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 California.
Assistance for the State 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 California to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Rim Fire during the period of August 17 to October 24, 2013.Language English
Springfield, Ill. – To help entire communities recover from the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to make sure survivors with disabilities and those with functional needs have equal access to disaster assistance programs.
To achieve this goal, FEMA coordinates efforts with state and local agencies and volunteer organizations to identify needs and locate appropriate resources. FEMA has a Disability Integration Advisor on site in Illinois to coordinate the various elements of the program.Language English
AmericaView, a university-led, state-based consortium designed to promote remote sensing science and technology, was awarded a nearly $1 million National Land Remote Sensing Education Outreach and Research Activity grant by the U.S. Geological Survey this week through a competitive process. Administered by the USGS Land Remote Sensing Program, the grant has renewable options for up to five years (i.e. potentially up to $5m over that period).
AmericaView will use the increased funding to further develop the national consortium; expand the science of remote sensing through education; and promote awareness of remote sensing technology for providing crucial insight into such issues as environmental climate monitoring, natural resource management, land cover mapping, projected land use change, and disaster analysis.
Additionally, through this grant AmericaView will identify the research and remote sensing needs of participating states in order to help the USGS better understand the broader information requirements of remote-sensing data user communities.
With previous USGS funding, AmericaView has:
- Established Earth Observation Day, an annual event that focuses on introducing K-16 students to the many possibilities enabled by land remote sensing technologies. (Next observance: April 9, 2014)
- Instigated the AmericaView University where faculty from multiple universities can develop new courses online.
- Created tutorials for MultiSpec©, a freeware image data analysis system developed by Purdue University. These tutorials encourage teachers in schools and colleges to incorporate MultiSpec© in their classrooms, enhancing the exploitation of free Landsat satellite data and other remotely sensed data that are available via the USGS imagery archive.
AmericaView's primary goal is to support the many beneficial uses of remote sensing in service to society. The consortium’s highly-leveraged networks, facilities, and capabilities are used for sharing and applying Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed satellite data in a wide range of civilian applications, from formal and informal education, to ecosystem analysis and natural resources management, to disaster response.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, along with partners from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are encouraging homeowners, renters and businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans to help fund their losses.
If Illinois residents apply for assistance with FEMA and are referred to the SBA, it’s important for them to submit a loan application to assure that the federal disaster recovery process continues and they keep their options open:Language English
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Less than a month after tornadoes swept across Illinois, more than $1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant assistance has been approved to help those affected by the storms.
1,632 people have contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance.Language English
Recent U.S. Geological Survey research has found that natural biochemical processes in water moving back and forth between a stream and its underlying sediment were significant in removing nitrate from streams in the Illinois River basin, one of the world’s most intensively farmed regions.
The USGS study in a nitrogen-polluted stream found that the flow of streamwater through a very thin zone of sediment enhances chemical reactions that decrease nitrate delivery to coastal areas where nitrogen fuels formation of hypoxic "dead zones."
"One of the thorniest issues in the overall quality of our Nation's waters is relatively high levels of nitrates and other nutrients in many of our streams and rivers,” said Lori Caramanian, Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. "A better understanding of the natural processes that reduce nutrients in our streams and rivers will help us mange our waterways in a more effective manner."
Beneath all streams and rivers is a shallow layer of sediment that is permeated by water exchange across the sediment surface. This boundary between the world of earth and water in streams is referred to by scientists as the "hyporheic" zone, from Greek words meaning "under the flow." The hyporheic zone can be thought of as the stream's "skin," since it serves vital functions such as the removal of dissolved and particulate contaminants being transported by the stream.
Previous research has established under laboratory conditions that hyporheic flow should be critical to sparking reactions that improve stream water quality, but field studies have generally been unable to reveal the contribution of hyporheic flow to decreasing the flow of contaminants to sensitive downstream waters.
This field study determined that a very thin skin, a mere four centimeters (1.6 in.) of sediment, was effective in removing nitrate from streams of the Illinois River basin during late summer. The crucial investigative approach was labeling in-stream nitrate with an isotopic tracer that could be followed at very fine scales in the sediment and simultaneously tracked for kilometers downstream.
The study scientists found that hyporheic flow increased nitrate removal by renewing the supply of dissolved organic carbon and nitrate to specialized bacteria in the sediment that performed denitrification, a reaction that converts dissolved nitrate to gaseous nitrogen and so removes nitrate permanently from flowing water.
The top four centimeters of sediment had the greatest abundance of denitrifying bacteria, in addition to the highest levels of hyporheic flow. Sediment properties in this thin layer were also conducive to the formation of oxygen-free micro zones that are required for the reaction to take place.
"USGS hydrologic research is focused on, among other things, improving our understanding of the biochemical processes at work in our waterways so that we can provide policy makers with information that will lead to better informed decisions." observed Jerad Bales, USGS Acting Associate Director for Water. "This work is an excellent example of how science is critically important for effectively addressing the one of the important environmental issues of our time."
Stream restoration is a billion dollar industry in the U.S., although its water quality benefits are not widely proven. Most restoration structures are designed in a manner that creates relatively deep hyporheic flow, which adds, this study demonstrated, only minimally to additional hyporheic flow and nitrogen removal in comparison to shallow hyporheic flow operating alone.
The study suggests how restoration structures might be modified to protect naturally functioning hyporheic zones and how hyporheic flow could be increased in order to stimulate greater removal of stream nitrate by denitrification.
These findings have immediate importance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing effort to evaluate federal jurisdiction in headwater streams, ponds, and wetlands where processes such as hyporheic flow may positively influence water quality and deliver additional benefits to downstream ecological health and recreational values of rivers and estuaries.
The study was published in the October 2013 edition of Water Resources Research. The findings were presented December 11 at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
CHICAGO – Dangerously low temperatures are in the forecast and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with the hazards of cold temperatures.
“Subfreezing temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Regional Administrator. “It is important for everyone to monitor their local weather reports and take steps now to stay safe during times of extreme cold temperatures.”Language English
Correction, 12/18/2013. The original text of this release incorrectly stated Dr. Chelton's academic background.
The Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA presented the 2013 William T. Pecora Award for achievement in Earth remote sensing to Dudley B. Chelton, distinguished professor of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Chelton was recognized for his contributions to ocean remote-sensing science, education, and applications. The award was presented Wednesday by Suzette Kimball, USGS acting director, and Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division in NASA's Science Mission Directorate, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
The Department of the Interior and NASA present the Pecora Awards to honor outstanding contributions in the field of remote sensing and its application to understanding Earth. The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of William T. Pecora, former USGS director and Interior undersecretary. Pecora was influential in the establishment of the Landsat satellite program, which created a continuous, 40-plus-year record of Earth's land areas.
"Every year the Pecora Award signifies the very high value that both the USGS and NASA place in observing Earth from space," said Kimball. "As our natural resources around the world continue to be stressed by a growing population and changing climate, it is more critical than ever that we have an objective, comprehensive view of the changes happening to our planet."
Chelton is a pioneer in the oceanographic use of satellite data to explore the role of the ocean in the Earth's climate system. His work has led to new hypotheses in ocean studies and has inspired many follow-up investigations by the ocean remote-sensing community, increasing the practice and appreciation of ocean remote-sensing.
"Throughout his career, Dudley has been known for developing statistical methods to analyze existing satellite data while preparing for the next generation of remote-sensing instruments," said Freilich.
After receiving a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chelton realized the potential of satellite-based observations and moved to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1980 to analyze the newly available Seasat data. His 1981 paper in Nature demonstrated the ability of satellite instruments to make global observations of the ocean. Chelton moved to Oregon State University in 1983 where he established an ocean remote-sensing program that has grown into national prominence.
The comprehensive understanding of the technical and statistical aspects of ocean remote-sensing serves as the foundation of Chelton's major scientific discoveries. For over thirty years, he has led efforts to improve satellite-derived measurements of the four primary ocean variables that can be sensed remotely: sea surface height, surface winds, sea surface temperature, and ocean surface biological productivity.
Chelton is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society and received a NASA Public Service Medal. Many of his 110 papers and book chapters have become standard references in his field.
DENTON, Texas– Leaders from Calhoun County, Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) want to hear from the public in regards to preliminary flood maps that have been issued for part of the county.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in Calhoun County are encouraged to view the preliminary flood maps to better understand where flood risks have been identified. Those with comments or who would like to file an appeal have until Jan. 20, 2014 to do so.Language English
Springfield, Ill. – While survivors of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes are making repairs to or rebuilding their homes, assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be available to help pay for a warm, clean and safe place to stay during the cold winter months ahead.Language English
DENVER, CO – Volunteer agencies are the fuel for every recovery after a disaster and nowhere is that more evident than today in Colorado after September’s severe weather.
FEMA is only one part of a large team working to address Colorado survivors’ unmet needs.
Today, Coloradans are donating to hundreds of charities by participating in Colorado Gives. To donate, go to ColoradoGives.orgLanguage English
DENVER – Three Disaster Recovery Centers in Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties will close permanently at 3 p.m., MST, Saturday, Dec.14.
Twin Peaks Mall
1250 S. Hover Rd.
Longmont, CO 80501
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MST
Rocky Mountain Park Inn
101 S. St. Vrain Ave.
Estes Park, CO 80517Language English
DENVER – The Lyons Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Boulder County will close permanently at 6 p.m., MST, Monday, Dec. 2.
Foothills Baptist Church
12650 North Foothills Hwy.
Lyons, CO 80540
Hours for Lyons DRC: closed Thursday, Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., MST, Friday, Nov. 29.
Open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MST, Saturday, Nov. 30.
Closed Sunday, Dec. 1.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., MST, Monday, Dec. 2.
Reporters: An example map (Yellowstone National Park summer temperature data) from the viewer is available at the end of this release, but you can also find your county's data here.
For the first time, maps and summaries of historical and projected temperature and precipitation changes for the 21st century for the continental U.S. are accessible at a county-by-county level on a website developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in collaboration with the College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.
The maps and summaries are based on NASA downscaling of the 33 climate models used in the 5th Climate Model Intercomparison Project and the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report. The resulting NASA dataset is on an 800-meter grid with national coverage.
The USGS leveraged this massive dataset and distilled the information into easily understood maps, 3-page summaries and spreadsheet compatible data files for each state and county in the United States. A similar implementation for the USGS nested hydrologic units will be available in the next month.
"This product is innovative, user-friendly and invaluable for assessing and understanding climate model simulations of local and regional climate and climate change whether you’re a policy maker, a manager, a planner, an educator or another engaged U.S. citizen," said Matthew Larsen, associate director for the USGS Climate and Land Use Program. "The maps and summaries at the county level condense a huge volume of data into formats that are informative for planning, teaching, adaptation and mitigation purposes."
USGS scientists Jay Alder and Steve Hostetler, who designed and implemented the project as part of their other efforts at visualizing climate models, noted that users can not only view the county average of all the 30 climate models, but they can also select individual models to see how they compare or differ.
To make the number of permutations more manageable for the viewer, Alder and Hostetler averaged the data for the historical period and two future IPCC climate scenarios into 25-year periods (1980-2004, 2025-2049, 2050-2074 and 2075-2099) that span the 21st century. Absolute values and changes in temperature and precipitation for these periods are accessible through the viewer. Other useful tools for characterizing climate change include plots of monthly averages of temperature and precipitation, time-series spanning 1950-2099, and tables that summarize possible changes in the extremes of temperature and precipitation.
"We believe that this product will be useful for a variety of purposes," Alder said. "For example," he said, "farmers and land managers can use the information to help them think about adaptation and mitigation strategies, or educators can use it to teach students about aspects of climate model simulations that underpin IPCC Assessment Reports."
The maps and summaries are available here.
More information about USGS Climate and Land-Use Research is available here.Example of the web application displaying changes in maximum summer (July) temperature for Park County, WY (home of Yellowstone National Park). The time-series chart below the map displays two emission scenarios: RCP8.5 (“business as usual”) and RCP 4.5 (“greenhouse gas reduction/remediation”) from 1950-2100. By the end of the century, the maximum temperature in Park County is projected to warm by 7.5 °C (13.5 °F) under the RCP 8.5 (business as usual) scenario and 3.9 °C (7.0 °F) under RCP 4.5 (greenhouse gas reduction/remediation).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and village officials in Diamond have announced that residents affected by the Nov. 17 tornadoes can meet with disaster assistance specialists this week beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Diamond Village Hall.Language English
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will be opening at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 in Rantoul to serve homeowners, renters and business owners who were affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes.
DRC services include help with applying for disaster assistance and finding out about other disaster programs available from the U.S. Small Business Administration, state and local agencies and voluntary organizations. Residents must apply with FEMA even if they already provided damage information to local officials, other agencies or organizations.Language English
Communities and coastal habitats in the southern Chesapeake Bay region face increased flooding because, as seawater levels are rising in the bay, the land surface is also sinking._ A new USGS report released today concludes that intensive groundwater withdrawals are a major cause of the sinking land, or 'land subsidence', that contributes to flooding risks in the region.
"From a practical viewpoint, sea level is relative to the land surface," said Jerad Bales, Acting Associate Director for Water at USGS. “Whether the water is rising or the land is sinking, or both, the effect is the same: greater vulnerability to coastal storms and loss of important coastal habitat, both of which result in economic losses."
The new study presents a variety of data and findings from previous studies to examine land subsidence in the southern Chesapeake Bay region.
Previous USGS studies have r established that the Chesapeake Bay region has the highest rates of relative sea-level rise on the East Coast. The sea-level rise rates around the Chesapeake Bay range from 3.2 to 4.7mm/per year with 4.4 mm/yr in Norfolk. (A penny is about 1 mm thick.) Land subsidence alone causes more than half of the observed relative sea-level rise in the southern Chesapeake Bay.
While there are several factors influencing land subsidence, aquifer system compaction, caused by extensive groundwater pumping in the Virginia Coastal Plain, is a major cause in the Norfolk area. Land subsidence has occurred around Norfolk at an average rate of 3 mm/year since 1940.
Low-lying communities and critical habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region are especially vulnerable to damage from the relative sea-level rise caused by land subsidence. Communities in the southern Bay can experience increased flooding. The loss of coastal marsh and wetlands decreases the extent of specific habitat that waterfowl need to winter in the Bay region.
The report suggests that changing groundwater management practices could slow or mitigate land subsidence and relative sea-level rise. Moving groundwater pumping away from high-risk areas or decreasing groundwater withdrawal rates can reduce subsidence in low-lying areas prone to flooding. These results will be used by federal and state managers to consider adaptation strategies in their efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Continued monitoring, mapping, and modeling are scientific tools needed to help natural resource managers and urban planners understand and reduce or mitigate land subsidence.
Changing resource management practices in response to rising seas and sinking land will require sustained public commitment.
Sea Level Rise Accelerating in U.S. Atlantic Coast (USGS release, 6/24/2012)
LINCROFT, N.J. -- Recertification is a standard process that FEMA uses to identify households who qualify for continued temporary housing assistance.
The recertification process applies if the applicant either received financial assistance (rental funds) to rent an alternative place to live, or if the applicant received a FEMA-provided temporary housing unit.
Financial Assistance:Language English
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Survivor Assistance crews, or DSA crews, are now canvassing areas affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes to provide information, identify immediate needs, give survivors an opportunity to register for disaster assistance, answer questions related to an individual’s FEMA application status, and provide referrals to other governmental and nongovernmental assistance providers.Language English