Posted by: Public Affairs
Editor's Note: On May 16, 2011, we removed an image of the National Weather Service Hazards Assessment map.
Severe weather outlook
Over the next few days, the National Weather Service is calling for severe weather in many parts of the U.S. The Pacific Northwest is expected to see periods of heavy precipitation, along with parts of the Midwest. In the South, drought conditions should continue, setting the stage for possible wildfire outbreaks in parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Red River Valley flood fight
In addition to severe weather, the Upper Midwest is also combating localized river flooding, specifically in the Red River Valley. Through our regional offices in Denver, Chicago and Kansas City, we remain in close contact with our state and local partners in all areas that could be impacted, as well as our partners at the National Weather Service Forecast Offices.
At the request of states, we have established a national Incident Support Base in Arden Hills, Minnesota and have been pre-planning with states to designate staging areas for use, if needed. In addition, Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) deployed Minnesota and North Dakota as well as a Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) vehicle to support North Dakota coordination efforts in Fargo-Moorhead.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for North Dakota, providing federal support to state and local flood fighting efforts. Check out the “Floods” category to learn more about how we’re supporting the emergency management team in the Upper Midwest.
California search-and-rescue team in the news
A story in the Orange County Register highlighted training by the California Task Force 5 urban search and rescue team in an earthquake drill. They are one of the 28 locally-managed urban search and rescue teams located in various cities throughout the U.S., who are frequently training and going through similar exercises. In the event of a major disaster, FEMA can activate the teams to assist in rescuing victims of structural collapse incidents or to assist in other search and rescue missions – read more about the teams in this post.
Great Central U.S. ShakeOut
In just over two weeks, on April 28, 10 states will participate in the Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill (Indiana will hold their ShakeOut on April 19). To date, 1.7 million participants have signed up to learn and practice how to respond if an earthquake strikes. Visit the ShakeOut website for more information, and be sure to take advantage of the resources available once you sign up.