President Barack Obama tours fire damage with elected officials and firefighters in the Mountain Shadows residential neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Ongoing wildfire responseIf you have been watching the news this week, you’re probably familiar with the ongoing wildfire fight happening in many communities out in the Rocky Mountain area of the country. Our federal partners such as the U.S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior are taking the lead on deploying federal assets, equipment, and personnel to directly support the fire fight. Today, President Obama visited Colorado to tour the damaged areas and meet with federal, state and local officials to ensure they had the full support of the federal government.
As I wrote on Wednesday, FEMA continues to closely coordinate with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners as they battle the blazes and focus on the safety of people and property. Since June 1, FEMA has authorized over 10 Fire Management Assistance Grants to support the firefighting efforts in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Montana. Earlier today, President Obama made additional federal support available to those in Colorado affected by the wildfires in El Paso and Larimer counties – such as crisis counseling and disaster unemployment assistance.
We will continue to closely monitor the wildfires, and you can find out more about the federal government’s role at National Interagency Fire Center website. And if your community is vulnerable to wildfires, make sure you visit Ready.gov/wildfires to learn how to prepare your family, home, or business.
Assessing the effects of Debby
Another popular topic in newscasts this past week was the torrential rain brought to the southeast by tropical storm Debby. Even though national news coverage has quieted about the storm’s effects, we are working closely with our partners at the Florida Division of Emergency Management assessing the flood damages. We are currently conducting damage assessments along with the state to determine if additional support is needed for local governments or affected individuals. Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website for more updates, or check back on our blog.
Tropical storm Debby is also a good reminder that hurricane season is here, so the time to prepare is before the next storm forms. Even if you live in an inland area, severe tropical weather can bring large amounts of rain – so be sure to visit Ready.gov/hurricanes to find out how you can get prepared.
As we move into the weekend, a dangerous heat wave continues its march across the country. National Weather Service forecasts are calling for above average temperatures for much of the East Coast, so here are a few reminders for lessening the impact of the heat:
- Stay inside during the hottest part of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on the lowest level of your home or office, away from the sun.
- If it’s hot for you, it’s also hot for your animals. Keep them in the shade and make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
- Follow your local forecast. Keep up with the conditions in your area and heed any advice by local officials or your local National Weather Service forecast office. Visit weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your phone to get your forecast now.
Fourth of July Safety
And as we go into the Fourth of July holiday week, please remember to safely celebrate our nation's independence. The safest way to enjoy fireworks and pyrotechnics is through professional displays, not home use. So enjoy the holiday in a safe way and learn more about firework safety from the U.S Fire Administration.