FEMA

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Americans Can't Opt Out of Today's 'Presidential Alert'

Message from Trump will be sent to all cellphones

(Newser) - A text message from President Trump will be sent to more than 200 million US cellphones in a test starting at 2:18pm Eastern on Wednesday—but officials stress that the president won't be texting Americans on a regular basis. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the "Presidential... More »

FEMA Chief Brock Long Could Face Federal Charges

Investigators want to know if he misused taxpayer money

(Newser) - A probe into President Trump's FEMA chief has been referred to prosecutors. The Wall Street Journal reports that it's now up to them to decide whether federal criminal charges will be brought against Brock Long, who potentially broke "multiple laws" when he and two officials took... More »

Americans Are About to Get a Text From Trump

It's part of a FEMA test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System

(Newser) - On Thursday at 2:18pm Eastern, chances are that you'll get a text from President Trump. But rather than urging you to make America great again, his missive will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." Its the... More »

FEMA Chief Nearly Got Fired as Hurricane Brewed

Probe into Brock Long looks at travel expenses and other issues

(Newser) - With Hurricane Florence rolling in, FEMA Administrator Brock Long was close to getting fired—and still could be, the Wall Street Journal reports. Investigators working for the Department of Homeland Security inspector general have already warned the White House about Long taking a caravan of federal workers on his trips... More »

Trump Won't Back Down From Denial of Hurricane Death Toll

President's Friday tweetstorm praised FEMA, railed against Puerto Rico death toll from Hurricane Maria

(Newser) - President Trump spent much of Friday evening digging into a claim he'd made the previous day that spurred instant backlash. On Thursday, Trump accused Democrats of inflating the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, which a recent George Washington University report updated from 64 to 2,975.... More »

Most Americans Will Get the Same Text Next Thursday

You can't opt out out of this 'Presidential Alert'

(Newser) - You may hear a bit of noise next Thursday afternoon after lunch, and you can thank FEMA and the FCC. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the two agencies are pushing out a "Presidential Alert" test to nearly every cellphone in the nation Sept. 20 to "assess the operational readiness... More »

Former FEMA Official Accused of Disturbing Behavior

Corey Coleman allegedly harassed subordinates, hired frat brothers

(Newser) - The conduct of FEMA's former personnel chief was definitely sleazy and possibly criminal, according to a damning internal investigation seen by the Washington Post and the AP . Corey Coleman—who resigned weeks ago, before the investigation concluded—allegedly sexually harassed subordinates, hired unqualified fraternity brothers and women he met... More »

They're FEMA's Elite Rescuers, Yet Some Do Little Rescuing

Bureaucracy, too much gear, and other inefficiencies are marring response efforts

(Newser) - They're called the "national Swiss Army knife of emergency response," teams of highly trained first responders sent by FEMA across the US when disaster strikes. But when hurricanes pummeled Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last summer, many of the thousands deployed via the agency's National Urban... More »

One-Person Firm Got $156M FEMA Deal. It Didn't End Well

Contractor was supposed to provide 30M meals to Puerto Rico, managed just 50K

(Newser) - Another government contract to provide relief to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is coming under scrutiny. The reasons, as spelled out in the New York Times , are pretty clear: FEMA awarded a one-woman company out of Atlanta—a firm that had zero experience in large-scale disasters—a $156 million contract... More »

San Juan Mayor on FEMA Cutoff: 'There Is Need Still'

Members of Congress implore agency not to halt aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

(Newser) - FEMA's plans to halt hurricane relief supplies to Puerto Rico effective Jan. 31 drew criticism Tuesday from members of Congress and the mayor of the island's largest city. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said many people in the US territory need the water and food they've... More »

Cops: FEMA Contractor Killed Hurricane Victim

Gerjuan Jackson assessed William Reiss' damage, learned of his guns

(Newser) - He was a victim of Hurricane Irma, and then allegedly a victim of something much worse. Police say William Reiss, 68, was murdered on Jan. 3 by the FEMA contractor who compiled the damage estimate of his Polk County, Fla., home in September. The New York Daily News describes Reiss... More »

FEMA Wants to Airlift Displaced Puerto Ricans to NY, Florida

But logistics are still an issue for temporary relocation, and most don't want to leave

(Newser) - Florida and New York could soon see an influx of temporary new residents, reports CNN , as FEMA works with those two states to let Puerto Rican hurricane survivors relocate to the US mainland. At the top of the list would be the 3,000 or so people stuck in shelters... More »

Trump Talks Pulling FEMA Amid Struggle to Help Puerto Rico

Chuck Schumer says FEMA's work is 'not even close to done'

(Newser) - President Trump is warning that hurricane relief for Puerto Rico has an end date even as federal officials acknowledge a massive food shortage on the island three weeks after Hurricane Maria. "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult... More »

FEMA Makes Unfortunate Mistake With Phone Number

Tweets out to be phone sex line instead of roof relief

(Newser) - The Army Corps of Engineers has a helpful program in place called Operation Blue Roof in which Florida residents hit by Hurricane Irma can get sturdy tarps to protect their belongings until their roofs get fixed. Those interested can go to the website or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU. They should not, however,... More »

FEMA Sold Disaster-Response Trailers Before Harvey Hit

The government got rid of mobile homes just when it needed them most

(Newser) - The federal government auctioned off disaster-response trailers at fire-sale prices just before Harvey devastated southeast Texas, reducing an already diminished supply of mobile homes ahead of what could become the nation's largest-ever housing mission. More than 100 2017-model Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers were sold over the two days... More »

Amid Florida Exodus, FEMA Busts Some Myths

Misinformation is flying about everything from pets to home inspections

(Newser) - Given that Florida is in the midst of a massive evacuation ahead of Hurricane Irma, it's not surprising that false rumors and misinformation are flying. FEMA has heard so many it is clearing up several, including:
  • Pets: Yes, emergency shelters must accept pets and service animals of evacuees. No,
... More »

In Wake of Irma, FEMA May Turn to the Waffle House Index

'If a Waffle House is closed because there's a disaster, it's bad'

(Newser) - Want to know how a community is weathering a disaster? Look no further than Waffle House. The Southern diner chain is at the heart of an informal government test—the Waffle House Index—to find out how municipalities are dealing with hurricanes, tornadoes, and more. "The Waffle House test... More »

Trump Makes His Initial Harvey Relief Request

He's seeking an initial $7.9B down payment

(Newser) - President Trump has sent lawmakers an initial request for a $7.9 billion down payment toward Harvey relief and recovery efforts. The request, expected to be swiftly approved by Congress, would add $7.4 billion to rapidly dwindling Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster aid coffers and $450 million to finance... More »

NASA, FEMA Simulated Asteroid Strike on Los Angeles

In their scenario, city had 4-year warning

(Newser) - A 330-foot asteroid on a collision course with downtown Los Angeles. Four years to try to stop it—or carry out mass evacuations ahead of certain devastation. That's not the plot of an unoriginal new movie, but the scenario behind a recent NASA-FEMA exercise, the New York Times reports.... More »

Scope of Louisiana's '1,000-Year Rain' Is Massive

Risk not over yet as search for bodies continues

(Newser) - The words "unprecedented" and "catastrophic" keep being used to describe Louisiana's flooding, and the danger isn't over yet. Though floodwaters are receding in some areas, residents in the southern part of the state face danger as water moves downstream toward the Gulf, reports NBC News . Some... More »

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