Hurricane Laura, Tropical Depression Marco & Wildfires Update
Below you will find today’s FEMA update on response preparations and operations for Hurricane Laura, Tropical Depression Marco and the Wildfires.
- FEMA continues to work with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners to prepare for, and respond any possible impacts from these tropical systems or wildfires occurring in the west. Disaster response works best when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported.
- We will continue to work with our state, tribal and local partners as they plan for execution of evacuation and sheltering operations in a COVID-19 environment. Finding shelter is critical in times of disaster. Shelter outside of the hazard area could include staying with family or friends, seeking a hotel room or staying in a mass shelter.
- FEMA, other federal agencies and the American Red Cross have modified policies and planning and have taken actions to ensure the federal government can respond to any disaster during our continued coronavirus response efforts.
- In alignment with FEMA’s Pandemic Operational Guidance, FEMA is leveraging technology to deliver the agency’s programs at the highest level possible, while preserving our workforce and survivors. These methods include virtual damage assessments and inspections for FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs, as well as National Flood Insurance Program claims.
- In addition to FEMA personnel, FEMA maintains contracts, mission assignments, and other staffing augmentation capabilities, including the Surge Capacity Force, which provided more than 4,000 talented federal staff to support immediate response and recovery requirements when activated during 2017. More than 8,000 federal staff are currently rostered in the Surge Capacity Force to support, if activated.
- Two Urban Search and Rescue Teams are on standby to deploy if necessary.
- President Trump approved emergency declarations for Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Puerto Rico. These emergency declarations authorized FEMA to provide assistance, limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care, including evacuation and shelter support at 75% federal funding.
- President Trump also approved a major disaster declaration for California. The declaration includes grants to individuals and households, and emergency work in eight counties impacted by wildfires.
Region 4 (Mississippi)
- FEMA Region 4 is monitoring Hurricane Laura and Tropical Depression Marco and is in close contact with state and tribal emergency managers in all states that may be impacted.
- An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) is en route to Pearl, Mississippi. The team is scheduled to be onsite in Mississippi’s emergency operations center today. A second fully missional capable IMAT is ready to deploy, if needed.
- We remain in contact with our state, tribal and local partners as they plan for execution of evacuation and sheltering operations in a COVID-19 environment.
Region 6 (Louisiana and Texas)
- Two regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) are in place in Louisiana and Texas state operations centers. A national IMAT is also deployed to Lake Charles, Louisiana to offer additional assistance if necessary. Additionally, several members of the national IMAT are deployed to the Louisiana operation center to coordinate with the regional IMAT in the state.
- Prior to the identification of a threat to the Gulf Coast states, the region was supporting COVID 19 operations in all five Region 6 states. FEMA is prepared to support a near simultaneous strike in both Louisiana and Texas by both storms.
- Region 6 has prepositioned more than 300,000 meals and 500,000 liters of water into Roseland Staging Area and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. Additionally, FEMA placed another 3 million meals and 1.3 million liters of water on standby at its distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas that can be pushed to either Texas or Louisiana post landfall.
- FEMA deployed Staging Management Team Atlanta to Camp Beauregard Louisiana and Staging Management Team Ft. Worth to Roseland, Louisiana. A National Incident Support Base Team Delta is in Selma, Alabama to support staging commodity missions for tropical storms Laura and Marco.
- Mobile disaster communications equipment is prepositioned in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Austin, Texas to support staging and command and control operations.
- Predesignated Federal Coordination Officers and liaison officers are in place in Louisiana and Texas to assist the states with federal coordination efforts.
- Region 6 Regional Response Coordination Center elevated its readiness status to a Level 2. Emergency support personnel, including other federal agencies and our Department of Defense partners are supporting regional storm response.
Region 9 (California and Nevada)
- The region has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to the California state operations center to coordinate federal support to the ongoing wildfire responses.
- Mobile disaster communications equipment is en route to Mather, California to support staging and command and control operations.
- Two Staging Management Teams are deploying to Sharp Army Depot in Lathrop, California.
- FEMA approved Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) to California for the CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, the LNU Lightning Fire Complex in Napa, Lake, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties, the SCU Lightning Fire Complex in Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties, the Jones Fire in Nevada county, the Carmel and the River Fires in Monterey county and the Sheep Fire in Lassen county.
- FEMA approved an FMAG to the state of Nevada for the Loyalton Fire in Washoe county.
- FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.
- To address COVID-19 sheltering needs, this year FEMA has adjusted the FMAG program to include the reimbursement of costs to state and local governments for non-congregant emergency sheltering, such as hotel rooms.
- The FMAG authorizes additional funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Post Fire for the reduction of risks from wildfires and post-fire flooding. Some eligible wildfire project types include defensible space measures, ignition-resistant construction and hazardous fuels reduction.
If you have any questions regarding this FEMA Advisory, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division:
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