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Federal News

FEMA Rebuilding Experts to Provide Advice in Louisville

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 11:46

JACKSON, Miss. – Residents in the Louisville area can learn how to build or rebuild to reduce the likelihood of damage the next time severe storms, tornadoes or floods hit. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mitigation experts know how and they are sharing their knowledge.

FEMA mitigation specialists will be at Winston County Co-Op in Louisville Friday, Saturday and Monday to discuss specific methods with anyone who stops by. They will have free booklets and pamphlets with additional details.

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Categories: Federal News

An SBA Disaster Loan Can Be Smart Business

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 11:36

JACKSON, MS. — Survivors may not know about disaster help from the U.S. Small Business Administration that could lead to a smarter, faster recovery for businesses, homeowners, renters or private nonprofits.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

SBA offers a working capital loan to relieve the economic injury caused by the disaster. A disaster loan is available to eligible businesses as well as private nonprofits even if property was not damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred April 28 thru May 3, 2014. 

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Categories: Federal News

One Month After Disaster: Federal Aid for Alabama Disaster Tops $20 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/30/2014 - 18:09

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More than $14 million has been approved through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $5 million through its low-interest disaster loan program.

The following numbers, compiled May 29, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:

Funds approved

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Categories: Federal News

Help Continues: Students Involved in SR 530 Slide Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 18:41

Students have been helping with the SR 530 Slide recovery. One example is in Mill Creek, Wash., where a broadcast team of seven students from Henry M. Jackson High School produced one of the first newscasts that told the story of the SR 530 Slide.

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Categories: Federal News

Legal Services Available For Alabamians Affected By Recent Disaster

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 18:33

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabamians who have legal issues that are a direct result of the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding may receive free help from the Volunteer Lawyers Program of the Alabama State Bar Association.

Residents must reside in the designated counties of Baldwin, Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone, Mobile and Tuscaloosa.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadline Approaches for Arkansas Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 15:32

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Survivors of the April 27 severe storms, tornadoes and floods may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).  Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to people who have become unemployed because of the storms.

Residents of Faulkner County have until June 2 to apply for DUA.

The DUA deadline for residents of Pulaski, Randolph and White counties is June 5.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Announces 2014 Youth Preparedness Council Members

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 13:20

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the members of the 2014-2015 FEMA National Youth Preparedness Council.

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Categories: Federal News

Denial of Disaster Assistance May Be Appealed

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 12:50

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A letter denying assistance to storm survivors may not be the last word.

Every applicant for federal assistance has the right to file an appeal for another review of their case. In filing an appeal, documentation that proves the applicant’s reason for filing the appeal must be included.

A denial letter does not necessarily mean an applicant is not eligible for assistance,” said Federal

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center in Oneonta Closing May 31

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 12:06

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The center, operated by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is located at Oneonta Recreation Park – City Depot, Chamber of Commerce Room, 28161 State Highway 75, Oneonta, 35121

The center will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the final day.

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Categories: Federal News

Recovery Center in Tuscaloosa to Close May 31; Re-Opens June 2 as SBA Center

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:47

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Disaster Recovery Center in Tuscaloosa will close Saturday, May 31 at 6 p.m.  An SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open in the same location on Monday, June 2, at 9 a.m.

The Recovery Center is located at the Salvation Army Building, 1601 University Blvd. East, Tuscaloosa, 35404. The FEMA center will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the final day.

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Categories: Federal News

Ultra-violet Light Works as Screening Tool for Bats with White-nose Syndrome.

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:00
Summary: Scientists working to understand the devastating bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) now have a new, non-lethal tool to identify bats with WNS lesions —ultraviolet, or UV, light. Scientists discover a non-destructive yet effective way to screen bats in hibernation for white-nose syndrome

Contact Information:

Alex Demas ( Phone: 703-648-4421 ); Carol Meteyer ( Phone: 703-648-4057 ); David Blehert ( Phone: 608-270-2466 );



Scientists working to understand the devastating bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) now have a new, non-lethal tool to identify bats with WNS lesions —ultraviolet, or UV, light.

If long-wave UV light is directed at the wings of bats with white-nose syndrome, it produces a distinctive orange-yellow fluorescence. This orange-yellow glow corresponds directly with microscopic skin lesions that are the current “gold standard” for diagnosing white-nose syndrome in bats.

“When we first saw this fluorescence of a bat wing in a cave, we knew we were on to something,” said Greg Turner from Pennsylvania Game Commission, who has been using this technique since 2010. “It was difficult to have to euthanize bats to diagnose WNS when the disease itself was killing so many. This was a way to get a good indication of which bats were infected and take a small biopsy for testing rather than sacrifice the whole bat.”

Millions of bats in the United States have died from the fungal disease called White nose syndrome which is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus (Geomyces) destructans (Pd). White-nose syndrome was first seen in New York during the winter of 2006. Since then, the disease has spread to 25 US states and 5 Canadian provinces.

A significant problem in studying WNS has been the unreliability of visual onsite inspection when checking for WNS in bats during hibernation; the only way to confirm presence of disease was to euthanize the bats and send them back to a laboratory for testing.

“Ultraviolet light was first used in 1925 to look for ringworm fungal infections in humans,” said Carol Meteyer, USGS scientist and one of the lead authors on the paper. “The fact that this technique could be transferred to bats and have such remarkable precision for indicating lesions positive for Pd invasion is very exciting.”

To test the UV light’s effectiveness, bats with and without white-nose syndrome in North America were tested by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, first using UV light, then using traditional histological techniques to verify the UV light’s accuracy.

In the USGS lab testing, 98.8 percent of bats with the orange-yellow fluorescence tested positive for white-nose syndrome, whereas 100 percent of those that did not fluoresce tested negative for the disease. Targeted biopsies showed that pinpoint areas of fluorescence coincided with the microscopic wing lesions that are characteristic for WNS.

Researchers in the Czech Republic then tested the UV light-assisted biopsy technique in the field, using it to collect small samples from areas of bat wing that fluoresced under UV light. In this study, 95.5 percent of wing biopsies that targeted areas of fluorescence were microscopically positive for WNS lesions, while again 100 percent of bats that did not fluoresce were negative for WNS.

Combining research from two continents demonstrates that UV diagnostics might be applicable worldwide with great sensitivity and specificity in detecting WNS.

“Moreover, the technique hurts the animal minimally and bats fly away after providing data for research,” said Natalia Martinkova from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. “This makes UV fluorescence an ideal tool for studying endangered species.”

This effort included partners in the USFWS, state and federal biologists, the Czech Science Foundation, and the National Speleological Society of the USA.

This research article, “Nonlethal Screening of Bat-wing Skin with the Use of Ultraviolet Fluorescence to Detect Lesions Indicative of White-Nose Syndrome,” was recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. More information may be found on USGS research on white-nose syndrome here.

30 Days Later: Mississippi Recovery by the Numbers

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:06

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have approved more than $10.8 million in total assistance for survivors of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred in Mississippi from April 28 to May 3. The following is a breakdown of that assistance.

SBA disaster loans for homeowners and renters

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Categories: Federal News

Whole-Community Rapid Response Marks First Thirty Days of Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:05

JACKSON, Miss. – It was April 28 when tornadoes swept from west to east across Mississippi, the beginning of five days of severe storms that also brought rain and flooding. The National Weather Service confirmed 23 tornadoes in the state and 14 deaths. More than 1,200 homes and 90 businesses were destroyed or sustained major damage. Approximately 2,000 homes and 200 businesses were damaged in some way. Two days into the event, Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a federal disaster declaration was granted by President Obama.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $238,219 Grant to City of Savanna: Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish eight flood prone structures

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/28/2014 - 16:41

CHICAGO –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $238,219 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Savanna, Ill., for the acquisition and demolition of eight residential structures in the Plum River floodplain.Following demolition, these properties will be maintained as permanent open space in the community.

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Categories: Federal News

For Communities Plagued by Repeated Flooding, Property Acquisition May Be the Answer

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:25

LINCROFT, N.J. ­-- Millions of people enjoy living near the water, but few people actually want to live in it.

When a property or a neighborhood experiences repeated flooding, costs for the property owner, the community and the state can escalate rapidly.

Flooding may impact the stability of a home or an entire neighborhood, damage or destroy personal property, impact property values and lead to injuries or loss of life. Emergency responders may risk their own lives to help residents escape rising waters.

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Categories: Federal News

New Disaster Recovery Center Schedules Announced Tuesday, May 27

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 17:18

JACKSON, Miss. – One day remains to visit the disaster recovery center in Waynesboro, which closes at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 28.

Also closing this week, at 6 p.m. Friday, are the disaster recovery centers in Laurel and on Stadium Road in Columbus.

Three remaining disaster recovery centers will be closed weekends beginning this week. They are on Lawrence Drive in Columbus, in Louisville and in Tupelo.

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Categories: Federal News

Not enough insurance? FEMA may be able to help

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 15:49

Little Rock, Ark. – As residents rebuild their lives and their homes, representatives of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are encouraging all people in Faulkner, Pulaski, Randolph and White counties who suffered damages as a result of the tornadoes and severe storms to file with their insurance companies and to register with FEMA.

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Categories: Federal News

Mississippi Disaster Survivors: Read any FEMA Correspondence Carefully

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 14:19

JACKSON, Miss. – Some Mississippi tornado survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance may receive letters or other correspondence from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that say they’re ineligible for help.

However, in many cases, they may be able to turn what appears to be a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ by following through and providing additional information.

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Categories: Federal News

Registration Intake Center Now Open in Marianna to Help Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 14:11

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Specialists from the State Emergency Response Team and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available over the long holiday weekend to provide disaster survivors in Jackson County with on-site registration assistance.

The temporary registration intake center is now open in Marianna to help survivors affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from April 28 through May 6. The center offers a quick and convenient way for people to register with FEMA.

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Categories: Federal News

Mitigation Experts Offer Tips to Rebuild Safer, Stronger, Smarter

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 12:17

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Rebuilding or repairing property damaged from the recent severe storms? Get advice on building safer, stronger and smarter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Mitigation experts from FEMA will be on hand at home improvement stores in Conway, Searcy and Little Rock 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