CHICAGO –Disasters can happen with little or no warning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for them. Use these five life hacks to help you better prepare for whatever the unexpected may be:
DENTON, Texas – The state of Arkansas has been awarded more than $2.7 million for the replacement of the Bella Vista Lake Dam in Bentonville. This comes in the aftermath of the 2011 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
The storms and ensuing flooding overtopped the entire length of the Bella Vista Lake Dam resulting in extensive erosion; a loss of support beneath the dam’s concrete slope cover; and damage to much of the structure’s other sections of concrete.Language English
SEATTLE – Flood risk is higher this year as a direct consequence of the wildfires that burned thousands of acres in eastern and central Washington. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging residents in areas affected by the wildfires to consider purchasing flood insurance now.
When fire burns away trees and other vegetation, healthy roots that soak up rainwater are lost. Heavy rains on burn scars can cause flash flooding or debris flows that can severely damage homes and businesses.Language English
CHICAGO –Join National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30 and take action to improve your family’s emergency preparedness and resilience to potential disasters.
“Disaster risks in the Midwest can range from severely cold temperatures, to high heat, severe storms and flooding. It’s important to understand each of these risks and what you and your family will need to do to stay safe,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “Be proactive, and engage your family, friends and neighbors in one of the many simple ways to prepare for emergencies.”
FRANKFORT, Ky – Kentuckians recovering and rebuilding from recent storms and flooding are urged to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.Language English
DENTON, Texas — Fire departments and cities in Texas have received more than $2.2 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Since August, the grants have been awarded in 16 counties across the state, paying for everything from firefighting equipment to fire vehicles. Here’s how the grants break down by county:
• City of Palestine Fire Department – firefighting equipment - $170,667
FEMA Announces Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grants Program
WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency today announced the award of five training grants for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program (HSNTP) Continuing Training Grants (CTG) totaling $11,521,000. These awards will provide additional FEMA certified training and certification for first responders, emergency managers, technical specialists, local government and community leaders, preparing them for all types of emergencies. The period of performance for the FY 2015 CTG program is 36 months.Language English
Water quality can be substantially diminished for several years after wildfire in response to relatively common local thunderstorms, according to a recent USGS study.
USGS scientists led by research hydrologist Sheila Murphy collected extensive streamflow and water-quality data for three years after the Fourmile Canyon Fire, Colo., in a geographic setting typical of the American southwest. They then correlated the results with data from a high-density rain gage network.
“Unfortunately, wildfires have become a common occurrence in the western United States,” said William Werkheiser, USGS Associate Director for Water. “We need to better understand the drivers of post-wildfire water quality and find ways to adjust to this challenge.”
About half of the water supply in the southwestern U.S. is supplied by water conveyed from forests, which generally yield higher quality water than any other land use. However, forests are vulnerable to wildfire; more than 12 million acres of land, including important forested water-supply watersheds, have burned in the southwestern U.S. in the past 30 years. Wildfires increase susceptibility of watersheds to both flooding and erosion, and thus can impair water supplies.
The USGS investigators found that hydrologic and water-quality responses downstream of the burned area were primarily driven by small, brief convective storms that had relatively high, but not unusual, rainfall intensity. Suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, nitrate, and manganese concentrations were 10-156 times higher downstream of the burned area compared to upstream, and reached concentrations that could impair the ability of water-treatment plants to effectively treat water for human consumption.
Results from this study quantitatively demonstrate that water quality can be altered for several years after wildfire, even in a watershed that was only 23% burned. Because wildfire frequency and size, and possibly storm frequency and intensity, are projected to increase in the southwestern U.S. in the future, post-wildfire water-quality impacts may become more common, compounding water supply and quality problems related to projected decreases in runoff and continued population growth.
Recently published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study suggests potential adaptation strategies to avoid the introduction of problematic constituents into water-treatment facilities or reservoirs after wildfire.
Populations of bats diminished by white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease of hibernating bats, are unlikely to return to healthy levels in the near future, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research.
USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists recently evaluated the potential for populations of little brown bats in the eastern United States that survive WNS outbreaks to repopulate. The scientists estimated that between 2016 and 2018, little brown bat populations that once contained millions of bats could decrease to lower than 100,000 animals. Also, some populations may not begin to increase again until around 2023. Populations east of the 100th meridian, the designation between the drier western and wetter eastern states, would likely consist of sparse remnant communities, some of which may be less than 1.5 percent of their original sizes.
This scarcity of surviving bats can negatively affect reproduction rates and make survivors more vulnerable to threats.
“With so few surviving animals, little brown bats could cease to be a dominant bat species in the eastern United States,” said USGS scientist Robin Russell, the lead author of the report. “These small bat population sizes are problematic because they are more likely to be wiped out by events such as poor weather conditions and landscape development.”
Animals in small communities could also have trouble finding mates. Female bats gathering in maternity roosts during the summer can include several hundred bats, and the inability to form these colonies due to reduced populations may negatively impact overall reproduction rates.
Bats pollinate plants, spread seeds and save us billions of dollars in pest control each year by eating harmful insects. WNS, caused by the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus, can cause up to 100 percent mortality in some little brown bat populations. It has already killed millions of hibernating bats in North America and continues to spread.
As part of a coordinated response to WNS, scientists from around the world are working to further understand the disease and conserve bat species affected by it. The USGS and USFWS are among numerous state, federal, tribal, private and university partners engaged in WNS research and response. Members of this community are pursuing multiple approaches to manage the disease, with treatment strategies to both reduce impacts of the disease and to improve the potential for bat populations to survive and eventually recover. This new study emphasizes the importance of continuing research on bat species affected by WNS to finding a solution for managing the disease.
For more information about USGS WNS research, please visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center website.
WASHINGTON –Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging individuals, families, workplaces, schools, and organizations across the nation to take part in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30th, 2015. Extreme weather is occurring more often across the United States, which is increasing the costs of natural disasters. According to a recent survey conducted by FEMA, fewer than half of Americans have discussed and developed an emergency plan with their household.Language English
SACRAMENTO – The Calaveras County Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in San Andreas is opening Monday September 28 at noon, to help survivors impacted by the Butte Fire. Regular hours will begin Tuesday September 29. The DRCs are operated by the California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the county and local agencies.
Calaveras County Government Center
891 Mountain Ranch Road San Andreas, CA 95249
Hours of operation until further notice:
SACRAMENTO – The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Middletown will be open Monday September 28, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., to help survivors impacted by the Valley Fire. Regular hours will begin Tuesday September 29. The DRCs are operated by the California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the county and local agencies.
Middletown Senior Center
21256 Washington St., Middletown, CA 95461
Hours of operation until further notice:
Tuesday - Tuesday 8 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
SACRAMENTO - After residents in Lake and Calaveras Counties affected by the Valley and Butte Fires apply for federal disaster assistance for damage to their homes, the next step is a housing inspection.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspector will contact you to schedule an appointment 7-10 days after registration. The inspection is needed to verify and assess damages listed in your application. The inspection generally takes 30-40 minutes and consists of a general inspection of the home. There is no fee for the inspection.Language English
SAIPAN, CNMI – Monday marks one week left for Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan to register for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The deadline is Monday, Oct. 5.
FEMA Individual Assistance is available to U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens who have disaster-related damages on Saipan.
“People must register to get help,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. DeBlasio Sr. “We don’t want anyone to lose benefits just by not registering.”
Disaster Recovery Center will have assistance for survivors with disabilities, seniors and families next week
SAIPAN, CNMI – The Disability Network Partners on Saipan will be at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Susupe on Sept. 28-30. They will be there to provide extra technical support and resources to individuals with disabilities, senior citizens and their families who are seeking FEMA and or other disaster assistance. They will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which is within but not the same hours that the DRC is open.
Representatives from one or more of these groups will be available at the DRC:
-The Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD)
FRANKFORT, Ky. – As important as it is to make home repairs as soon as possible following a natural disaster, it is also important to take some time to plan the project, consult with local officials and choose a contractor wisely.
Before You Start:
- Contact the local permitting office. Follow all local and state requirements.
- Check with your local building official to make sure your work is safe and meets all local and state codes and requirements.
How to Help Reduce Future Damage:Language English
A hepatitis B-like virus has been found for the first time in fish. A team of USGS researchers found the virus in white sucker from the Great Lakes Region using gene-sequencing technologies.
How the recently discovered hepatitis B-like virus is transmitted between fish is not yet understood, and it is unlikely to be communicable to humans.
“To date, a hepatitis B virus has never been found before in fish and we now have evidence that it infects fish in geographically distant river systems in the Great Lakes region,” said lead author Cassidy Hahn, a USGS scientist and graduate student at the University of West Virginia. “This new virus is similar, but also very different from hepatitis B-like viruses found in mammals and birds, and may be a new genus.”
The hepatitis B virus is a small, spherical, enveloped virus, previously known only in two groups--one that infects humans and other mammals including orangutan, gibbons, gorillas and chimpanzee; and the other that infects birds.
The white sucker is considered an indicator species, which is native to river systems in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. Their widespread distribution and life-history have made them a target species in numerous contaminant monitoring and effects studies. White sucker are bottom feeders, spending most of their lives in close proximity to the bottom of rivers, because of this they are in contact with contaminants associated with the river bottom.
The DNA of an organism is like a recipe book for making all of the proteins necessary for life. Those instructions are coded as genes and are conveyed to protein making factories in the cell via messenger ribonucleic acid molecules. In order to develop tools to evaluate how these fish were utilizing their DNA (responding to their environment), the RNA from liver tissue was sequenced using contemporary high throughput RNA-sequencing methods. This approach allows for decoding the usage of this blueprint.
In general, hepatitis-B viruses have a narrow host range and infection manifests in various ways. In mammals, these viruses infect and multiply in liver cells and are typically associated with acute and chronic liver diseases including fibrosis, cirrhosis, bile duct cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is estimated that 350 million people are chronically infected with HBV. Hepatitis B viruses in birds are not normally associated with these liver diseases. The potential effects on fish are currently unknown.
According to the research team, the hepatitis “B-like” virus found in the fish is about as similar to the human hepatitis B virus as it is to the bird hepatitis B viruses.
“This new virus may improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of hepatitis B-like viruses,” said USGS biologist Luke Iwanowicz, study coauthor. “There have been considerable scientific efforts focused on identifying the origins of hepatitis B -like viruses. The genome of this new virus has features not present in any known virus from this family. It is a very exciting discovery.”
According to the researchers, the study may offer the opportunity to develop a new model system to investigate host – pathogen interactions and benefit human medical research.
Part of a joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife/USGS Great Lakes Initiative Project, the study, Characterization of a Novel Hepadnavirus in the White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA, by Cassidy M. Hahn, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Robert S. Cornman, Carla M. Conway, James R. Winton, and Vicki S. Blazer is available in the Journal of Virology online.
PINE RIDGE, S.D. – The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are reminding those impacted by the May 8-29 storms that the deadline to register for disaster assistance is right around the corner. The deadline date is October 6.
Registration is the first step to receiving disaster assistance. Individuals can register in person at the Disaster Recovery Center at the SuAnne Big Crow Recreational Center, 1 Positive Pl. - E HWY 18, Pine Ridge. The DRC is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Language English
DENTON, Texas – Texas faced multiple challenges in September 2005. Hurricane Rita made landfall in the state while it was also housing and sheltering Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were displaced less than a month earlier.
More than $1 billion in federal disaster assistance has fueled Texas’ recovery efforts in the last decade. The assistance includes funds to repair and rebuild infrastructure, housing for disaster survivors and mitigating against future disaster events.
DENTON, Texas ––In mid-February, new flood maps for Aransas County will become effective and be used for rating flood insurance policies. Local, state and federal officials encourage residents to view the maps before Wednesday, February 17, 2016, in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.Language English