SAN JUAN, PR – What happens if there is an emergency and your children are not around? Will they be ready? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages families to have their children prepared for an emergency as early in their childhood as possible, making them smarter and more resilient as well as enhancing their opportunities to survive and help their communities recover faster from any type of disaster.Language English
NEW YORK – Eight New Yorkers were honored Wednesday by the White House as Hurricane Sandy “Champions of Change.”
The White House recognized the individuals for their work in response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. These hidden heroes implemented innovative, collaborative solutions to meet the unique needs of communities and neighborhoods as they worked to rebuild after the devastating effects of this disaster.Language English
FEMA Grants Additional $1.2 Million to Rebuild Louisiana State University School of Dentistry Physical Plant
NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced an additional $1.2 million in recovery aid to Louisiana Facility Planning and Control to rebuild the physical plant at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, including mitigation measures to help prevent damage from future storms.Language English
TRENTON, N.J.--New Jersey businesses are encouraged to ensure that their employees who had damages from Superstorm Sandy register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the deadline, May 1, 2013.
Philip Kirschner, president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, which represents 21,000 companies and employs more than one million workers statewide, said, “We want to get the word out to your employees. That’s why NJBIA joins with FEMA to encourage employers to make sure any of your employees impacted by Sandy register by May 1.”Language English
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will hold the next National Advisory Council (NAC) public meeting on Friday, April 26, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT at the Hilton Garden Inn Capitol Hill Hotel located at 1225 First Street, NE in Washington, DC.Language English
WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the application period for the 2013 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards is now open.
These awards recognize outstanding individuals, organizations, Citizen Corps Councils and programs working to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared for any disaster or emergency event. Submissions will be accepted April 22 through June 5, 2013.Language English
BATON ROUGE, La. – The St. John Parish School Board will receive a $4.6 million federal grant to repair damages to Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School caused by Hurricane Isaac, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Tuesday.
More than a foot of floodwater inundated Lake Pontchartrain Elementary during the August 2012 hurricane, causing the school to close its doors for repairs. The $4,624,088 FEMA grant helps reimburse the school board for work to bring the school back to its pre-disaster design, capacity and function.Language English
NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 28-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels.
The TSA checkout date, which previously had been extended to May 1, has been extended again to May 29. FEMA will be calling applicants eligible for the new extension to notify them of the checkout date.Language English
NEW YORK — Disaster assistance to New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy:Language English
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 New York.
Assistance for the State, Tribal and Affected Local Governments 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 New York to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of February 8 - 9, 2013.Language English
FEMA Corps team Gold 4 joined forces, Saturday, April 20, 2013 with Seattle Emergency Management, Earth Corps and the Nature Consortium at Pigeon Point Park to celebrate Duwamish Alive!
FEMA Corps answered questions about emergency preparedness and gave out information on everything from disaster kits to the risks inherent in the Pacific Northwest. They also gave information on how to reduce these risks. FEMA Corps helped spread information on simple steps for personal, family, and pet preparedness.Language English
TRENTON, N.J.--Two FEMA-State disaster recovery centers will transition to Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Centers this weekend.
The disaster recovery center at the Hudson County Government Building in Jersey City will close Friday, April 26. The center at the Ocean City Community Center in Ocean City will close Saturday, April 27. Both will transition and reopen Monday morning, April 29, as SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers.Language English
Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Ayla Ault at 815-756-9207.
U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding on rivers and streams across most of Illinois.
At least ten USGS streamgages in Illinois that have more than 20 years of record, have measured the highest flood levels ever recorded. More record levels are expected as flooding moves downstream. USGS crews are expected to track the movement of the floodwaters down the Illinois River, the Rock Rivers, and major tributaries over the next few days. Many of the Illinois River floodwaters are expected to exceed records and may result in major flooding that overtop levees. There are 53 USGS streamgages currently at or above flood levels as a result of the rains that began on Tuesday, April 16.
USGS scientists are collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and local agencies in their flood response activities. More information is available on the USGS Illinois Water Science Center website.
"These measurements are made using state-of-the-art equipment, including hydroacoustic meters, which gives the USGS the ability to make accurate and reliable streamflow measurements under extreme flow conditions," said USGS hydrologist Gary Johnson. "Accurate streamflow measurements are critical for emergency managers to make important decisions on how to protect life and property."
There are about 250 USGS-operated streamgages in Illinois that measure water levels, streamflow, and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous discharge measurements to verify the data USGS provides to federal, state, and local agencies, as well as to the public.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.
Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory is cancelling its planned May 4th public open house due to to the federal budget sequestration.
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory has hosted a public open house every few years at its offices on the east side of Vancouver since moving there in 2002, but with major budget cuts this year, cannot support "extracurricular" activities on top of the most critical work of studying, monitoring, and responding to volcanic eruptions in the Cascade Range and around the world.
During past day-long open houses, USGS-CVO staff takes a break from regular research and monitoring duties and provides demonstrations of volcano monitoring equipment such as seismographs, specialized GPS units, and infrared sensors. Staff members discuss results of recent local to global volcano research, eruption response, hazard maps, and ash and rock samples using a variety of visual aids. Volcano learning activities for children are a major attraction, as is the opportunity for the public to bring in rock samples for identification.
CVO open houses are a rare opportunity for the public to meet one-on-one with the approximately 55 people who work at the observatory, and learn about the critical work done monitoring active volcanoes. The most recent public open house was in May, 2010. About 1,200 people attended the event.
The cancellation is being taken at a time when the USGS is making tough choices on how best to implement the mandatory budget cuts. The USGS has implemented a hiring freeze; eliminated or significantly reduced participation in all scientific conferences; cancelled all non-mandatory, non-mission critical training; directed a review of contracts and grants to determine which should be delayed, re-scoped, or terminated; and may have to furlough employees for an undetermined amount of time.
The USGS will re-evaluate the future of USGS-CVO open houses as the budget allows. Please continue to check for updated information about Cascade volcanoes and future observatory events on the CVO website.
BOISE, Idaho— Among the diverse array of western habitats available to them, greater sage-grouse require sagebrush-dominated landscapes with extremely minimal levels of human land use according to USGS researchers who detailed the scientific results in a recently published report about the ecological conditions needed by this large, ground-dwelling bird.
The science, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, was done to describe and accurately map the basic combination of factors necessary to support sage-grouse across large expanses of its range. Scientists compiled and analyzed information about the environment surrounding 3,000 active breeding areas, known as leks, within a 355,000 square–mile portion of the sage-grouse’s historic range. Environmental factors examined within a 3-mile radius of each lek were climate, land cover, and densities of roads, power lines, pipelines, and communication towers.
Ninety-nine percent of active leks were in landscapes with less than 3 percent of a developed category of land cover, and all lands surrounding leks were less than 14 percent developed. Further, most leks were in regions characterized by broad expanses of sagebrush and containing less than 25 percent agricultural activity. The location of leks relative to some specific types of infrastructure also was documented. For example, the average number of communication towers per square mile was 0.2 for the study area as a whole, 0.04 for active leks, but 7.1 for locations where sage-grouse occurred historically but not presently.
"We knew, from previously published science, that human activity affected sage-grouse, but our results in this new research showed that most leks were even absent from areas that had very low levels of human activity," said Steve Knick, a USGS scientist and the lead author of the report.
The importance of sagebrush as habitat for sage-grouse also was affirmed by this study. The vast majority of leks occurred where at least 40 percent of the surrounding landscape was dominated by sagebrush. Furthermore, almost all leks were in areas containing few conifer trees or few grassland expanses. These results are consistent with other evidence that sage-grouse are vulnerable to decreases in sagebrush due to the spread of invasive grasses in some areas and due to the encroachment of junipers and other conifer trees in other areas.
Leks also occurred in drier-than-average regions within a small temperature and precipitation range, suggesting that predicted changes in climate may cause lek locations to change depending on where there are optimal arid conditions.
Ecological connections among sage-grouse populations across the large study area also were described because species with multiple interconnected populations are more likely to persist than those with isolated populations. Large populations within the interior of the sage-grouse range were highly interconnected. In contrast, smaller populations along the range periphery often were connected to only one or two neighboring populations. Habitat changes in the connecting corridors that limit or disrupt sage-grouse movement could further isolate these peripheral populations, putting them at increased risk of loss.
Greater sage-grouse currently occupy approximately half of their historic range across western North America. They are a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act because of habitat and population fragmentation coupled with inadequate regulatory mechanism to control development in critical areas. Most of the sagebrush habitat used by sage-grouse is under public land management, with 50 percent managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The publication is Knick, S.T., S.E. Hanser, and K.L. Preston. 2013. Modeling ecological minimum requirements for distribution of greater sage-grouse leks: implications for population connectivity across their western range, U.S.A. Ecology and Evolution.
Just in time for Earth Day, the U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the winners of the "App-lifying USGS Earth Science Data" Challenge. The USGS invited developers, information scientists, biologists/ecologists, and scientific data visualization specialists to create applications for selected USGS datasets, presenting them in innovative and informative new ways.
The winner for Best Overall App is "TaxaViewer" by the rOpenSci group based out of California. TaxaViewer is a Web interface to a mashup of data from the USGS-sponsored Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the Phylotastic taxonomic Name service, the Global Invasive Species Database, Phylomatic, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. TaxaViewer allows the user to view species-specific taxonomic data, invasive status, phylogenetic relationships, and species occurrence records.
The Popular Choice App award goes to the "Species Comparison Tool" by Kimberly Sparks of Raleigh, N.C., which allows users to explore the USGS Gap Analysis Program distribution and/or range of two species concurrently. In addition, the application's "swipe tool" provides the ability to make visual comparisons of the maps. The application also incorporates ITIS data and provides external links to NatureServe species information.
"These applications provide us and, more importantly, the public with easy-to-use tools for accessing and viewing taxonomic and biogeographic data," said Kevin Gallagher, USGS Associate Director of Core Science Systems. "The innovative and thoughtful ideas represented in these applications are great examples of how complex data can be made more accessible."
The Challenge was open for submissions from January 9, 2013, to April 1, 2013. Entries spanned a cross-section of topics including taxonomic classification, conservation status of species, the range and distribution of animals, and one innovative app integrating social media with species occurrence records.
"We were extremely impressed with the caliber of applications we received for this Challenge," said Cheryl Morris, Director of USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS). "The hard work and innovation that went into these applications is evident in their popularity, usability, and goal of making USGS data more readily accessible to all users."
Winners were selected based on relevance to the USGS and CSAS missions, innovation in design, and overall ease of use of the application. Utilizing the Challege.gov platform, the general public chose the winner of the Popular Choice App award.
More information about the winning applications can be found at the CSAS Challenge site. All of the submissions can be accessed on the App-lifying USGS Earth Science Data Challenge site.
Learn more about USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis programs and activities.
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 Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments 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 Commonwealth of Massachusetts to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of February 8 - 9, 2013.Language English