NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Three weeks after a federal disaster declaration made assistance available, more than $1 million in aid is helping the residents of nine Arkansas counties recover from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding, May 7 to June 15, 2015.
To date, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, 151 persons have been approved for disaster assistance (as of 7 a.m. on Friday, July 17, 2015).Language English
AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open on Monday, July 20, at 12 p.m. in Cherokee County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from May 4 to June 19.Language English
AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open on Monday, July 20, at 12 p.m. in Blanco County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from May 4 to June 19.Language English
WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reminding National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders, who filed a claim as a result of Hurricane Sandy, that they have 60 days to register to have their files reviewed if they believe their claims were underpaid. FEMA set a Sept. 15, 2015 as the last day for policyholders to register.Language English
OKLAHOMA CITY – A Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will reopen in Canadian County to help people in Oklahoma who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4.
The mobile DRC officially opens Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 7 a.m. at:
Jenks Simmons Field House Annex
214 North Country Club Road,
El Reno, OK 73036
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(This mobile DRC closes on Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m.)
ISLAND OF HAWAI‘I, Hawaii — Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.
A new study published in Global Change Biology, by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk to native Hawaiian bird populations in the coming century.
Mosquito-carried diseases such as avian pox and avian malaria have been devastating native Hawaiian forest birds. A single mosquito bite can transfer malaria parasites to a susceptible bird, where the death rate may exceed 90 percent for some species. As a result, many already threatened or endangered native birds now only survive in disease-free refuges found in high-elevation forests where mosquito populations and malaria development are limited by colder temperatures. Unlike continental bird species, island birds cannot move northward in response to climate change or increased disease stressors, but must adapt or move to less hospitable habitats to survive.
“We knew that temperature had significant effects on mosquitoes and malaria, but we were surprised that rainfall also played an important role,” said USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit scientist Michael Samuel. “Additional rainfall will favor mosquitoes as much as the temperature change.”
With warming temperatures, mosquitoes will move farther upslope and increase in number. The authors expect high-elevation areas to remain mosquito-free, but only until mid-century when mosquito-friendly temperatures will begin to appear at higher elevations. Future increases in rainfall will likely benefit the mosquitoes as well.
Scientists know that historically, malaria has caused bird extinctions, but changing climates could affect the bird-mosquito-disease system in unknown ways. “We wanted to figure out how climate change impacts birds in the future,” said Wei Liao, post-doctorate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of the article.
As more mosquitoes move up the mountainside, disease-free refuges will no longer provide a safe haven for the most vulnerable species. The rate of disease infection is likely to speed up as the numbers of mosquitoes increase and more diseased birds become hosts to the parasites, continuing the cycle of infection to healthy birds.
Researchers conclude that future global climate change will cause substantial decreases in the abundance and diversity of remaining Hawaiian bird communities. Without significant intervention many native Hawaiian species, like the scarlet ‘I‘iwi with its iconic curved bill, will suffer major population declines or extinction due to increasing risk from avian malaria during the 21st century.
There is hope for the birds. Because these effects are unlikely to appear before mid-century, natural resource managers have time to implement conservation strategies to protect these unique species from further decimation. Land managers could work toward preventing forest bird number declines by restoring and improving habitat for the birds, reducing mosquitoes on a large scale and controlling predators of forest birds.
“Hawaiian forest birds are some of the most threatened forest birds in the world,” said Samuel. “They are totally unique to Hawai‘i and found nowhere else. They are also important to the Hawaiian culture. And at this point, we still don’t fully understand what role they play as pollinators and in forest dynamics.”
The article, “Will a Warmer and Wetter Future Cause Extinction of Native Hawaiian Forest Birds?” can be found in the online edition of Global Change Biology.
The work was supported by the Department of Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, which is managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The center is one of eight that provides scientific information to help natural resource managers respond effectively to climate change.
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 Colorado.
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 Colorado to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of May 4 to June 16, 2015.Language English
OKLAHOMA CITY – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Wagoner County set up to help people in Oklahoma affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4 will close on Tuesday, July 21, at 7p.m.
Coweta Intermediate High School
14699 South 305 East Avenue
Coweta, OK 74429
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open on Monday, July 20, at 12 p.m. in Denton County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from May 4 to June 19.Language English
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Geological Survey today released the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database — a massive online resource compiling the results of 40 years of surveys by biologists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. The database documents the abundance and distribution of 160 seabird and 41 marine mammal species over a 10 million-square-mile region of the North Pacific.
“The database offers a powerful tool for analysis of climate change effects on marine ecosystems of the Arctic and North Pacific, and for monitoring the impact of fisheries, vessel traffic and oil development on marine bird communities over a vast region,” said Dr. John Piatt, head of the Seabird and Forage Fish Ecology Research Program at the USGS Alaska Science Center. “It also creates an unprecedented opportunity to study the biogeography and marine ecology of dozens of species of seabirds and marine mammals throughout their range in continental shelf waters of the United States.”
Hundreds of scientists and observers conducted surveys, gathering data on more than 350,000 transects ranging from the Channel Islands of southern California westward to the coast of South Korea, and from the Hawaiian Islands northward to the North Pole. The majority of data collection occurred over the U.S. continental shelves stretching from California to Arctic Alaska, where concerns over the possible impact of human activities at sea have long fueled wildlife research and monitoring efforts.
The surveys were conducted over four decades as part of focused studies, for various purposes and in specific regions within the North Pacific. Hundreds of observers from dozens of international, federal and state wildlife agencies, universities and consulting companies contributed data. Because similar observational methods were used, the data could be compiled into a single database, shedding light on broader patterns of seabird distribution and abundance.
USGS scientists started compiling the data into the NPPSD in 2001 and published the first version in 2005. This is the first time the database has been made available online. The current version includes surveys conducted in the last decade and from additional regions. The compilation of data from surveys spanning 40 years makes the NPPSD one of the largest marine wildlife censuses ever conducted in terms of the number of animals observed and spatial extent of the survey area.
“Contributors to the NPPSD can now examine large-scale phenomena that were previously impossible for individual studies to assess because they were conducted on smaller temporal and spatial scales,” said Dr. Gary Drew, database manager for the Seabird and Forage Fish Ecology Research Program at the USGS Alaska Science Center.
The value of the NPPSD for understanding the ecology of the North Pacific and the impacts of human activities in this region has just begun to be realized. Recent analyses using NPPSD data included a risk analysis of shipping traffic on seabirds in the heavily traveled Aleutian Islands conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a study commissioned by the National Audubon Society to identify “Important Bird Areas” from California to Alaska. Future analysis of the database by USGS scientists aims to yield many insights into the status of seabird and marine mammal populations, while the live online database meets the Obama Administration’s directive of "Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research."
The NPPSD and Users Guide are available from the USGS Alaska Science Center website.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will open in Carter, Marshall and Okfuskee counties to help people in Oklahoma who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4.
The DRC in Carter County officially opens on Friday, July 17 at 7 a.m. at:
Convention Center (Conference Rooms 3 & 4)
2401 N. Rockford Road
Ardmore, OK 73401
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(This DRC closes on July 24 at 7 p.m.)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas residents living in any of the nine counties declared a federal disaster area do not have to wait for an insurance settlement to register for disaster aid for damage from the severe spring storms.
"Arkansans may find they are underinsured or that their policies do not cover temporary housing while repairing or rebuilding their homes," said Nancy M. Casper, the federal coordinating officer with FEMA. "Don't wait for an insurance settlement before registering with FEMA — you could miss out on disaster aid you may be eligible for."Language English
Wyoming Disaster Assistance Expanded: Assistance Available for Governmental Jurisdictions in Four Counties
CHEYENNE, WYO. – Today President Obama announced additional disaster assistance will be available for Wyoming communities impacted by the May 24 - June 6 flooding and severe storms. Assistance for infrastructure damage and emergency response efforts is now available for Albany, Johnson, Niobrara and Platte counties.Language English
NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas residents who have registered with FEMA for disaster aid are urged by recovery officials to “stay in touch.” It’s the best way to get answers and resolve potential issues that might result in assistance being denied.
“Putting your life back together after a disaster is difficult,” said Nancy M. Casper, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. “While the process of getting help from FEMA is intended to be simple, it’s easy to understand how sometimes providing important information is overlooked or missed.”Language English
NORTH LITTLE ROCK –Teams of specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will offer tips and techniques to lessen the impact of disaster-related property damage at building supply stores in four Arkansas locations beginning Monday, July 13, 2015.
The teams will be at these Lowe’s stores:Language English
AUSTIN, Texas – Although many weeks have passed since the May 4 through June 19 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding hit Texas, homeowners who continue their recovery still are in need of volunteer support.
Volunteers, service groups and paid contractors have helped clean up flooded homes and cleared out debris-filled yards. But hundreds more volunteers are still urgently needed to work in Bastrop, San Marcos and Wimberley.Language English