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Pagers, Radios Awarded To Ambulance Company in Schuyler, NY - Federal Grant Adds Communications Gear and Replaces Borrowed Equipment

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:37

New York, NY -- Currently, the 25 members of Herkimer County’s volunteer Schuyler Ambulance Inc. learn of and respond to an emergency by means of five pagers and two portable radios, all borrowed from the Schuyler Volunteer Fire Company.  In addition, should dispatched members need to contact the county dispatch center or a hospital they must use personal cell phones or the single mobile radio phone in the ambulance, creating uneven reliability in their communications, as well as frequently interrupting patient care.

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Categories: Federal News

Survivors of August Floods May Register by Phone or Online

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 16:10

WARREN, Mich. – Michigan residents affected by flooding Aug. 11 through 13 may now call or go online to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to state and federal officials. Aid is available to eligible applicants in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Region III Promotes Action for America's PrepareAthon!

FEMA Region III News Releases - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 14:18

PHILADELPHIA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region III office in Philadelphia is encouraging the whole community to take action to prepare! It’s the end of National Preparedness Month and time to move from awareness to action on National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30th.

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FEMA Region III Promotes Action for America's PrepareAthon!

FEMA Region III News Releases - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 14:18

PHILADELPHIA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region III office in Philadelphia is encouraging the whole community to take action to prepare! It’s the end of National Preparedness Month and time to move from awareness to action on National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30th.

Language English

FEMA Region III Promotes Action for America's PrepareAthon!

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 14:18

PHILADELPHIA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region III office in Philadelphia is encouraging the whole community to take action to prepare! It’s the end of National Preparedness Month and time to move from awareness to action on National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30th.

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Categories: Federal News

Delaware Hunting and Fishing Week lauds hunters and anglers for funding conservation and contributing to states economy

DNREC News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 13:01
DOVER (Oct. 1, 2014) – Governor Jack Markell signed a proclamation last weekend expanding on National Hunting & Fishing Day by declaring Sept. 27-Oct. 3 as Delaware Hunting & Fishing Week – celebrating the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s recognition of First State hunters and anglers for their funding of conservation and contribution to the state’s economy.

Public hearing on summer flounder management set for Oct 6

DNREC News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:18
DOVER (Oct. 1, 2014) – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) will hold a joint public hearing regarding the future direction of summer flounder management in Delaware waters at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in the DNREC Auditorium at 89 Kings Highway, Dover.

Federal Aid Programs for Kentucky Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:58

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 Kentucky.

Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Kentucky

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:49

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 Kentucky to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of August 18-23, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

Review, Update Your Insurance Policies

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:48

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- September is National Preparedness Month, and the latter half of the year is an ideal time for people to review their insurance policies. Understanding the details of what specific policies cover and what the policyholder is responsible for after a disaster is important as both clients’ needs and insurance companies’ rules change.

Insurers’ decisions and legislative changes have the biggest effect on changes in policies. Consumers should make themselves aware of possible changes in these areas and know what to look for while reviewing their policies.

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Categories: Federal News

October to be proclaimed “Children in Nature” month

DNREC News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:40
DOVER (Sept. 29, 2014) – Governor Jack Markell has signed a proclamation declaring October as “Children in Nature Month” in Delaware.

Wind Turbine or Tree? Certain Bats Might Not Know

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:17
Summary: Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Contact Information:

Heidi Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 ); Cris Hein ( Phone: 706-621-1975 ); Catherine Puckett ( Phone: 352-377-2469 );



Additional Contacts:  Cris Hein, Bat Conservation International, 706-621-1975, chein@batcon.org and Marcos Gorresen, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo, 808-985-6407, mgorresen@usgs.gov

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, led by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Paul Cryan, was the first to use video surveillance cameras to watch bats for several months flying at night near experimentally manipulated wind turbines and led to the discovery that tree-roosting bats, or “tree bats,” may approach and interact with wind turbines in consistent and predictable ways. 

Bats are long-lived, slow-breeding mammals that serve as the main predators of night flying insects, such as moths and beetles. Insect-eating bats are estimated to save farmers billions of dollars each year in the United States by providing natural pest control. Historically, fatal collisions of bats and tall, human-made structures were rarely observed, but something changed with the construction of large, industrial wind turbines. It is now estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands of bats die each year after interacting with the moving blades of wind turbines. Most tree bats are found dead beneath turbines in late summer and autumn, yet reasons for this seasonal susceptibility remain a mystery – unknown behaviors of bats may play a role.  

"If we can understand why bats approach wind turbines, we may be able to turn them away," said Paul Cryan, a USGS research scientist and the study’s lead author. "Advances in technology helped us overcome the difficulties of watching small bats flying in the dark around the 40-story heights of wind turbines. The new behaviors we saw are useful clues in the quest to know how bats perceive wind turbines and why they approach them."  

The researchers used ‘thermal’ cameras that image heat instead of light, and they recorded surveillance imagery of bats for several months at three wind turbines in Indiana. The team also monitored the nighttime airspace around turbines with near-infrared security cameras, radar and machines that record the ultrasonic calls of bats, as well as developed computer code for automatically finding bats in the hundreds of hours of recorded video imagery. Over the period of the study, bats were seen on video near turbines more than 900 times. 

Bats typically approached turbines one or more times rather than just flying past, and bats often flew very close to the turbine monopoles, nacelles (machinery boxes at top of monopoles) and sometimes approached stationary or slow-moving blades. At the same time, radar indicated that hundreds of night-migrating birds were flying above and around the turbines nightly, but not closely approaching like bats.    

The most surprising discovery was that bats more often approached wind turbines high above the ground and from the downwind side when the wind was blowing. This strong pattern strengthened as wind speed increased and when turbine blades were experimentally prevented from turning at full speed, but decreased in high winds when turbine blades spun normally. Bats also appeared at turbines more often during brightly moonlit nights. The authors concluded from these patterns that bats might follow airflow paths around tree-like structures and use visual cues at night, but may not be able to tell a tree from a wind turbine with slow or stopped blades.

"The way bats approach turbines suggests they follow air currents and use their dim-adapted vision to find and closely investigate tall things shaped like trees," said Marcos Gorresen, an author of the study and scientist with the University of Hawaii at Hilo. "We see these behaviors less often on darker nights and when fast-moving turbine blades are creating chaotic downwind turbulence. This may be because bats are less likely to mistake turbines for trees and approach them in those conditions."

Previous studies indicated that bat fatalities at wind turbines might occur more often on nights with low average wind speeds. The authors speculate that bats may be more likely to approach turbines in such conditions when turbines have airflow patterns resembling trees, but then might be put at risk if wind speed rapidly increases and pushes turbine blades to speeds faster than bats can perceive or outmaneuver.

Although these new findings revealed bats closely investigating most parts of the turbines, the study could not determine their reasons for doing so. The authors wonder if bats might expect to find roosts, clouds of insect prey or other bats at turbines as they might at trees, regardless of whether such resources actually occur at wind turbines. Little is known about the behaviors of bats or insects around tall trees during late summer and autumn, but the authors write that studying treetop behaviors in natural environments might help explain why bats are particularly susceptible to wind turbines.  

The new findings also have practical implications toward the goal of reducing or avoiding bat fatalities at wind turbines. A current method of reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines is to increase the wind speed threshold at which turbine blades begin operating and spinning fast. “It might be possible to efficiently further reduce fatalities with this method by accounting for sporadic gusts of wind during low-wind periods when bats might be hanging around turbines,” said Cris Hein, an author of the study and scientist with Bat Conservation International. The findings also suggest that pointing monitoring or deterrent devices into the downwind airspace of a turbine might have better chances of detecting or keeping bats away than if they are pointed elsewhere.

The authors conclude that increasing our understanding of the ways that bats perceive and approach wind turbines helps in the search for solutions to reduce the effects of this important energy source on bat populations. More information about this study and additional bat research is available online at the USGSFort Collins Science CenterBat Conservation International and Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative.

Wind Turbine or Tree? Certain Bats Might Not Know

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:17
Summary: Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Contact Information:

Heidi Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 ); Cris Hein ( Phone: 706-621-1975 ); Catherine Puckett ( Phone: 352-377-2469 );



Additional Contacts:  Cris Hein, Bat Conservation International, 706-621-1975, chein@batcon.org and Marcos Gorresen, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo, 808-985-6407, mgorresen@usgs.gov

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, led by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Paul Cryan, was the first to use video surveillance cameras to watch bats for several months flying at night near experimentally manipulated wind turbines and led to the discovery that tree-roosting bats, or “tree bats,” may approach and interact with wind turbines in consistent and predictable ways. 

Bats are long-lived, slow-breeding mammals that serve as the main predators of night flying insects, such as moths and beetles. Insect-eating bats are estimated to save farmers billions of dollars each year in the United States by providing natural pest control. Historically, fatal collisions of bats and tall, human-made structures were rarely observed, but something changed with the construction of large, industrial wind turbines. It is now estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands of bats die each year after interacting with the moving blades of wind turbines. Most tree bats are found dead beneath turbines in late summer and autumn, yet reasons for this seasonal susceptibility remain a mystery – unknown behaviors of bats may play a role.  

"If we can understand why bats approach wind turbines, we may be able to turn them away," said Paul Cryan, a USGS research scientist and the study’s lead author. "Advances in technology helped us overcome the difficulties of watching small bats flying in the dark around the 40-story heights of wind turbines. The new behaviors we saw are useful clues in the quest to know how bats perceive wind turbines and why they approach them."  

The researchers used ‘thermal’ cameras that image heat instead of light, and they recorded surveillance imagery of bats for several months at three wind turbines in Indiana. The team also monitored the nighttime airspace around turbines with near-infrared security cameras, radar and machines that record the ultrasonic calls of bats, as well as developed computer code for automatically finding bats in the hundreds of hours of recorded video imagery. Over the period of the study, bats were seen on video near turbines more than 900 times. 

Bats typically approached turbines one or more times rather than just flying past, and bats often flew very close to the turbine monopoles, nacelles (machinery boxes at top of monopoles) and sometimes approached stationary or slow-moving blades. At the same time, radar indicated that hundreds of night-migrating birds were flying above and around the turbines nightly, but not closely approaching like bats.    

The most surprising discovery was that bats more often approached wind turbines high above the ground and from the downwind side when the wind was blowing. This strong pattern strengthened as wind speed increased and when turbine blades were experimentally prevented from turning at full speed, but decreased in high winds when turbine blades spun normally. Bats also appeared at turbines more often during brightly moonlit nights. The authors concluded from these patterns that bats might follow airflow paths around tree-like structures and use visual cues at night, but may not be able to tell a tree from a wind turbine with slow or stopped blades.

"The way bats approach turbines suggests they follow air currents and use their dim-adapted vision to find and closely investigate tall things shaped like trees," said Marcos Gorresen, an author of the study and scientist with the University of Hawaii at Hilo. "We see these behaviors less often on darker nights and when fast-moving turbine blades are creating chaotic downwind turbulence. This may be because bats are less likely to mistake turbines for trees and approach them in those conditions."

Previous studies indicated that bat fatalities at wind turbines might occur more often on nights with low average wind speeds. The authors speculate that bats may be more likely to approach turbines in such conditions when turbines have airflow patterns resembling trees, but then might be put at risk if wind speed rapidly increases and pushes turbine blades to speeds faster than bats can perceive or outmaneuver.

Although these new findings revealed bats closely investigating most parts of the turbines, the study could not determine their reasons for doing so. The authors wonder if bats might expect to find roosts, clouds of insect prey or other bats at turbines as they might at trees, regardless of whether such resources actually occur at wind turbines. Little is known about the behaviors of bats or insects around tall trees during late summer and autumn, but the authors write that studying treetop behaviors in natural environments might help explain why bats are particularly susceptible to wind turbines.  

The new findings also have practical implications toward the goal of reducing or avoiding bat fatalities at wind turbines. A current method of reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines is to increase the wind speed threshold at which turbine blades begin operating and spinning fast. “It might be possible to efficiently further reduce fatalities with this method by accounting for sporadic gusts of wind during low-wind periods when bats might be hanging around turbines,” said Cris Hein, an author of the study and scientist with Bat Conservation International. The findings also suggest that pointing monitoring or deterrent devices into the downwind airspace of a turbine might have better chances of detecting or keeping bats away than if they are pointed elsewhere.

The authors conclude that increasing our understanding of the ways that bats perceive and approach wind turbines helps in the search for solutions to reduce the effects of this important energy source on bat populations. More information about this study and additional bat research is available online at the USGSFort Collins Science CenterBat Conservation International and Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative.

Promising Tools Assess Presence of Chytrid Fungus in Amphibian Habitats

USGS Newsroom Technical - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:00
Summary: Amphibians, including threatened and endangered species like the Oregon Spotted Frog, may benefit from a recent study that highlights the use of promising tools that can assess the risk of disease exposure

Contact Information:

Tara Chestnut ( Phone: 503-251-3283 ); Paul Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 );



PORTLAND, Ore. — Amphibians, including threatened and endangered species like the Oregon Spotted Frog, may benefit from a recent study that highlights the use of promising tools that can assess the risk of disease exposure. With global biodiversity decreasing, it has become important for scientists to find new and innovative tools to quickly assess how environmental hazards affect wildlife, especially those that are threatened or endangered.

“By sampling water for amphibian chytrid fungus, rather than sampling amphibians directly, we can detect the pathogen with as few as four samples,” says U.S. Geological Survey researcher Tara Chestnut.

This information is vital to researchers and resource managers, alike, by providing early detection of potential problems that may require immediate conservation efforts or further detailed investigation. Of all species, amphibians (e.g. frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts) appear especially vulnerable to environmental hazards, with up to 41 percent considered threatened worldwide. One potentially lethal threat is the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The amphibian chytrid fungus causes the disease chytridiomycosis, which is linked to many of the observed amphibian population declines and extinctions globally.

For this study, scientists coupled sophisticated molecular tools with advanced statistics to evaluate whether the amphibian chytrid fungus occupied ponds and wetlands. First, they used DNA extracted from water samples to test for the presence and abundance of the amphibian chytrid fungus. Then they used an occupancy modeling method to estimate the chance of a false-negative result, or the likelihood of not detecting the pathogen when it was actually present. The study found chytrid fungus in approximately 61 percent of sampled ponds and wetlands. The fungus was present year round at the long-term monitoring site, but its density was highest in the spring. Beside seasonal variability, elevation also played a role in the presence of the fungus. Chytrid fungus was more common in amphibian breeding habitats at lower elevations than those habitats at higher elevations.

Among the benefits of these tools, scientists have been able to improve survey protocols, which increases the chances of detecting the amphibian chytrid fungus in the environment, while reducing the risk of a false-negative. More importantly, these tools are not limited to only studying the amphibian chytrid fungus. These same methods can be modified to quickly and applied to other aquatic diseases that pose risks to the health of wildlife and humans alike.

“When we study the ecology of pathogens by sampling the environment, conservation efforts can be more informed and focused to meet the management goals and objectives for threatened and endangered species, and common species,” says Chesnut.

The study was published in the journal PLOS One.

Promising Tools Assess Presence of Chytrid Fungus in Amphibian Habitats

USGS Newsroom Technical - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:00
Summary: Amphibians, including threatened and endangered species like the Oregon Spotted Frog, may benefit from a recent study that highlights the use of promising tools that can assess the risk of disease exposure

Contact Information:

Tara Chestnut ( Phone: 503-251-3283 ); Paul Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 );



PORTLAND, Ore. — Amphibians, including threatened and endangered species like the Oregon Spotted Frog, may benefit from a recent study that highlights the use of promising tools that can assess the risk of disease exposure. With global biodiversity decreasing, it has become important for scientists to find new and innovative tools to quickly assess how environmental hazards affect wildlife, especially those that are threatened or endangered.

“By sampling water for amphibian chytrid fungus, rather than sampling amphibians directly, we can detect the pathogen with as few as four samples,” says U.S. Geological Survey researcher Tara Chestnut.

This information is vital to researchers and resource managers, alike, by providing early detection of potential problems that may require immediate conservation efforts or further detailed investigation. Of all species, amphibians (e.g. frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts) appear especially vulnerable to environmental hazards, with up to 41 percent considered threatened worldwide. One potentially lethal threat is the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The amphibian chytrid fungus causes the disease chytridiomycosis, which is linked to many of the observed amphibian population declines and extinctions globally.

For this study, scientists coupled sophisticated molecular tools with advanced statistics to evaluate whether the amphibian chytrid fungus occupied ponds and wetlands. First, they used DNA extracted from water samples to test for the presence and abundance of the amphibian chytrid fungus. Then they used an occupancy modeling method to estimate the chance of a false-negative result, or the likelihood of not detecting the pathogen when it was actually present. The study found chytrid fungus in approximately 61 percent of sampled ponds and wetlands. The fungus was present year round at the long-term monitoring site, but its density was highest in the spring. Beside seasonal variability, elevation also played a role in the presence of the fungus. Chytrid fungus was more common in amphibian breeding habitats at lower elevations than those habitats at higher elevations.

Among the benefits of these tools, scientists have been able to improve survey protocols, which increases the chances of detecting the amphibian chytrid fungus in the environment, while reducing the risk of a false-negative. More importantly, these tools are not limited to only studying the amphibian chytrid fungus. These same methods can be modified to quickly and applied to other aquatic diseases that pose risks to the health of wildlife and humans alike.

“When we study the ecology of pathogens by sampling the environment, conservation efforts can be more informed and focused to meet the management goals and objectives for threatened and endangered species, and common species,” says Chesnut.

The study was published in the journal PLOS One.

Owens Station Shooting Sports and Hunter Education Center dedicated as downstate state owned facility

DNREC News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 09:17
GREENWOOD (Sept. 28, 2014) – This morning, Governor Jack Markell joined DNREC Secretary David Small, Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis, State Rep. David Wilson, DNREC conservation partners and shooting sports enthusiasts to dedicate a formerly privately-owned shooting sports range and conservation education center near Greenwood as the Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center, downstate Delaware’s first and only state-owned public shooting sports range.

FEMA Encourages Communities to Participate in National PrepareAthon! Day

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 17:14

 America’s PrepareAthon! Campaign Offers Simple, Specific Actions Americans Should Know and Practice to Prepare For a Disaster in their Community

Language English
Categories: Federal News

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Sept 16 to 22

DNREC News - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 16:49
DOVER (Sept. 26, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 16-22 made 1,214 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 156 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents issued 86 citations.

Calling All Mayors: Reduce Your Town’s Flood Risk, Insurance Costs through FEMA’s Community Rating System

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 15:27

EATONTOWN, NJ -- Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy, communities around New Jersey are still recovering from the damages inflicted by that historic storm.

The cost of cleaning up debris, clearing waterways and roads, repairing damaged sewer systems and other critical infrastructure, and rebuilding homes and businesses assaulted by wind and water is well into the tens of billions of dollars.

The idea that a storm like Sandy could happen again isn’t one we want to contemplate. But the fact is, not only could it happen again, chances are good that it will.

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Categories: Federal News

Know Your Neighbors, Get Involved In Community Preparedness

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 15:16

EATONTOWN, N.J. – Whether you just moved into your neighborhood a week ago or you’ve lived there for 25 years, getting to know your neighbors has always been an important part of a functioning society. It can also be helpful in a crisis, because after a disaster occurs, the people in closest proximity to you – and the people who will be able to help you most immediately – are your neighbors.

Language English
Categories: Federal News