Federal Emergency Management Agency releases Tribal Nations Pocket Guide

Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a new tool to better inform tribes about FEMA policies and programs. The document, FEMA and Tribal Nations: A Pocket Guide, provides FEMA’s tribal partners readily accessible information about FEMA.

FEMA and Tribal Nations: A Pocket Guide explains FEMA’s policies on tribal engagement, outlines key FEMA programs and how they relate to tribes, and provides contact information on how to reach the agency’s tribal liaisons.

Developed in coordination with national tribal organizations, the pocket guide was released at the 2014 National Congress of American Indians’ Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Tribal officials are able to obtain a hard copy of the pocket guide by contacting their Regional Tribal Liaisons.

FEMA is committed to supporting Indian Country in its efforts to build more resilient and better prepared communities. More information about FEMA Tribal Affairs is available at www.fema.gov/tribal.

 

Amber Alert led to quick recovery as vehicle is spotted in traffic

Officials from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) were celebrating the quick recovery of an abducted and endangered child as a result of this morning’s AMBER Alert and applauding the public involvement that proved crucial to the child’s safe recovery.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office initiated the AMBER Alert for 18-month old Mason A. Wilhelm, which was issued at 10:23 a.m.  The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system was then activated, which was sent at 10:41 a.m.  An alert motorist, receiving the WEA on their phone, called 9-1-1 at 10:42 a.m., reporting they were following the vehicle.  Deputies then stopped the suspect vehicle at 10:49 a.m. and the child was safety recovered.

The AMBER Alert program is a critical tool that has aided in the safe recovery of over 700 abducted children nationwide since its inception.  “The public may often be our best resource in locating these abducted children and the quick dissemination of this critical information using the WEA system enhances getting these alerts out to the public.  As demonstrated with this morning’s quick and safe recovery, a mere 8 minutes passed from the WEA being seen by a motorist and the child’s safe recovery,” said Lieutenant Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol.  “The system works and this recovery demonstrates the value of the AMBER Alert program and the invaluable role of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system in alerting the public”, added Mead.

Additional information on the circumstances surrounding the child’s abduction and recovery are available from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional information on the AMBER Alert program can be found at http://www.missingkids.com/AMBER or the Washington State AMBER Alert plan at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/amber.htm.

Additional information on the Wireless Emergency Alert system can be found at http://www.fema.gov/wireless-emergency-alerts.

Pacific County seeks consultant to update Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is currently seeking proposals from qualified consultants to update the Pacific County Hazard Mitigation Plan that meets all requirements under 44 CFR Part 201.6.

 

As described in the Federal Register (Volume 67, Numbers 38 and 109, dated February 26, 2002 and October 2002 respectively,) Section 322 of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that all local governments adopt an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan (Plan) to be eligible to receive future hazard mitigation grant funding. The purpose of the Plan is to demonstrate the “jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risks from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards. Local plans will also serve as the basis for the State to provide technical assistance and to prioritize project funding.”

 

To fulfill this requirement, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency seeks consultant services in order to update the existing Hazard Mitigation Plan thereby meeting the necessary requirements of and is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA).

 

To request a complete proposal packet, contact Scott McDougall smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us, 360-875-9338, or visit the Pacific County website at www.co.pacific.wa.us.

Proposals should be mailed to:

 

Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
PO Box 27
South Bend, WA 98586

 

 

Coastal Flood Hazard Study for Grays Harbor County enters appeal period

UPDATE: A meeting on October 23rd will detail the maps to the public.
The 90 day appeal period has begun for flood hazard determinations in Grays Harbor County on FEMA’s Coastal Flood Hazard Study. During the appeal period property owners can view the proposed risk maps and submit appeals or corrections in data. After 90 days, and once all appeals have been resolved, a Letter of Final Determination will start a 6 month compliance period before the new Flood Risk Maps take effect.

View the proposed maps here.

Any owner or lessee of real property who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations may appeal to the county.  It is important to note, however, that the sole basis for such appeals is the possession of knowledge or information indicating that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.  The appeal data must be submitted to FEMA during the 90-day appeal period.  Only appeals of the proposed flood hazard determinations supported by scientific or technical data can be considered before FEMA makes its final flood hazard determination at the end of the 90-day appeal period.  Note that the 90-day appeal period is statutory and cannot be extended.  Minor, non-technical comments such as road name changes, typographical errors, or omissions can be received  up until 90 days prior to the Letter of Final Determination (LFD) date.

Continue reading Coastal Flood Hazard Study for Grays Harbor County enters appeal period

FEMA Honors Achievement in Community Preparedness to the Ocosta School District Community

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the winners of the 2014 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing the outstanding efforts of individuals, programs and organizations throughout the country working to prepare their communities for emergencies.

The community of the Ocosta School District was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the Community Preparedness Heroes category – “In recognition of your service to the whole community, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hereby awards you an honorable mention in the 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.”

“Strong emergency management requires teamwork, community engagement, innovation and strong relationships at all levels before disasters occur,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. “This year, we recognize individuals and organizations that exemplify this approach, and I congratulate them on their dedication to make our nation stronger and safer.”

This year’s honorees developed and implemented innovative tools, programs and resources, which provided opportunities for a wide variety of stakeholders to make their communities better prepared and more resilient.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The community of the Ocosta School District, encompassing the entire South Beach area of Grays Harbor County and Pacific County, should be proud of their vision and accomplishment to build the first Tsunami Engineered Safe Haven Building in North America, the Ocosta Elementary School. This historic achievement is a testament to every community member. The new elementary school will stand as a beacon for all communities, large and small, showing what determination, perseverance, compassion and pure grit can accomplish. This could never have been realized without the overwhelming support, effort and foresight of every community member. Congratulations to each and every one of you! – Chuck Wallace, Deputy Director of the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency

Race the Wave 5K fun run/walk to practice tsunami evacuation routes

September is National Preparedness Month and Pacific Northwest coastal communities are leading by example. Cannon Beach, Oregon will host Race the Wave, their first hazard-themed fun run designed to blend awareness and action into a single activity.

Race the Wave is a 5k tsunami fun run/walk that follows an actual tsunami evacuation route in Cannon Beach.  On September 28, participants will learn about earthquake and tsunami hazards so they can make informed decisions and take actions to be better prepared, creating a more resilient community. The race route begins on the beach and finishes at the higher ground of one of the community’s evacuation meeting points, where Cannon Beach will host a preparedness fair with interactive booths for all to learn more about how to prepare for emergencies and disasters.

Cannon Beach, OR is a community long committed to ensuring its citizens and visitors are prepared for a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. Race the Wave uses the National Preparedness month themes of being disaster aware and taking action to prepare and makes those themes relevant for their community.

  • Know the Plan: Make a plan with your family about where you will meet. Know if you need to pick your kids up from school. Know where you need to go and what to bring with you.
  • Take the Route: Become familiar with signage in your area. Learn the evacuation route from where you live, work, and play. Evacuate on foot and avoid traveling by car if possible.
  • Race the Wave: Natural warnings are the best sign of a tsunami. If you feel the ground shaking, move quickly inland or to a higher elevation. Listen to the radio to learn of tsunami warnings originating from non-local causes.

The Community of Cannon Beach, Clatsop County Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), Oregon Office on Disability & Health at Oregon Health & Science University and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X office are coming together to support Race the Wave.

FEMA is encouraging everyone to take steps to become better prepared for an emergency. Whether it’s at home, at work, at school, or in the community, there’s a lot that you can do to be ready and help others be ready too.  This September, take time to get disaster prepared and take action to prepare.

For more information and to participate in Race the Wave visit the community Facebook page.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA hosting briefings on National Flood Insurance Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Cities of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, and Hoquiam, as well as Grays Harbor County is holding 3 briefings on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Aberdeen on Tuesday, August 26th

In addition to a review of the National Flood Insurance Program and the recent reforms they will also be reviewing floodplain management requirements and mitigation activities at the 10am and 7pm briefings. The 2pm briefing will focus primarily on the NFIP insurance policy and the recent legislative reforms.

Continue reading FEMA hosting briefings on National Flood Insurance Program

President Obama signs Washington emergency declaration for wildfires

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Washington to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on July 9, 2014, and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all 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 the counties of Chelan and Okanogan and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

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.

Michael J. Hall has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.

Continue reading President Obama signs Washington emergency declaration for wildfires

U.S. President declares disaster for Washington State, releasing second wave of disaster aid

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Washington to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by flooding and mudslides beginning on March 22, 2014, and continuing.

This assistance is in addition to the support provided under the Presidential Emergency Declaration granted on March 24, 2014.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Snohomish County, including the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip Tribes.

Assistance can include grants 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.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work due to flooding and mudslides in Snohomish County, including the lands associated with the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip Tribes.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members, and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one on one basis.

Michael J. Hall has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Hall said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

 

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Washington.

 

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

 

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes were destroyed or are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, child care assistance and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.  (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.

How to Apply for Individual Assistance:

 

  • Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one-on-one basis.

 

  • Affected individuals and business owners in designated areas can begin the disaster application process by registering online, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov , by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

 

Assistance for the State, Tribes and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

 

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for recovery and cleanup from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

 

  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

 

How to Apply for Public Assistance:

 

  • Application procedures for tribal and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state and federal/tribal applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

 

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Quinault Nation Declares State of Emergency

Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, declared a state of emergency Tuesday night due to a breach in the Taholah seawall and destruction of a smokehouse, other outbuildings and properties in the lower village. The damage was caused by high waves and intense winds. A press release from the Tribe said Sharp is the Chief Executive Officer designated to possess constitutional authority to issue such direction for the Tribe.

President Sharp also issued a voluntary evacuation order in the area and filed a request with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the portion of Taholah in danger of being flooded and otherwise in danger from this situation be declared a federal disaster area and be made available for disaster support.

Sharp issued an executive order stating that “the dangerous condition continues and that the Taholah seawall is no longer capable of stopping the ocean from advancing into our lower village of Taholah.”

The executive order stated, “Lives as well as property are in imminent danger. A state of emergency exists in the tribal village of Taholah, on the Quinault Reservation.”

President Sharp met with congressional officials, including Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Dave Reichert as well as officials from the Army Corps earlier this month. “All of these officials were very supportive of our long term plans related to protection of our people from these ongoing dangerous conditions and the funding that will be required to achieve that protection on a permanent basis.”

Temporary mitigation efforts to reinforce the Taholah seawall were taken in January, when the Corps of Engineers placed 800 tons of riprap rock. “It is obvious that Quinault’s coastal defenses desperately require a more permanent fix,” said Sharp.

“We have been experiencing an increasingly dangerous situation with sea level rise and intensified storms. Our people must be protected. We will take whatever measures are necessary to see that they are,” said Sharp.