Tag Archives: FEMA

Apply to FEMA’S Youth Preparedness Council

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council. The Council supports FEMA’s commitment to involving youth in preparedness-related activities and provides an opportunity for young people to offer their perspectives, feedback and insights on how to help make America more resilient.

FEMA youth council 2014

“Young people play a key role in advancing emergency preparedness and informing our efforts,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “The Youth Preparedness Council offers FEMA the unique opportunity to benefit from the perspectives of young people, while also empowering them to engage with their communities to increase readiness.”

FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council was formed in 2012 to bring together youth leaders from across the country who are interested and engaged in advocating youth preparedness. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness.

FEMA youth council member headshots

The Council benefits from ethnic minority representation, as these communities experience uniqye challenges and difficulties preparing for, and recovering from, extreme weather events and disasters.

As advocates for preparedness, Council members will complete a self-selected youth preparedness project and have the opportunity to share their opinions, ideas, solutions and questions about youth disaster preparedness with FEMA leadership and national organizations working on preparedness initiatives. Members also have the opportunity to brief FEMA officials on strategies, initiatives and projects throughout their one-year term.

To apply, Youth Preparedness Council applicants must be 13 to 17 years old. They must also be engaged in individual and community preparedness or have experienced a disaster that motivated them to make a positive difference in their community. Individuals who applied for 2014 are encouraged to apply again. Current Council members have an option to extend for an additional year, upon FEMA request. Adults working with youth or on community preparedness are encouraged to share the application with young people who might be interested in applying for the Youth Preparedness Council.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must submit a completed application form and two letters of recommendation. Completed applications and all supporting materials must be received no later than March 2, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST. New Youth Preparedness Council members will be announced in May 2015.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Anyone Can Start a Youth Preparedness Program!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, and the Department of Education are proud to announce the publication of the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience. This document outlines a vision for a nation of prepared youth and provides nine priority steps that partners at the local, state, and national levels can take to help make that vision a reality.

Follow FEMA online at FEMA’s blog site, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at @CraigatFema.

Proposed NJ State Master Plan not good for nature or people

Byram NJ Village Center concept (in the Highlands)Christie seems hot at the moment, but New Jersey residents don’t have much reason to put our faith in him. Since becoming Governor, Christie has made war on the most vulnerable residents of the state and on the environment, and he is still moving full steam ahead. In fact, the new Master Plan his people are about to approve calls for major development in the same areas recently devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Jeff Tittel, Director the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter, shares this chilling thought with a New Jersey public just beginning to grapple with the long-term recovery implications of Superstorm Sandy, “Instead of trying to protect critical infrastructure and site it in safe locations, under this plan, our investments will be washed out to sea or flooded.” Tittle elaborates:

This Plan clearly violates the Highlands, Pinelands, and State Planning Act. If this Plan gets adopted in its current form we plan to challenge it in the courts. This plan ignores science, capacity planning, protection of natural resources, and sound planning. The plan promotes development in the wrong places and does nothing to protect people in the future from flooding, storm surges, sea level rise, and other consequences of climate change. We … hope significant changes are made before it comes before the Commission again.”

We cannot afford to let ourselves be fooled by Christie’s highly theatrical public personna. Transparent government remains a concept anathema to this man and his administration. Tittle told me yesterday, “The Master Plan wasn’t adopted because they violated OPRA and didn’t give 48 hours advance notice of meeting to approve it (and they haven’t yet scheduled a new date).” He adds,

This plan actually promotes growth in areas that have just been devastated by Superstorm Sandy. It designates as priority and alternative growth areas places that are still feeling the aftermath of Sandy and feel time and time again the impacts of flooding. The plan does not exclude environmentally sensitive areas, but actually promotes growth there. Sea Bright, Mantoloking, Bound Brook, Little Ferry, Lincoln Park, Toms River, Seaside, and Wayne are all growth areas under the plan. There is no hazard planning or adaption planning to address storm surges and sea level rise. A study by Rutgers University four years ago found that given the storm surges as a result of climate change, 9% of New Jersey’s land area could be under water. We should be increasing protections in those areas, not promoting more growth.

A NJ Spotlight story quotes Bill Wolfe, director of the New Jersey chapter of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), says: “This plan cannot be a framework for coastal recovery.” He criticized the revision as an economic development strategy that ignores the land-use mandates at the core of the prior state plan. “It’s a wakeup call to deal with global warming,’’ Wolfe said, referring to the storm while suggesting the state needs to set up a coastal commission to oversee the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore.

I’m looking into how New Jersey residents can influence the Master Plan review process at the state and local levels, but it isn’t so easy to understand. Mr. Tittle suggests “Write to the Governor and the State Planning Commission to protest the currently proposed plan.” Watch out for more information – as I find it, I’ll share it.

FEMA Assistance for Sandy Victims

President Obama at FEMA HQ planning help for Sandy victims
Información en español

Get general aid information and FEMA application information for specific counties in states Sandy hit hardest – Connecticut, New York, New Jersey & New Hampshire – that can apply right now. After a resident applies for assistance, a FEMA inspector will be assigned to assess the damage and determine what assistance the resident qualifies for. Then a check can be issued, or in the case of business owners, a referral will be made to the Small Business Administration for low-interest loan assistance.

  • Apply for FEMA Aid
  • Apply Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Apply via a smartphone at m.fema.gov
  • Apply by Phone: Call (800) 621-3362

These are the kinds of assistance available from FEMA:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary, and functional.
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans are available up to $200,000 for the primary residence and $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans are available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan, in combination with a property loss loan, cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers, and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.