeling for low-lying atoll islands, and especially at higher sea levels forecasted for the future due to climate change

Contact Information:

Leslie  Gordon, USGS ( Phone: 650-329-4006 ); Mariska  van Gelderen, Deltares ( Phone: +31 (0)6 13 67 13 70 );



Photograph showing the impact of a large wave at the south shore of Laysan Island, with endangered Laysan teal in the foreground. (High resolution image)

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A new study shows that the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on island atolls may be more severe and happen sooner than previous estimates of inundation predicted by passive “bathtub” modeling for low-lying atoll islands, and especially at higher sea levels forecasted for the future due to climate change. More than half a million people live on atolls throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and although the modeling was based on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the results from the study apply to almost all atolls.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues at the Deltares Institute in the Netherlands, and the Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit at University of Hawaii, Hilo report that numerical modeling reveals waves will synergistically interact with sea level rise, causing twice as much land forecast to be flooded for a given future sea level than currently predicted by models that do not take wave-driven water levels into account.

Observations show global sea level is rising due to climate change, with the highest rates in the tropical Pacific Ocean where many of the world’s low-lying atolls are located. Sea level rise is particularly critical for low-lying coral reef-lined atoll islands; these islands have limited land and water available for human habitation, limited food sources and ecosystems that are vulnerable to inundation from sea level rise. Sea level rise will result in larger waves and higher wave-driven water levels along atoll islands’ shorelines than at present.

“Many atoll islands will be flooded annually, contaminating the limited freshwater resources with saltwater, and likely forcing inhabitants to abandon their islands in decades, not centuries, as previously thought,” said USGS geologist and lead author of the study, Curt Storlazzi.

The study explored the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on atoll islands within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including Laysan and Midway Islands, which are home to many threatened and endangered endemic species. The same modeling approach is applicable to most populated atolls around the world.

The study, “Many Atolls May Be Uninhabitable Within Decades Due to Climate Change,” was recently published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal, and is available online.

FEMA Awards More than $5.6 Million to Louisiana for Flooding and Wind Damage Protection Measures

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:56

DENTON, Texas – More than $5.6 million in federal funding was recently awarded to the state of Louisiana to fund wind damage and flood protection measures in Jefferson and Terrebonne parishes.

In Jefferson Parish, more than $2.8 million covers mitigation measures taken to protect government facilities such as fire headquarters and the police department from wind and debris damage. The measures include 571 impact-resistant screens and roll-down shutters.

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Categories: Federal News

Wildfire Survivors Warned: Beware of Fraud

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:43

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As Californians work to recover from the wildfires, FEMA is warning of another danger: Fraudulent building contractors and other scam artists who often appear in communities recovering from a disaster.
Here are a few common post-disaster fraud practices:

Fraudulent phone calls or visits: Be wary of individuals claiming to be from FEMA without proper FEMA photo identification asking for survivor information.

Survivors will be asked to provide their Social Security number and banking information only when registering for FEMA assistance.

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Categories: Federal News

Safe Room Program Offers Cooke County, Texas Residents Peace of Mind

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 11:33

COOKE COUNTY, Texas – Faced with a long local history of dangerous tornadoes, Cooke County officials wanted to help residents protect themselves. They achieved that goal by offering homeowners financial incentives to build tornado shelters and safe rooms. 

Established in May 2011 with the help of federal funds, the county’s Residential Safe Room Rebate Program reimburses homeowners for part of the cost of installing safe rooms and shelters on their property. The rebate covers 50 percent of the total cost, up to $3,000. To date, 365 residents have participated.

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Categories: Federal News

Public Invited to Comment on San Patricio County, Texas Preliminary Flood Maps

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:24

DENTON, Texas– Months of teamwork by local officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have led to new preliminary flood maps in San Patricio County. The public is encouraged to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period about the maps. Anyone who wishes to file an appeal has until December 22, 2015 for submission.  

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Public Invited to Comment on Bernalillo County, New Mexico Preliminary Flood Maps

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:20

DENTON, Texas– Months of teamwork by local officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have led to new preliminary flood maps in Bernalillo County. The public is encouraged to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period about the maps. Anyone who wishes to file an appeal has until December 21, 2015 for submission  

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FEMA Ready to Review Your Sandy Flood Claim, Just Call and Ask

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 08:57

Two weeks remain for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policyholders to submit their Hurricane Sandy Claims for review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The last day to submit claims is Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

NFIP-certified insurance adjusters are currently reviewing more than 15,000 Sandy flood claims, looking for any instance of underpayment. Where warranted by the review, additional payments are being made to policyholders who suffered losses from the storm.

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FEMA Assistance Will Not Change Social Security, Medicare Benefits

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:12

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance grants do not count as income. Survivors who receive federal disaster assistance as a result of the wildfires will not pay additional income taxes or see any reduction in their Social Security checks or any other federal benefits.

Grants for temporary housing, essential home repairs, replacement of personal property or other disaster-related needs do not count as income. Donations from charitable organizations will not affect Social Security payments or Medicare benefits.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Phones and Help Available at Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:09

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – Many survivors of the recent wildfires in Lake and Calaveras counties have lost both landline and cellular telephone service. The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants them to know that two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) have operational phone lines and are staffed with FEMA representatives who are ready to help residents register for disaster assistance.

Two DRCs are currently open in Calaveras and Lake counties:

The Calaveras County DRC in San Andreas:

891 Mountain Ranch Rd.

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Categories: Federal News

Unique Wildfire Mitigation Efforts in Bastrop County Trim Risks

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:56

During September, National Preparedness Month, the Austin Joint Field Office is releasing a series of stories highlighting FEMA’s support of Texas communities as they take steps to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property.

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Categories: Federal News

Five Disaster Prep Hacks You Need to Know

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 08:45

CHICAGO –Disasters can happen with little or no warning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for them. Use these five life hacks to help you better prepare for whatever the unexpected may be:

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Categories: Federal News