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Federal News

Two Months After Alabama Storms, Disaster Recovery Efforts Continue

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 16:53

Two Months After Alabama Storms, Disaster Recovery Efforts Continue

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – As America celebrates the anniversary of its birth, many Alabama residents are still picking up the pieces of their lives, homes and businesses from spring storms.

This year’s holiday marks the two-month anniversary of the devastating severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that raked the state from April 28 through May 5.

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Don’t Delay, Register Today

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 16:23

Don’t Delay, Register Today

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley requested and FEMA approved on Friday, June 27, to extend the deadline to apply for disaster assistance in the nine counties affected by the April 28 to May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding. The new deadline is Tuesday, July 15.

Counties approved for FEMA assistance through the Individuals and Households Program include Baldwin, Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone, Mobile and Tuscaloosa.

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Disaster Assistance Helpline Available After Close of Registration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:22

JACKSON, Miss. – The deadline to register for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance in Mississippi has closed; however, applicants who have registered may still call the FEMA helpline to check on the status of their application, appeal a decision, update contact information, or ask questions about the process. Call 800-621-3362. Disaster survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can call TTY 800-462-7585.

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FEMA Rebuilding Specialists to Provide Advice in Brandon and Vicksburg

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:15

JACKSON, Miss. –Rebuilding or repairing property damaged from the recent severe storms?  Residents in the Brandon and Vicksburg areas can get advice on building safer and smarter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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FEMA Rebuilding Specialists to Provide Advice in Tupelo-Saltillo Area

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:13

JACKSON, Miss. – Rebuilding or repairing property damaged from the recent severe storms?  Residents in the Tupelo-Saltillo area can get advice on building safer and smarter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mitigation specialists from FEMA will be at Home Depot in Saltillo 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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FEMA, SBA Deadline is Tomorrow for Mississippi Disaster Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 09:30

Jackson, Miss. – Tomorrow, June 30, 2014, is the last day for Mississippians to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Tomorrow is also the deadline to submit an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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FEMA Registration Deadline Monday; Nearly $17.7 Million Approved So Far

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 16:56

JACKSON, Miss. Monday, June 30, 2014, is the deadline to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the deadline approaches, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, FEMA and SBA announce that nearly $17.7 million in federal assistance has been approved for residents in 12 Mississippi counties.

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Federal Aid for Alabama Reaches $32 Million; Registration Extension Approved

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 15:59

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Nearly $19 million has been approved through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Households Program. Another $1.3 million has been provided to state, county and local governments through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $12 million through its low-interest disaster loan program.

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FEMA Has Provided More Than $1.1 Million to Governments for Alabama Storm Repairs, Response Costs

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 15:56

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The federal government has already put more than $1.1 million in the hands of state, county, and local governments to reimburse them for their costs associated with the April 28 to May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that struck Alabama.

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When It Comes To Hurricanes, Lightning Really Can Strike Twice

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:00

LINCROFT, N.J. -- With another hurricane season just getting under way, residents of New Jersey may look upon the prospect of another storm with a great deal more apprehension than they felt before Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey coast.


New Jersey residents have witnessed firsthand the destructive power of a storm like Sandy.


Sandy was not the first storm to wreak havoc in New Jersey, but she was one of the most powerful to strike the state in many decades, and the damage she inflicted was widespread.

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Resident Noncitizens May Qualify for Federal Disaster Aid

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:29

Montgomery, Ala. – Residents of Alabama who are not U. S. citizens but who are in the United States legally may be eligible for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for losses suffered as a result of the April 28 to May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding.

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Don’t Forget to File a Flood Insurance Claim

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 17:13

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ‒ Homeowners and business owners who experienced flooding during the April 28 to May 5 presidentially declared disaster should file a claim for flooding loss as soon as possible, as claimants must file for their losses within 60 days of the event. 

Contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. An adjuster from the insurance company should contact you within a few days of filing a claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, call your insurance agent or company again. Make sure you have the following information handy:

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FEMA Helpline can Answer Questions about Letters

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 17:09

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – If you receive a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, take the time to carefully read the information and instructions regarding your application for assistance.

If you still have questions, you should call FEMA’s helpline: 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.  The helpline will be operating on the July 4th holiday.

FEMA notification letters may refer to issues with an application such as:

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Categories: Federal News

Tell Your Friends, Only One Week Left to Register With FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 17:00

MONTGOMERY, Ala., -- Just one week remains to register for federal disaster assistance for those who sustained damage from the April 28 to May 5 severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding.

Perhaps you registered, but what about your family, friends and neighbors? Don’t let them pass up help for which they may be eligible.

Help spread the word that the deadline to register with FEMA and to return an application for physical damage to the SBA is Tuesday, July 1.

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Churches and Other Nonprofits May Rebuild with SBA Loans

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:58

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Churches, temples, mosques and other religious centers, as well as other private nonprofit organizations in Alabama’s storm-damaged designated counties, are eligible to apply for U. S. Small Business Administration loans to help rebuild. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, July 1.

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Federal Aid for Alabama Reaches More Than $29 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:51

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More than $18 million has been approved through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Households Program. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $11 million through its low-interest disaster loan program.

The following numbers, compiled June 19, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:

Funds approved

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Several Good Reasons to Apply for an SBA Low-Interest Disaster Loan

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:46

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Some disaster survivors think that U.S. Small Business Administration loans are only for businesses. That is not the case – it is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery assistance for disaster survivors.

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Housing Search Site May Help with Rental Housing Needs

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:42

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – If the late-April storms, tornadoes and flooding wrecked your home and you still have not found a place to live, an online source of rental housing may help.

ALHousingSearch.org  (Alabama Housing Search) has up-to-date listings of rental properties in most of the larger Alabama towns and cities with prices and interactive maps so a storm survivor may find a suitable location for a household.

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Carbon Storage in U.S. Eastern Ecosystems Helps Counter Greenhouse Gas Emissions Contributing to Climate Change

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:33
Summary: On the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a new report showing that forests, wetlands and farms in the eastern United States naturally store 300 million tons of carbon a year (1,100 million tons of CO2 equivalent), which is nearly 15 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions EPA estimates the country emits each year or an amount that exceeds and offsets yearly U.S. car emissions Interior Releases Report on Anniversary of President’s Climate Action Plan; New Visualization Tool Helps Land Managers Make Smart, Informed Landscape-Level Decisions

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Anne-Berry Wade ( Phone: 703-648-4483 );



WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a new report showing that forests, wetlands and farms in the eastern United States naturally store 300 million tons of carbon a year (1,100 million tons of CO2 equivalent), which is nearly 15 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions EPA estimates the country emits each year or an amount that exceeds and offsets yearly U.S. car emissions. 

In conjunction with the national assessment, today USGS also released a new web tool, which allows users to see the land and water carbon storage and change in their ecosystems between 2005 and 2050 in the lower 48 states.  This tool was called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan.  

“Today we are taking another step forward in our ongoing effort to bring sound science to bear as we seek to tackle a central challenge of the 21st century – a changing climate,” said Secretary Jewell.  “This landmark study by the U.S. Geological Survey provides yet another reason for being good stewards of our natural landscapes, as ecosystems play a critical role in removing harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that contributes to climate change.” 

With today’s report on the eastern United States, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has completed the national biological carbon assessment for ecosystems in the lower 48 states – a national inventory of the capacity of land-based and aquatic ecosystems to naturally store, or sequester, carbon, which was called for by Congress in 2007. 

Together, the ecosystems across the lower 48 states sequester about 474 million tons of carbon a year (1,738 million tons of CO2 equivalent), comparable to counter-balancing nearly two years of U.S. car emissions, or more than 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions EPA estimates the country emits each year.

The assessment shows that the East stores more carbon than all of the rest of the lower 48 states combined even though it has fewer than 40 percent of the land base.  Under some scenarios, USGS scientists found that the rate of sequestration for the lower 48 states is projected to decline by more than 25 percent by 2050, due to disturbances such as wildfires, urban development and increased demand for timber products.

“What this means for the future is that ecosystems could store less carbon each year,” said USGS Acting Director Suzette Kimball. “Biological sequestration may not be able to offset greenhouse gas emissions nearly as effectively when these ecosystems are impaired.”

Forests accounted for more than 80 percent of the estimated carbon sequestered in the East annually, confirming the critical role of forests highlighted in the Administration’s climate action initiative.

USGS scientists have been building the national assessment since a 2007 congressional mandate in the Energy Independence and Security Act.  The first report, on the Great Plains, was released in 2011, the second report, on the Western United States, was released in 2012.  Reports on Alaska and Hawaii are expected to be completed in 2015.   

Biological carbon storage – also known as carbon sequestration – is the process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed from the atmosphere and stored as carbon in vegetation, soils and sediment.  The USGS inventory estimates the ability of different ecosystems to store carbon now and in the future, providing vital information for land-use and land-management decisions.  Management of carbon stored in our ecosystems and agricultural areas is relevant both for mitigation of climate change and for adaptation to such changes.

The area studied for the eastern U.S. carbon assessment was defined by similarities in ecology and land cover. The study area extends eastward from the western edge of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi floodplains, across the Appalachian Mountains, to the coastal plains of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The major ecosystems USGS researchers evaluated were terrestrial (forests, wetlands, agricultural lands, shrublands and grasslands), and aquatic (rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters).

MAJOR FINDINGS ON BIOLOGICAL CARBON STORAGE

IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES

 U.S. Geological Survey, June 2014

Major Findings: Current Eastern Carbon Storage (between 2001 and 2005)

●     The eastern U.S., with just under 40 percent of the land in the lower 48 states, stores more carbon than the rest of the conterminous United States.

●     Forests, which occupy about half the land in the East, accounted for more than 80 percent of the region’s estimated carbon sequestered annually. They are the largest carbon-storing pools, and have the highest rate of sequestration of the different ecosystem types.

●     Wetlands, including coastal ones, which comprise only about 9 percent of the land cover in the region studied, account for nearly 13 percent of the region’s estimated annual carbon storage. They also have the second-highest rate of sequestration of all ecosystem types. Nutrients and sediments in rivers and streams flowing from terrestrial environments contribute significantly to the storage of carbon in eastern coastal sediments and deep ocean waters.

●     In contrast, carbon dioxide is emitted from the surface of inland water bodies (rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs), equal to about 18 percent of the recent annual carbon sequestration rate of terrestrial ecosystems in the East.

●     Agricultural areas cover about 31 percent of the East, and account for only 4 percent of the region’s annually sequestered carbon.  

●     Grasslands and shrublands, as well as other types of land, contained just 1.1 percent or less of the region’s carbon.

Major Findings: Projected Changes in Eastern Carbon by 2050

●     The eastern United States is projected to continue to be a carbon sink (absorbs more carbon than it emits) through 2050, increasing the carbon stored by as much as 37 percent.  However, the rate of sequestration is projected to slow by up to 20 percent, primarily because of decreases in the amount of forest cover.

●     Land use is projected to continue to change in the future; landscape changes are projected to be between 17 and 23 percent by 2050 under different scenarios. These changes, primarily the result of demands for forest products, urban development and agriculture, could affect the future potential storage capacity of the region’s ecosystems and other lands because future carbon stocks are inextricably linked to land-use practices and changes.  

●     The area projected to experience the most change – about 30 percent -- is the southeastern United States, primarily because of conversion of land from forests to agricultural and urban land.

●     By 2050, coastal carbon storage could increase by 18 to 56 percent.  Land-use changes could increase nutrient and sediment flow from urban and agricultural lands (which presents a separate challenge), but this would also increase the amount of carbon stored in coastal areas.                                                                

For more information on the assessment, visit HERE. Watch a short video on the assessment HERE.

Visit the web tool HERE. Watch a tutorial on how to use the web tool HERE.

Read some FAQs on the Eastern Carbon Report

FEMA Grants Must Be Spent Wisely

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:24

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - More than $18 million in federal disaster relief is already in the hands of Alabama survivors six weeks after the devastating storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding.  

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reminds those receiving grant payments to spend wisely.

Survivors should only use Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants to meet specific disaster-related needs.

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