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Staying Safe from Tornadoes

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 11:36
Staying Safe from Tornadoes zella.campbell Fri, 03/19/2021 - 18:36 Release Date Thu, 03/18/2021 - 18:00

Tornadoes left a trail of destruction across five states in the south this week. Severe storms continue toward the southeast, with more threats of tornadoes and intense wind. If you’re in the path of these severe storms, it’s important to know how to stay safe. 

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that can destroy buildings, flip cars and create deadly flying debris. They bring intense winds over 200 miles per hour and can happen anytime, anywhere.

If you are under a severe weather warning, follow NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. One way to know a tornado is coming is by the loud, almost freight-like sound they can make.

If there is a tornado warning, you should take shelter immediately. To stay safe during a tornado, follow these steps:

  •  Immediately go to a safe location such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  •  Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.

If you’re in your car, do not try to outrun a tornado. Additionally:

  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.

Even after a tornado passes, it’s important to stay alert and use caution when clearing debris.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up, such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told they are safe.

For more information on how to prepare for tornadoes, build a safe room or clean up after a disaster, visit Ready.gov.

 

All Headquarters Tornado

Staying Safe from Tornadoes

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 08:20
Staying Safe from Tornadoes jessica.geraci Thu, 03/18/2021 - 15:20

Tornadoes left a trail of destruction across five states in the south this week. Severe storms continue toward the southeast, with more threats of tornadoes and intense wind. If you’re in the path of these severe storms, it’s important to know how to stay safe. 

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that can destroy buildings, flip cars and create deadly flying debris. They bring intense winds over 200 miles per hour and can happen anytime, anywhere.

If you are under a severe weather warning, follow NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. One way to know a tornado is coming is by the loud, almost freight-like sound they can make.

If there is a tornado warning, you should take shelter immediately. To stay safe during a tornado, follow these steps:

  • Immediately go to a safe location such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.

If you’re in your car, do not try to outrun a tornado. Additionally:

  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.

Even after a tornado passes, it’s important to stay alert and use caution when clearing debris.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up, such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told they are safe.

For more information on how to prepare for tornadoes, build a safe room or clean up after a disaster, visit Ready.gov.

All Tornado

Mobile Vaccination Centers Improve Vaccine Accessibility

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 08:42
Mobile Vaccination Centers Improve Vaccine Accessibility jessica.geraci Tue, 03/16/2021 - 15:42 Graphic

As people become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, one obstacle they may face is finding a vaccination center close to home.

FEMA is working alongside the CDC and other federal partners to help state, territorial, local and tribal partners minimize these types of challenges so that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can be. Mobile Vaccination Centers are one way we are making this happen.

Mobile and pop-up clinics are sites that can be set up anywhere with the support of entities such as local public health clinics, health care providers, pharmacies, community and faith-based organizations, employers, private sector vaccinators and federal resources.

Some of these clinics are on wheels — such as inside of a trailer that can drive from location to location. Other clinics are pop-ups that can be set up and taken down in any building, often using local resources and expertise.

These mobile and pop-up sites bring vaccination centers closer to the communities and people that need them: they meet people where they work, live and socialize. They tackle the challenges that prevent people from receiving a vaccination:

  • Traveling distance.
  • Limited access to medical providers or vaccine clinics.
  • Lack of mass transportation.
  • Mobility issues.
  • Work and family care schedules.
  • Lack of vaccine confidence.

The mobile centers take on these challenges by entering hard-to-reach areas and targeting specific populations such as high-risk groups, essential workers and rural communities.

FEMA has already worked with federal and local partners to hold more than 500 mobile events. We continue to accelerate these efforts by providing funding, equipment and supplies.

FEMA will continue to partner with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners to support and accelerate mobile vaccination clinics. These sites are essential to our efforts to make the vaccine accessible to all. 

For more information on vaccine equitability and distribution, visit the vaccine support page.

All Pandemic COVID-19 Vaccine

FEMA Celebrates International Women’s Day

Mon, 03/08/2021 - 10:02
FEMA Celebrates International Women’s Day zella.campbell Mon, 03/08/2021 - 18:02

International Women's Day is a globally recognized day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, FEMA is marking the occasion by highlighting members of our Women’s Forum, an organization working to create an inclusive and respectful culture at FEMA.

Kristin Duquette

Listed by the Clinton Foundation as one of 12 people “who will inspire you to make a difference,” Kristin Duquette serves as a Preparedness Officer for FEMA’s Transportation Security Grant program.

Kristin is a globally recognized disability rights advocate and former world-class athlete who served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration. She is a five-time American Paralympic Record Holder, three-time Junior National Record Holder and the former Captain of the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team for the 2010 Greek Open.

In 2014, Kristin was named the global mentor for disability inclusion initiatives under the Clinton Global Initiative University, and her analysis of United Nations disability policies has been archived in the Academic Council on the United Nations System. She received the 2019 FEMA Administrator Award in Diversity Management and Inclusion for her contributions to the FEMA Women’s Forum Leadership Team.  Kristin is currently a student at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security Program.

Rae Walker-Ellis

Rae Walker-Ellis is a Senior Grants Management Specialist, currently deployed as the Regional Response Coordination Center Deputy Logistics Section Chief, COVID19 Vaccine Distribution in FEMA Region 3. Rae says one of the biggest challenges of her career has been not always having a mentor or sponsor for guidance and support. 

“We need to have people in our lives who can give us exposure to opportunities, career guidance/modeling, and even moments for constructive criticism,” said Rae.

 To overcome this lack of mentoring, she became proactive in  creating her own support tribe and framing a motivational mindset for herself. Rae identified people who inspired her and asked them for informational interviews. She also joined, and took on leadership roles for, professional and civic organizations. Rae developed the courage to make the ask for mentorship, and learned how not to underestimate the ways that she could make the mentorship mutually beneficial.

Melissa Forbes

Dr. Melissa Forbes is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Recovery Directorate at FEMA. Prior to this position, Dr. Forbes served as Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer where she led the implementation of FEMA’s Strategic Goal 3: Reduce the Complexity of FEMA. In this role she championed new technology and processes to make the Office of the Chief Information Officer a more collaborative and customer-focused organization.

Melissa also served as the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for FEMA's Office of Policy and Program Analysis. During the record-breaking 2017 hurricane season, she deployed to FEMA's National Response Coordination Center as Deputy Chief of Situational Awareness. Melissa joined DHS in 2010, working in the National Protection and Programs Directorate’s Office of Risk Management and Analysis, the Council on Environmental Quality and the DHS Office of Policy. 

Ann Gomes

Ann Gomes has served FEMA for over 14 years. She is the Deputy infrastructure Branch Director of Special Operations and Support for Region 4’s Orlando Processing Center and a member of the CORE Value Team and Women’s Forum.

“As women, we need to be confident in ourselves and our ability to do anything,” Ann says. “You need to know who you are as a person and express that.” Her role models are successful women who push the boundaries of gender equality by utilizing their strengths and leadership qualities – in skill, knowledge, experience and emotion. The ever-changing remote work environment has become a new challenge for many. As a leader and mentor, she remains accountable, accessible, transparent and empathetic to all who reach out for support and guidance.

 

All Headquarters We Are FEMA

Why You Should Join FEMA Corps

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:35
Why You Should Join FEMA Corps jessica.geraci Fri, 03/05/2021 - 20:35

FEMA Corps is a unique, team-based service program that gives 1824yearold participants the opportunity to serve communities impacted by disaster while gaining professional development experience. FEMA Public Affairs Specialist Wesley Lagenour shares his FEMA Corps experience and what it meant to him.

As someone from farm country Indiana, I never thought I would be working and living in Washington D.C.

Nowadays, I’m a writer/editor in the Office of External Affairs, and life is much different than the days of sticking my cell phone out the window to send and receive text messages. Without participating in FEMA Corps, I am not sure what I would be doing today.

After graduating from Indiana State University with my undergrad degree, I was not certain what I wanted to do, but I carried a passion for public service. That passion led me to search on AmeriCorps.gov for opportunities that lined up with my experiences, interests and skillset. And what I found was FEMA Corps.

I received my acceptance into FEMA Corps and was flown to the Southern Region Campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi on Feb. 2019. From there, I was assigned to a FEMA Corps team.  

The first six weeks of the program were filled mostly with trainings. Corps members were briefed on the rules and regulations that came with participating in the FEMA Corps program, as well as FEMA trainings. The FEMA trainings focused on learning the ins-and-outs of the agency and included specialized trainings with a specific FEMA mission/program area. My team became specialized in floodplain management and mitigation.

After our training, we were deployed to various locations across the country to support FEMA’s mission. Each of the three project rounds lasted approximately 12 weeks, and each deployment was unique to the disaster recovery efforts of the area. My team was sent to the Joint Recovery Office in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, just outside of San Juan.

The work week was a standard 40 hours, but teams deployed to an active disaster were often working 80-plus hours to support response efforts.  

FEMA Corps members also had goals separate from supporting the agency. While deployed, members were expected to make a positive impact in the community we were staying in. These efforts could be creating/participating in service projects to benefit non-governmental organizations and nonprofits, or recruitment to grow the FEMA Corps program itself.

As the program progressed, the liaisons between FEMA and AmeriCorps created hiring events for the FEMA Corps members that centered around individual qualifications and interests..

And I like many other FEMA Corps members was hired to become a  FEMA reservist. Butmy time as a FEMA reservist was short. I was deployed twice, with each deployment consisting of a week-long training.

In June 2020 I was contacted by the Office of External Affairs to see if I was interested in a writer position. I was thrilled. The connections I made in FEMA Corps spoke to my work-ethic and my rapport I had with the staff. I accepted a writer position with the Office of External Affairs and moved to Washington D.C. in August.

I will remain an advocate for FEMA Corps, for all prospective, current, and graduated members. FEMA Corps gave me the opportunity to expand my professional capabilities and find a rewarding career.  To be a part of the mission of helping people before, during and after disasters is something that aligned with my passion of public service, and I am proud to be a FEMA CORPS alum.

All Careers

Youth Preparedness Council Member Shares the Importance of Investing in Preparedness

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 07:59
Youth Preparedness Council Member Shares the Importance of Investing in Preparedness jessica.geraci Tue, 03/02/2021 - 15:59

The Youth Preparedness Council brings together youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities. In this post, Youth Preparedness Council member Jordan Lin, a high school senior from Georgia, shares his perspective on why investing in preparedness is so important.

I’ll be honest: Sometimes I can’t help but ask, “Why do I have this second weather radio when, the majority of its life, it sits on my nightstand, blinking every Wednesday at 11:30 for the weekly test?”  It does make a rather fine collector’s item, but besides the fact it can wake me up at night and I can use it as my clock, I sometimes question whether the expense was worth it.

Perhaps even worse, when “low battery” popped up on the keypad display of my home’s fire alarm system over Christmas break, I pushed the task of replacing the battery to the back of my mind.  It only occurred to me to replace it last week when a short power outage made the entire system go dead.

While these incidents may seem rather trivial, I believe they strongly reflect our tendency to wait until the last minute, or even afterwards, to prepare ourselves for a disaster.

Preparation is not an easy task — having to take time to research relevant disasters in your area, create a plan, stock up on supplies, follow up with the emergency plans at least once a year or more — it can all seem rather daunting.  On top of that, we make these plans assuming there’s some dangerous and uncertain event in the future.  If we’re preparing for something we don’t know is going to happen, it’s easy to wonder: is there is a point to it?

Yet, there will be times where it is obvious that preparedness paid off.  It matters that we are ready to spring into action when the time comes. 

Perhaps it’s best to think of preparedness as an investment.  As with any investment, preparedness is not something you come up with in a day. 

It takes time and effort to craft a sufficient preparedness plan that will become useful when the time calls for it.  Ultimately, the investment put in beforehand will dictate survival in a catastrophe. Not only should this investment involve yourself or your family, but also your workplace, school and community. 

Involving youth in this investment should not be overlooked.  These opportunities not only help us to engage in a meaningful activity, but also inspire initiatives to set up resilient communities for the future we will live in.  It teaches us the importance of being prepared for unanticipated disasters both on personal and communal levels.

My work the last two years of the Youth Preparedness Council has helped me to understand the extent of the work that goes to community disaster preparedness.  This experience has provided opportunities for me to draft programs for public engagement, engage with a diverse group of youth to exchange ideas, and meet with field experts and community members to receive and provide feedback.

I have high expectations about how preparedness will look in the future — such as increasing the use of internationally recognized symbols to assist in preparedness, and response efforts for those who don’t speak English as their first language.  Many of my fellow council members will have their own unique and impactful ideas.

Continued involvement in preparedness from as many as people as possible, including youth, increases a community’s ability to respond to disasters successfully.  There is no time to waste.

For more information on the Youth Preparedness Council and how to apply, visit Ready.gov/kids/youth-preparedness-council.

All Disaster Financial Management Preparedness

How to Spot COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 09:24
How to Spot COVID-19 Vaccine Scams jessica.geraci Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:24

When times are tough, you may feel pressure to make quick decisions. Scammers rely on this sense of urgency to trick people into giving them money and personal information. Staying informed and calm can help you avoid these types of scams.

Since the vaccination rollout began, there have been reports of increased COVID-19-related scams and phishing across the country. 

To help you determine whether you are being scammed, remember these facts about getting a vaccine:

  • It does not cost money to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Also, you can’t pay to put your name on a list to access the vaccine.  
  • Don’t trust anyone who offers help, and then asks for money or personal information. No legitimate vaccine distribution site, health care provider or private insurance company will call asking for money or personally identifiable information — such as your Social Security number, date of birth, bank account numbers or credit card numbers and expiration dates — to sign you up to get the vaccine.  
  • Beware of providers offering other COVID-19 products, treatments or medicines. Consult your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.  
  • Don’t trust caller ID – it can be faked. Even if it might look like a real call from a real government agency, don’t trust it. Government agencies don’t call you with threats or promises of – or demands for – money.

Keep yourself and your loved ones on the lookout for phony websites, suspicious calls, texts, emails and other outreach claiming early access to the vaccine. You can also take the following steps to stop these scams:

  • Find trusted sources of information.
  • Share information from trusted sources.
  • Discourage others from sharing information from unverified sources.

If you have become a victim of fraud or phishing related to COVID-19, do not be afraid to report it. Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline online or via phone at 1-866-720-5721. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission scams page has tips to help you avoid scams. You should report scams on the Federal Trade Commission website.

For more information on scams and rumors about the vaccination, visit the Coronavirus Rumor Control page.

All Pandemic COVID-19 Vaccine

Remote Inspections are Making it Safer for Texas Survivors Seeking Damage Assessments

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 11:27
Remote Inspections are Making it Safer for Texas Survivors Seeking Damage Assessments jessica.geraci Tue, 02/23/2021 - 19:27

To help those affected by February’s severe winter storms, FEMA has been on the ground in Texas for more than a week. We’re moving water, fuel and blankets, and are readying new supplies to help survivors.

We’re already helping people in the 108 declared counties whose primary homes or property have been damaged by the snow and ice. We’re providing grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

FEMA began virtual inspections the day after President Biden issued the Major Disaster Declaration for the Severe Winter Storms in Texas and, in the first three days, 1600 inspectors approved more than $2.5 million of disaster assistance.

How do I apply for assistance?

If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance. The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. You can also call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT, seven days a week.

How is FEMA protecting the health and safety of disaster survivors?

At FEMA, the COVID-19 pandemic drove the need to find a way to provide services to those impacted by disasters without putting survivors or our staff at risk. “Prior to the pandemic, FEMA relied on our damage assessors to go to the homes to verify the damage that occurred,” said Field Services Section Chief Ken Jackson. “Now we obviously have to do all of this remotely.

How does the remote inspection process work?

After you’ve completed a FEMA application, a FEMA inspector will contact you by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained.

“We call the applicant, we walk through these critical elements to their homes, to their personal property to determine the level of damage,” said Jackson. In many instances FEMA can validate damage using video calls if the survivor has the capability to do so.

Reasonable accommodations, including translation and ASL interpreters via Video Relay Service, will be available to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, applicants with disabilities, and other individuals with access and functional needs.

While some aspects of program delivery may look different this year, our commitment to helping people before, during and after disaster remains our full focus and we are ready to deliver on our mission.

Region VI Texas 4586 Pandemic Disaster Grants

Staying Safe During Severe Winter Weather

Thu, 02/18/2021 - 14:51
Staying Safe During Severe Winter Weather mashana.davis Thu, 02/18/2021 - 22:51

Large sections of the United States are currently experiencing extreme cold, snow, ice and high winds. These winter storms can create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks from overexertion.  

Stay Safe During Winter Storms
  • If you are under a winter storm warning, find shelter right away. Bring your pets inside before the storm begins.
  • If possible, stay off roads and limit your time outdoors. If you need to go outside, wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack by taking breaks when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle or walking in deep snow.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather and can result in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.
Stay Warm During a Power Outage
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning has unfortunately caused deaths during these extended power outages. Know how to stay safe and NEVER use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Follow a local station on a battery-powered radio for updated emergency information.
  • Close blinds or curtains to retain as much heat as possible. Close off unused rooms to avoid wasting heat, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
  • Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater.
  • Eat regularly, as food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Check on neighbors who may need assistance — older adults, people with disabilities and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.
To learn more about conditions in your area, and to request help, check with your local officials.
  • Listen to state and local officials to learn more about storm warnings, road conditions and warming centers in your community.
  • Heed advice about mask wearing and social distancing in any warming center or other public shelter. If you go to a warming center or public shelter, be sure to take supplies to protect yourself and your family. Suggested supplies include hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and two face masks per person.
  • Residents in Texas can find the closest warming shelter online.
  • 2-1-1 can provide information about local resources and services. To find out if 2-1-1 services are available in your area or to search for resources, visit 211.org.
When severe winter weather strikes, we are ready to respond to meet the needs of state, local and tribal governments.
  • FEMA has approved several emergency declarations for states that have been affected by severe winter weather.
  • After recent emergency declarations for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, we have moved water, blankets, shelf-stable meals, generators and fuel to help states respond to severe winter storms.
  • FEMA continues to coordinate with impacted state, local and tribal governments to address unmet needs created by severe winter weather.
All Region VI Severe Ice Storm Severe Storm(s)

FEMA Takes Action to Ensure Equity in Vaccine Distribution

Tue, 02/09/2021 - 09:27
FEMA Takes Action to Ensure Equity in Vaccine Distribution jessica.geraci Tue, 02/09/2021 - 12:27

Helping people before, during and after disasters can look different depending on the community or the people that need assistance. To ensure that everyone that needs help is able to receive it, FEMA works to make sure that equity is always part of the discussion. As our vaccination distribution efforts expand, so do our equity efforts.

A Civil Rights Advisory Group was established by FEMA to evaluate the policies, practices, strategies and plans in place to identify and eliminate inequities. The goal is to ensure equity is incorporated in all activities FEMA and the Federal Government fund to vaccinate the country. The Civil Rights Advisory group is led by FEMA’s Office of Equal rights and is composed of FEMA program offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Civil rights advisors are deployed to all regions to assist with equity in vaccine operations — from site selection to vaccine distribution. This includes community engagement, community assessments, equal access/accessibility and site inspections. These advisors support regional leadership and work to proactively consider and promptly resolve civil rights concerns.   

Regional Disability Integration Specialists and Advisors are also deployed to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are integrated in all facets of vaccine center operations.

Language Services are also a priority. We continue to analyze community demographics to determine communication needs and to mobilize translation and interpretation services. FEMA is working to provide translations of outreach and public awareness information related to COVID-19 response.

Additionally, interpretation services will be available at federally supported vaccine centers. Language services will be accessible to those with Limited English Proficiency. When these over-the-phone language services are requested, non-English speaking visitors will be able to communicate, via an interpreter, with staff at vaccine centers.

FEMA’s Office of Equal Rights is helping our partners guarantee access to programs and activities, and the impartial and fair delivery of services. Discussions on how to create equal and meaningful access are ongoing and aimed at helping all communities, including underserved and historically marginalized communities.

If you have questions on FEMA’s efforts to ensure equitable vaccination distribution, contact FEMA’s External Civil Rights Division or visit the Office of Equal Rights webpage. Visit the Vaccine Support page for more information on how FEMA is supporting vaccination centers.

All Pandemic COVID-19 Vaccine

FEMA Expands Efforts to Distribute Vaccinations

Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:27
FEMA Expands Efforts to Distribute Vaccinations jessica.geraci Fri, 01/29/2021 - 13:27

This week FEMA increased support to states, tribes, territories and other partners in the effort to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. We are determining where staff support, supplies and other resource gaps are — and then working to fill them.  

Federal funding from FEMA is helping to accelerate state vaccination efforts and establish vaccine sites. These focused efforts are part of President Joseph R. Biden’s COVID-19 response plan.

As of today, we have obligated $1 billion to our partners across the country. This funding is for critical supplies and staffing that can help protect and save lives.

Items that are funded can include:

  • Supplies and commodities needed to safely store and administer the vaccine.
  • Transportation support and reasonable, necessary security for refrigerated trucks.
  • Medical and support staff.
  • Communication materials that keep the public informed.
  • Training personnel on vaccine distribution and administration.

To help local governments manage this funding and their vaccine distribution efforts, we created the COVID-19 Vaccination Planning FAQ. As obligated funds grow, we will work with other federal partners to provide local governments with any support that is needed.

We will also work with federal agencies to increase vaccine supply through the use of Defense Production Act authorities. This act allows critical supplies to be produced by private sector companies, with the goal of increasing the amount of supplies available as quickly as possible.  

Another major effort in vaccination distribution is increasing personnel on the ground.  When states, territories and tribes request assistance, our Interagency Vaccination Task Force is deploying FEMA staff to vaccination sites.  A thousand personnel from FEMA and the National Guard have already deployed, with a thousand reservists from the United States Coast Guard preparing for potential missions. To assist with response efforts, we can provide states and territories reimbursement for the use of the National Guard until Sept. 30.

The Interagency Vaccination Task Force is also developing data dashboards to track personnel movement and vaccine distribution.

These initiatives build on efforts and funds that we have already put into supporting the pandemic response.  Prior to President Biden’s executive order to expand vaccination efforts, we obligated more than $57.5 billion towards COVID-19 support for our state, tribal and territorial partners.

While these combined efforts make an impact across the United States, you can also help make a difference by continuing to practice precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, handwashing and taking other hygiene measures.

Contact your state health department for more information on its COVID-19 vaccination plan.  Visit our Vaccine Support page to learn more about our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

All Pandemic COVID-19 Vaccine

Now Accepting Youth Preparedness Council Applications

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:40
Now Accepting Youth Preparedness Council Applications jessica.geraci Wed, 01/13/2021 - 12:40

The next generation of emergency management leaders is out there. They have the ideas, leadership and initiative needed to make a difference. Every year, FEMA recruits these individuals as part of its Youth Preparedness Council and helps to empower them to prepare their communities for disasters.

The council was created in 2012 to bring together youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities with national and local preparedness projects. Members voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national organizations working on youth preparedness. They also participate in the annual Youth Preparedness Council Summit.

Past participants have presented at national conferences, created youth preparedness outreach products and designed and executed community preparedness fairs. They have also developed events and products relevant to the current pandemic, such as hosting youth-focused webinars with health experts and writing a storybook for young children about COVID-19. Some council members have started their own local emergency preparedness initiatives and worked with emergency management professionals from federal, state and local agencies to encourage the public, particularly youth, to take life-saving preparedness actions. In the past, council members have had the opportunity to meet with the White House, the FEMA Administrator, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease and Prevention and other federal agencies to give their perspective and participation to other national-level projects.

Participants are expected to provide a youth perspective on emergency preparedness and promote national emergency preparedness in their communities. In addition to attending the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, council members will potentially participate in national, regional, state and local preparedness meetings and present their work. Members will meet with FEMA on a regular basis via conference call to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives and projects throughout the duration of their two-year term.

Any individual grades 8th through 11th who is engaged in individual and community preparedness may apply to serve on the Youth Preparedness Council. Individuals interested in applying to the council must submit a completed application and a letter of recommendation. Specific information about completing and submitting the application and attachments can be found on the FEMA website.

All applications and supporting materials must be received no later than 11:59 PT on March 7 to be eligible.

All Preparedness Students

10 Ways You can Resolve to be Ready

Thu, 12/31/2020 - 06:56
10 Ways You can Resolve to be Ready jessica.geraci Thu, 12/31/2020 - 09:56

This year, hurricanes, wildfires and a pandemic brought devastation across the nation. These incidents remind us why it’s important to be ready for anything.

Taking steps to plan for the unexpected can mean you are more equipped to protect yourself and others if a disaster happens. Resolve to be ready with these ten tips.  

  1. Create an emergency plan Know your evacuation routes and have place designated for your family to meet in case you get separated.

  2. Make an emergency kit. These portable kits should include food, water, medications, prescriptions, cash, radios, flashlights and other necessities. It is also recommended that you have hand sanitizer and face masks included in your kit, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Keep an emergency kit in your car in case you are stranded.

  3. Keep your pantry stocked. Food is often in short supply during disaster events. It is important to have several days’ worth of food safely stored in your home to support yourself and your family. Don’t forget to include food for your pets!  
  4. Get to know your community. Learn about disaster planning in your community and what resources are available to you in case of emergency. Join a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to get trained on basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.  

  5. Sign-up for emergency alerts for your area It’s important to know how to get information when a disaster happens. Local radio and television stations provide information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters and other emergency procedures.  
  6. Check your insurance policy. Understand what your policy covers in case of major disasters. Contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on what you will need to make a claim for insurance. Learn more about flood insurance what is available to you under the National Flood Insurance Program.  
  7. Take Inventory of what you own. Snap pictures of your property and make an inventory for insurance purposes. Having a clear record of what you own will make the insurance process easier.  
  8. Protect your valuables. Store precious belongings, such as photographs or heirlooms, in damage proof containers so you don’t risk losing them permanently. Also keep copies of your critical documents safe and secure in case of emergency.  
  9. Plan for your pet. Build a separate emergency kit for your pets.  This can include creating a list of shelters that accept pets if you need to evacuate the area.  
  10. Budget for a disaster.  Financially prepare for the New Year. Find out how with the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. Start to grow an emergency fund today so you can cover any unexpected changes in your day-to-day life.

Visit Ready.gov/resolution for more information on how you can resolve to be ready.

Preparedness