Supporting Residents in Alabama After the January 22 Tornadoes - February 9, 2012 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Joe Girot, Federal Coordinating Officer, Alabama Severe Storms and Tornadoes

I’m back in Alabama again, leading FEMA’s response to another set of tornadoes that hit Alabama Jan. 22-23. Though not as many people were affected by this round of tornadoes, it’s not about the numbers for me. For me, knowing we can help even one disaster survivor makes my FEMA work worthwhile and makes me glad to be able to help the people of Alabama who have been affected by these storms.

Trussville, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 -- Damage in the city of Trussville during the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Trussville, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 — Damage in the city of Trussville during the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Since President Obama made the disaster declaration for Alabama on the afternoon of Feb. 1, I’ve been going full-throttle. The next morning I met with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley in Montgomery for the formal signing of the federal-state agreement. I told the Governor that returning to Alabama felt like coming home to family, and he said that over the last year, he couldn’t have asked for more cooperation from FEMA.

Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 2, 2012 -- Joe Girot (L), FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) signs the Federal - State agreement for assistance with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (c) and the Director of Alabama Emergency Management Art Faulkner (r). FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 2, 2012 — Joe Girot (L), FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) signs the Federal – State agreement for assistance with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (c) and the Director of Alabama Emergency Management Art Faulkner (r). FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Within 72 hours, my team set up five disaster recovery centers in Chilton and Jefferson counties. Community Relations staff fanned out into the hardest-hit areas and distributed information on the new disaster recovery center, or DRC, locations and guidelines on FEMA registration.

Center Point, Ala., Feb. 3, 2012 -- Duane Marusa, Community Relations Specialist, explains the registration process to a storm survivor in Center Point, Alabama. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Center Point, Ala., Feb. 3, 2012 — Duane Marusa, Community Relations Specialist, explains the registration process to a storm survivor in Center Point, Alabama. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Center Point, Ala., Feb. 3, 2012 -- Mary Smith, Community Relations Specialist, explains the registration process to a storm survivor in Center Point, Alabama. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Center Point, Ala., Feb. 3, 2012 — Mary Smith, Community Relations Specialist, explains the registration process to a storm survivor in Center Point, Alabama. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

As of today, FEMA has more than 1,000 in funding ready to assist the 132 individuals and families whose registrations have already been approved. We have 288 property inspections completed and 397 visits have been made to the five DRC’s. The Small Business Administration has staff at all the DRC’s and has already distributed 452 loan applications for homeowners and 61 for businesses.

I got to speak Sunday (in Spanish!) about FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs during a Spanish-language service at the First Methodist Church of Clanton. About 80 people were there, and I asked them to spread the word about registering for help and visiting the DRC’s located in Clanton and Maplesville in Chilton County.

Clanton, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 -- Joe Girot, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) encourages the congregation of Iglesia Metodista San Juan during their service to register for assistance with FEMA. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Clanton, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 — Joe Girot, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) encourages the congregation of Iglesia Metodista San Juan during their service to register for assistance with FEMA. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Clanton, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 -- FEMA Community Relations Specialists hand out information translated in Spanish to assist non-english speaking survivors. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

Clanton, Ala., Feb. 5, 2012 — FEMA Community Relations Specialists hand out information translated in Spanish to assist non-english speaking survivors. FEMA is supporting the recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that damaged or destroyed parts of Alabama during the period of January 22-23, 2012.

All of us working here are proud to be part of Alabama’s emergency management team, and working with human services agencies, local government officials, and tireless volunteers to get Alabama – once again – back on the road to recovery.

FEMA Blog

Video: Update From Admin. Fugate on Southeast Tornadoes and Severe Storms - July 12, 2011 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Public Affairs

As many of you have no doubt seen, devastating storms and tornadoes struck the southeastern U.S. last night.  Here’s a video update from Administrator Fugate on the latest:

Forecasts from the National Weather Service are calling for more severe weather today.  If you are in the potentially affected area, be sure to stay updated with your local forecast and follow the direction of local officials.

For tips on staying safe before, during and after a tornado, thunderstorm or flood, visit Ready.gov or our mobile site (m.fema.gov).

To keep updated with our latest updates, visit the Severe Storms / Tornadoes category on the blog.

FEMA Blog

Recap: Response and Support Efforts for Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms - May 17, 2011 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Public Affairs

Below is a recap of our activities since the deadly outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes across the southern U.S. For the latest updates on our role, check out the Severe Storms / Tornadoes category on the blog.

Wednesday, April 27th:

  • Severe weather system including high winds, hail and tornadoes devastates parts of several southeastern states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. Alabama is most heavily affected by severe storms, which are forecast to affect the East Coast from Florida through New England through April 29th.
  • Governor Bentley submits request for a federal emergency declaration for the State of Alabama as a result of severe storms, hail, straight-line winds, and tornadoes.
  • FEMA Region IV Administrator Phil May speaks with both Governor Bentley and Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner.
  • DHS Secretary Napolitano speaks with Governor Bentley to express condolences and to discuss latest status.
  • President Obama declares an emergency for all 67 counties in Alabama, and orders federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the area struck by these storms. The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. Joe M. Girot is designated as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in Alabama.
  • The President calls Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and expresses his deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life and suffering caused by severe storms and tornadoes in Alabama.
  • President releases statement on the severe storms and tornadoes in Alabama http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/28/president-devastation-alabama
  • FEMA places two National Incident Management Assistance Teams on alert, in case Alabama requests their assistance. These teams help the state coordinate response efforts.
  • FEMA places Texas Task Force 1 Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) team on alert, to be available in case Alabama makes a request for assistance.
  • FEMA Region IV deploys a regional liaison officer to the Alabama emergency operations center to assist in coordination efforts as the state continues to respond and begins to recover from this devastating storm outbreak.

Thursday, April 28th:

  • FEMA Headquarters activates its National Response Coordination Staff to Level III, which activates its emergency support functions, including transportation, public works, mass care, public health, search and rescue and others.
  • FEMA Region IV deploys regional IMAT to the Alabama emergency operations center to assist in coordination efforts as the state continues to respond and begins to recover from the devastating storm outbreak.
  • FEMA Region IV Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) activates to Level II for increased coordination with the affected states.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, and Alabama State Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner conduct a press conference call on the coordinated state and federal response to the severe and deadly tornadoes in Alabama.
  • On this call, Administrator Fugate announces that at the direction of the president, he will be traveling to Alabama to join the governor and other state and local officials on the ground.
  • FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino travels to the FEMA Region IV headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and meets with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and other state and local officials as they assess the damage.
  • FEMA coordinates with the USNORTHCOM to establish an incident support base in Maxwell, Alabama. The support base will allow FEMA to move supplies such as water, infant toddler kits, and tarps closer to the affected area, in case they are needed.
  • President Obama speaks via telephone with DHS Secretary Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Fugate to discuss the continuing federal disaster relief efforts for areas affected by the devastating severe storms and tornadoes that have impacted Alabama, Mississippi and other states across the Southeast.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate arrives in Alabama to meet with Governor Robert Bentley, and other state and local officials, to assess the damage and ensure the state is receiving all the support needed for its response and recovery operations.
  • Regional IMAT arrives in Alabama to support state efforts at the Alabama emergency operations center.
  • FEMA, its federal partners and the affected states hold a video-teleconference to discuss response efforts and to address anticipated needs.
  • The President speaks with the Governors of Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia to express condolences and let them know that the Federal Government is ready to help in any appropriate and possible way.
  • FEMA liaison officers land on the ground in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky emergency operations centers supporting state efforts.
  • The President makes nationally televised remarks to address the severe storms and inform the American people what its government is doing to assist the people in need.
  • FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino joins Georgia Governor Nathan Deal at a press conference at the state’s emergency operations center in Atlanta.
  • FEMA Administrator Fugate joins Alabama Governor Robert Bentley at a press conference in Tuscaloosa, after his meetings and surveying damage in both Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.
  • The Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues a press release to urge workers and members of the public engaged in cleanup activities to be aware of hazards they might encounter and to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
  • FEMA deploys a mobile emergency response support team to Alabama to provide prompt and rapid multi-media communications processing, logistics and operational support to state officials.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Val Dolcini reminds crop and livestock producers in affected states that FSA programs may be available to assist with recovery.
  • President Obama declares a major disaster declaration which makes federal assistance available to individual who suffered personal property damages or losses, and for public infrastructure, such as schools, fire stations, and libraries.

FEMA Blog

Recap 9: Response and Support Efforts for Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms - May 7, 2011 by dharkanjhel

Posted by Public Affairs

Since the deadly tornadoes first struck parts of the country last week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.

At the request of the respective governors, FEMA currently has teams on the ground in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee, as well as strategically pre-positioned commodities in the region to support the states.

Federal Coordinating Officers have been working closely with these affected states to assist them in meeting the unique needs of their residents.

Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino fanned out across Alabama, and met with state and local officials, FEMA staff on the ground, and disaster survivors at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), to review recovery activities and talk about the importance of registering for disaster assistance. 

Recap for Friday, May 6th:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino fanned out across Alabama today, and met with state and local officials, FEMA staff on the ground, and disaster survivors at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), to review recovery activities and talk about the importance of registering for disaster assistance.
  • Each state is actively communicating its efforts to the public through the community relations staff on the ground, who are meeting with disaster survivors, through other outreach to explain the assistance available and to encourage survivors register for assistance. Further updates on activities can be found for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia,  Kentucky , Mississippi and Tennessee
  • Thirty-six disaster recovery centers are open across Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia – these centers are staffed by state, voluntary agency and federal personnel to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by recent storms and tornadoes. The Disaster Recovery Center Locator is a resource that allows individuals to find DRCs nearest to their location, once they are open, and includes information such as hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions.  The centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. The Disaster Recovery Center Locator can be found online at http://www.fema.gov/drclocator or on our mobile site at http://m.fema.gov/.
  • More than 500 inspectors are on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas assessing damages in order to help applicants to receive financial assistance. The number of field inspectors is expected to increase rapidly over the next several days.
  • More than 50,500 people have registered for assistance in five states affected by severe weather and tornadoes in late April, including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee, roughly 900 of these registrations were completed through the mobile m.fema.gov site, and more than .7 million in grants has been approved for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
  • FEMA posted an additional 21 messages to its blogFacebook and Twitter accounts. To date, FEMA has provided more than 40 responses to comments on FEMA Facebook and twitter accounts.

FEMA Blog

Alabama, Georgia, and Southern U.S. Hit by Tornadoes and Severe Storms - December 27, 2010 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Public Affairs

Our thoughts are with the families and communities in Alabama and Georgia that have been affected by the severe storms and tornados that have ripped through the region this evening and continue to impact the southern states.

Through our regional office in Atlanta, GA we have been in close contact and coordination with state emergency management officials, as they work tirelessly to meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors.

When natural disasters, such as severe storms and tornados, strike, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups who provide emergency assistance required to protect the public’s health and safety and to meet immediate human needs.

This evening, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Alabama, providing federal support to state and local response efforts.

  • The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 67 counties in the State of Alabama.
  • Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
  • At the request of the state of Alabama, FEMA is deploying a liaison officer to the state emergency operations center to assist in coordination efforts as the state continues to respond and begins to recover from this devastating storm outbreak.

More severe weather is forecasted throughout the south, so make sure you’re taking steps to stay safe before, during, and after the storm:

  • Follow the instructions of state and local officials,
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information,
  • Make sure you have a safe place to go in case severe weather approaches,
  • Familiarize yourself with severe weather watch/warning terms
    • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
    • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.
    • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
    • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

For complete tips on getting prepared for a tornado, severe storm, or flooding, visit Ready.gov or our mobile site (m.fema.gov).

Related blog posts: Our role in severe storms and tornadoes

FEMA Blog

VIDEO: Taking stock after the tornadoes - November 26, 2010 by dharkanjhel

People in six US states badly affected by tornadoes are beginning the massive clean-up operation, and in many cases starting to rebuild their entire lives.

Church groups are providing both spiritual and physical support, while the Red Cross is providing food and shelter for those who have lost their homes in the storms.

Meanwhile the search for survivors and the recovery of bodies continues.

Tom Burridge reports from Washington.

Rocket News

Recap 2: Response and Support Efforts for Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms - September 8, 2010 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Public Affairs

Since the deadly tornadoes first struck parts of the country earlier this week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.

At the request of the respective governors, FEMA currently has personnel on the ground in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, and commodities strategically pre-positioned in the region to support the states.

President Obama joined Administrator Fugate, the Governor and other state and local officials on the ground in Alabama today.

On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Small Business Administrator Mills, and Administrator Fugate will travel to Alabama and Mississippi to survey the damage and meet with state and local officials.

Recap for Friday, April 29th

  • FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour fly from Jackson, MS to Smithville, Monroe County, to survey the storm-damaged areas.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate joins President Obama in Alabama to view damages as a result of severe storms and tornados that struck Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and other states in the southern and mid-Atlantic regions this week.  President Obama also meets with Governor Robert Bentley, state and local officials, and families affected by the storms. 
  • An additional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) is on the ground in Alabama, IMATs are also on the ground in Mississippi and in Georgia to assist in the coordination efforts as the states continue to respond and begin to recover from this devastating storm outbreak.    
  • FEMA liaison officers arrive on the ground in Tennessee’s emergency operations center to state efforts.
  • FEMA, its federal partners and the affected states hold a video-teleconference to discuss response efforts and to address anticipated needs. 
  • Secretary Janet Napolitano visits the FEMA National Response Coordination Center where she is briefed by the federal agencies on the ongoing, coordinated federal operations in support of the current and anticipated needs of the affected states.  
  • Supplies such as meals, water, infant toddler kits and tarps begin to arrive, or are en-route to an incident support base established in Maxwell, Alabama.  The support base will allow FEMA to move supplies closer to the affected area, in case they are needed.
  • Nearly 1,100 National Guard men and women perform search and rescue, security, transportation, and road clearing missions in support of the Alabama tornado relief effort.
  • Alabama receives additional assistance, as part of its major disaster declaration, for Marengo and Sumter counties, meaning individuals in those counties can now also apply for federal aid. Damage assessments are ongoing, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are completed in the affected areas. 
  • The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announces details of the open USPS offices, along with hours of operation and services that were being provided to disaster survivors affected by the recent storms in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services provides information on post-storm health messages, to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning, promote generator safety and encourage safety around downed power lines.  
  • The American Red Cross continues to provide food and shelter to the thousands of people whose lives were turned upside down by these storms throughout the South and the Midwest. Open Red Cross shelters can be found on www.redcross.org. The Red Cross Safe and Well secure website provides a way for people to find information on people affected by the storms. To register, visit www.redcross.org.

For the latest updates on our role, check out the Severe Storms / Tornadoes category on the blog.

FEMA Blog

Addressing Sheltering and Housing Needs After the Southeast Tornadoes - August 24, 2010 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Mark Misczak, Individual Assistance Division Acting Director

Edited: May 1, 4:10 pm EDT

As FEMA and our federal partners continue to work with the states in support of their recovery efforts, there has been a great deal of focus on the need to shelter a significant number of residents whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by tornadoes and other severe weather.

States and non-government groups like the Red Cross are still very much involved in ensuring displaced disaster survivors are provided shelter, and sustaining those shelters with the needed supplies like food and water. We understand that many residents may be asking themselves what’s next as they are confronted with the challenge of finding short-term housing and the possibility of needing long-term accommodations.

FEMA is one part of a large team that is working together to support the state in meeting its housing needs. This joint effort is comprised of housing and technical experts from the State, FEMA, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration (SBA) and voluntary agencies. Working together, the team will partner with the state as they establish housing priorities; seeking ways to make the greatest use of existing housing resources, such as apartments and rental units; and deploying temporary housing units, if needed.

As extensive work continues to restore power, open roadways, and remove debris so that homes can begin to be repaired or rebuilt, FEMA is:

  • Working with our partners at HUD to identify areas of greatest need for housing, and to identify available rental resources in impacted areas to assist families displaced by these storms to find longer-term housing solutions; 
  • Working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the local communities to identify areas where the Corps could provide temporary home repairs, such as covering broken windows or holes in roofs, so that residents can move back or stay in their home for shelter until more extensive repairs can be made;
  • Working with our partners at SBA to help individuals and businesses apply for low interest loans so that they can more quickly rebuild or repair their damaged homes and replace lost property; and
  • Perhaps most importantly, actively taking registration information through our call centers. We have inspectors on the ground assessing the damages suffered by those who have registered, and FEMA is approving financial assistance for housing (such as rental assistance and home repair money) and financial assistance for other essential needs (such as disaster-related medical needs, replace lost clothing, furniture and other necessary items).

The first step for individuals to be considered for assistance is to register.  Our Community Relations (CR) teams are on the ground meeting with residents to explain the types of assistance that is available through the federal government and helping residents to register.  If you have questions, we encourage you speak with a CR team if they knock on your door (just remember, all FEMA staff will have FEMA identification) or call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) and press “1″.

In addition to in-person CR teams, there are several options for getting help:

  • registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov,
  • registering through a web-enabled mobile device at  m.fema.gov, or 
  • calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

FEMA has also expanded its agreement with Operation HOPE to bring financial experts in to Disaster Recovery Centers to provide guidance to disaster survivors on how to apply the funds provided by FEMA and the Small Business Administration, such as funds provided for home repair, to speed their recovery.

FEMA Blog

Recap 4: Response and Support Efforts for Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms
 - August 14, 2010 by dharkanjhel
Posted by: Public Affairs

Since the deadly tornadoes first struck parts of the country last week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.

At the request of the respective governors, FEMA currently has personnel on the ground in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, and commodities strategically pre-positioned in the region to support the states.

Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Small Business Administrator Mills, and FEMA Administrator Fugate, along with American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern, traveled to Alabama and Mississippi to survey the damage and meet with state and local officials.

Recap for Sunday, May 1st

  • President Obama Cabinet members Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Donovan, Secretary Vilsack join Administrator Fugate, Small Business Administration Administrator Mills, American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern and other state and local officials to tour affected areas in Birmingham, Alabama and Smithville, Mississippi.
  • Tonight, the President declared a major disaster for the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and associated flooding during the period of April 25-28, 2011.
  • Six disaster recovery centers (DRCs) open.  These are staffed by state, voluntary agency and federal personnel to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by recent storms and tornadoes. The centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.  At the DRCs, representatives from FEMA, state and other agencies meet one on one with disaster survivors, explain assistance programs and help survivors apply for disaster aid.
  • More than 150 inspectors are on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia assessing damages in order to help applicants to receive financial assistance. The number of field inspectors is expected to increase rapidly over the next several days.
  • FEMA Community Relations (CR) personnel are on the ground in Mississippi, joining CR teams already deployed previously to Georgia and Alabama, to meet with disaster survivors to explain the assistance available and to help survivors register for assistance. 
  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) member organizations such as American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, and many others continue to be heavily involved in the disaster response by providing assistance to disaster survivors. The Red Cross Safe and Well secure website provides a way for people to find information on people affected by the storms. To register, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Open Red Cross shelters can also be found on www.redcross.org.     
  • The Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives and Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service have set up official web portals to help with coordinating donations and volunteers.  Cash is the preferred method of donation in order to ensure that disaster survivors get the services and supplies they need quickly.

FEMA Blog

Recap 3: Response and Support Efforts for Southern U.S. Tornadoes and Severe Storms - August 2, 2010 by dharkanjhel

Posted by: Public Affairs

Since the deadly tornadoes first struck parts of the country earlier this week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.

At the request of the respective governors, FEMA currently has personnel on the ground in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, and commodities strategically pre-positioned in the region to support the states.

President Obama joined Administrator Fugate, the Governor and other state and local officials on the ground in Alabama yesterday.

On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Small Business Administrator Mills, and FEMA Administrator Fugate will travel to Alabama and Mississippi to survey the damage and meet with state and local officials.

Recap for Friday, April 29th

  • An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) is on the ground in Kentucky and an additional Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) arrived in Mississippi, IMATs are also on the ground in Alabama and in Georgia to assist in the coordination efforts as the states continue to respond and begin to recover from this devastating storm outbreak.
  • FEMA Community Relations (CR) teams are on the ground in Georgia and Alabama to meeting with disaster survivors to explain the assistance available and to help survivors register for assistance. Additional CR teams have been deployed to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
  • FEMA partnered with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to create a joint Facebook page as an additional way to reach Alabama residents during the response and recovery efforts after the severe storms and tornadoes.
  • A housing mission planning team is on the ground in Alabama to support the state in meeting its objectives. This team, comprised of housing and technical experts from FEMA, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration and voluntary agencies, will assist the state-led housing task force in establishing housing priorities; seeking ways to maximize housing resources, such as apartments and rental units; and other resources, if needed. 
  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to Alabama and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding this week.
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made immediately available million in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program aid for disaster recovery projects in 10 states affected this month by storms and floods.
  • The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptists and other voluntary and faith-based organizations are also providing meals, shelter and other relief supplies. More than 90 American Red Cross response vehicles are fanning out through the affected areas distributing meals and relief supplies.

FEMA Blog

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