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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Daily Digest Bulletin

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
FEMA Advisory: Tropical Depression Laura Update (August 29, 2020)



Tropical Depression Laura 

President Trump approved a major disaster declaration Friday evening for Louisiana.

  • The declaration provides assistance for disaster survivors in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes. That assistance can include grants, low-cost loans, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
  • The declaration provides federal funding to state, tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal in those five parishes, and emergency protective measures statewide.
  • The major disaster declaration is in addition to the emergency declarations President Trump already approved  for Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, to cover emergency protective response actions taken by state, local and tribal officials.
  • Power and water restoration are priority efforts with approximately 495,000 Louisiana customers and 115,000 Texas customers without power. More than 60 Louisiana medical facilities remain on generator power. FEMA has 400 generators available for use if necessary.
  • Over 20,000 utility personnel from 28 states are supporting restoration efforts. Power restoration anticipated within the next 48 to 72 hours in areas north of Interstate 10.
  • In Louisiana, multiple public water systems are inoperable with nearly 200,000 customers without water
  • Laura caused widespread and extensive wind-related damage; trees and power lines are down, and many homes and businesses are damaged.
    • There is flooding in areas in the southern areas of the state, water supply issues (some due to power loss, some due to damaged infrastructure). There is limited access to survivors in several communities.
    • Extensive damage is reported to almost every building/business in Calcasieu Parish in southwest Louisiana.
    • Beauregard Parish also reported catastrophic damage with crippled infrastructure. 
    • Multiple residential and commercial structures were damaged in Allen Parish with limited access to survivors in at least three towns.

Although the storm has passed, we still need everyone to stay focused on safety. 

  • Residents impacted by Laura should continue to follow guidance from officials in their area. 
    • Texas residents should visit which includes evacuation orders, reception center locations, and other emergency resources.
    • Louisiana and Arkansas residents should call 2-1-1 for to access available resources.
  • If you have been evacuated, do not return until local officials tell you it is safe to do so. If you have been ordered to shelter in place, please do so until advised it is safe.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water, and other hidden hazards. 
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators, or removing debris.  Do not use generators indoors.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of known areas of buried and above ground utilities. Residents in Louisiana should call 8-1-1 before digging for any reason so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.

Federal personnel and supplies were pre-positioned before the storm hit and we continue to move resources into the area to meet requests from state and local authorities. 

  • FEMA has 800 personnel deployed to support the response and recovery, including seven regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) and National IMATs deployed to Louisiana and Texas.
    • Four Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams have deployed to Louisiana. A Federal Search and Rescue Coordination Group has been activated, and a US&R Incident Support Team is in Louisiana to coordinate with the state.
    • Mobile disaster communications equipment is in Louisiana and Texas, supporting staging and command and control operations. Additional equipment and personnel have been deployed to Baton Rouge and Fort Worth.
    • A Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), logistics support and assessment team are en route to Lake Charles, Louisiana. A FEMA ambulance contract is active, and 50 ambulances began operations evacuating hospitals and providing other services. Additional air and ground ambulances are due to arrive tomorrow, Aug. 29.   
    • FEMA pre-positioned more than 3.5 million meals and 1.6 million liters of water into the area ahead of landfall.
    • Blue roof sheeting, infant toddler kits and generators are also pre-positioned at Camp Beauregard.
    • Additional commodities including meals, water, infant and toddler kits and generators are en route to the region.
    • A National Incident Support Base Team is in Selma, Alabama, to support staging commodity missions.

Our federal response partners are fully engaged in supporting our state, local and tribal partners.

  • Disaster response works best when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. In addition, mutual aid between states supports response operations. 
  • The American Red Cross has mobilized more than 800 trained disaster workers to support relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. As of Wednesday night, more than 14,000 people were sheltered in emergency lodging including hotels in some circumstances.
  • Temporary roofing planning and response teams are in Louisiana and Texas.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Temporary Emergency Power Teams, an Advanced Contract Initiative contractor and 249th Prime Power Battalion personnel and debris subject matter experts are in Texas and Louisiana.
  • USACE is providing flood fight support with technical assistance to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West using the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Additionally, USACE is implementing response plans for dam safety teams, deploying a sand bagging machine and operators to Hancock County, Mississippi and issuing sandbags and sandbagging machines for areas in Louisiana and Texas.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Team is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. An additional medical team and equipment is being deployed.
  • U.S. Coast Guard pre-positioned assets including rotary and fixed wing aircrafts, shallow watercrafts and supporting units in Alabama and Louisiana.
  • Additional personnel from across the federal government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy are deployed and available to provide support. 
  • FEMA is in communication with state insurance commissioners, the Write Your Own companies, and NFIP direct. We are preparing to assess and respond to flood damage.

We are working closely with our state, territorial, tribal and local partners to make sure we are considering impacts from COVID-19 in evacuation planning as well as response and recovery actions.

  • Before hurricane season began, we shared Pandemic Operational Guidance, with our state, local, tribal and territorial partners and have been working closely with our partners
  • 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.
  • FEMA expanded the capacity of its National Response Coordination Center, response centers around the country, and trained additional staff to be postured to respond to multiple on-going incidents.
  • To address COVID-19 sheltering needs, this year FEMA will now include reimbursement of costs to state and local governments for non-congregate emergency sheltering, such as hotel rooms. 
  • FEMA is also using technology to do virtual damage assessments and inspections in order to provide assistance while protecting health.
  • COVID-19 response funding has strengthened emergency preparedness for all threatened regions and will support safe response in a COVID-19 environment. 
  • 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.

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Helping people before, during, and after disasters.


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