Posted by: Alexandra Kirin, Public Affairs
At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
We’re closely monitoring the severe weather conditions (tornadoes and thunderstorm watches/warnings) in several states, including Illinois and Missouri.
Looking further out this weekend, our friends at NOAA forecast heavy rain for parts of the Pacific Northwest with areas in the eastern Pacific Northwest and Northern California experiencing heavy snow. High winds are predicted for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coastal areas.
Additionally, flooding may occur in areas across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, much of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and isolated parts of Southwest Oregon. Visit www.ready.gov/floods for safety tips and other information on what to do before, during, and after a flood.
Severe drought conditions are expected to continue throughout parts of the Southeast, Central and Southern Great Plains, Southwest, and Upper Mississippi Valley.
We encourage everyone to monitor your area’s local forecast as weather conditions can change. Stay up-to-date on your local forecast by visiting weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.
National Hurricane Conference
The 2012 National Hurricane Conference begins next week Monday March 26 in Orlando, Fla. The conference serves as a national forum for federal, tribal, state and local officials to come together, exchange ideas and recommend new policies improving emergency management efforts and hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property.
On Tuesday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will speak at the conference and a roundtable discussion following his presentation.
The conference is a great opportunity for individuals interested in educational and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness. To register for the conference, visit www.hurricanemeeting.com.
Monitoring for the Endangered Houston Toad in Texas
In January, we blogged about how we work with numerous federal partners to ensure that recovery efforts avoid or minimize adverse impacts to the environment, especially potential impacts on endangered species. Here’s a short video detailing how we worked with wildlife experts from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bastrop County to monitor for the endangered Houston toad amid survivor recovery operations following the historic wildfires of 2011.
Photos of Ongoing Response & Recovery Efforts
Here are some photos highlighting our ongoing response and recovery efforts in Kentucky and Tennessee:
Crittenden, Ky., March 21, 2012 -- Margie and Ron Milner describe the layout of their totally destroyed home to a FEMA Contract Inspector. FEMA sends inspectors to all damaged properties after a disaster survivor has asked FEMA for help.
Butler, Ky., March 20, 2012 -- Lisa Demers, representing FEMA Individual Assistance, addresses the attendees at the Pendleton County community meeting. FEMA participates in local events sharing information and answering questions for those affected by the tornado.
West Liberty, Ky., March 19, 2012 -- Over 100 volunteers from Morehead State University, are spending their spring break clearing debris and locating personal items in the damaged neighborhoods of West Liberty. FEMA works with volunteer organizations to coordinate getting aid to where is is most needed.
Etowah, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- FEMA's Julia Hall and TEMA's Roger Thompson go over details on setting up a Disaster Recovery Center with McMinn County Emergency Manager Linda Hamby. Having Disaster Recovery Centers up and running quickly to help survivors is a priority after a disaster has been declared.
McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Community Relations Specialist Rico Borrazzo from FEMA and Al Libbrecht with the State of Tennessee meet with survivors of the March tornado. FEMA supports the State and local governments in order to get required information and resources to those who need it.
McMinn County, Tenn., March 20, 2012 -- Michael Gann, Community Relations Specialists, leaves a registration information flyer at a damaged residence. FEMA and State representatives are on the ground giving information about registration and disaster assistance to residents.