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Emergency Alerts Sound in Halls of Government, Too

Blaring interrupts reporters' questioning at White House

(Newser) - The government was subject to the nationwide test of the nation's emergency alert systems on Wednesday. Reporters' phones began blaring just before 2:20pm ET during a White House press conference, interrupting their questioning of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. "Well, it works," she said when...

Get Ready for Lots of Noise Wednesday Afternoon

FEMA, FCC are conducting emergency alert test

(Newser) - Starting midday on Wednesday, your cellphone will likely start making a lot of noise—and it won't be alone. FEMA, in conjunction with the FCC, will be conducting a nationwide test of both its Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts, with an emergency alert sent to radios and...

Only 1 in 10 Counties Was Spared Disaster in Last Decade

Report looks at weather-related disasters between 2011 and 2021

(Newser) - Some 90% of the counties in the United States suffered a weather disaster between 2011 and 2021, according to a report published Wednesday. Some endured as many as 12 federally declared disasters over those 11 years. More than 300 million people—93% of the country’s population—live in these...

Hurricane Recovery Aid Will Be Huge, FEMA Says

Director cautions that dangers remain in Florida after Ian

(Newser) - With the death toll from Hurricane Ian rising and hundreds of thousands of people without power in Florida and the Carolinas, US officials vowed Sunday to unleash an unprecedented amount of federal disaster aid as crews scrambled to rescue people still trapped by floodwaters. Days after Ian tore through central...

Most Homes in Ian's Path Don't Have Flood Insurance

Options are limited for homeowners after a disaster

(Newser) - The low percentages of homes in Hurricane Ian's way that have flood insurance will mean people may not be able to rebuild, and even if they can, homeowners and their communities will be in for an extended period of slow, traumatic recovery. For one thing, regular homeowners insurance doesn'...

Many Families Aren't Applying for COVID Funeral Funds

Some are struggling with FEMA's strict documentation requirements

(Newser) - In March last year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency launched a program to reimburse families for funerals for loved ones who died from COVID-19. With daily deaths currently at an average of well over 2,000, it is still a benefit needed by far too many families, but it is...

FEMA Told Them to Get Out. It Was Pretty Much Impossible

The 'Washington Post' looks at Camp Fire survivors' inability to find housing

(Newser) - The hits just kept coming for Mike Erickson. The California man lost his home in 2016 in the face of medical debt incurred by wife Crystal's stroke, which partly paralyzed her. In November 2018 came the Camp Fire, which decimated the town of Paradise and left Mike and Crystal...

Texas Requests 5 Mobile Morgues
Texas Requests
5 Mobile Morgues

Texas Requests 5 Mobile Morgues

'Deaths are starting to mount for sure'

(Newser) - Texas has asked the federal government to supply five trailers to serve as morgues with COVID-19 deaths in the state expected to mount. Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Doug Loveday tells NBC News that the request was made Aug. 4 as "we are anticipating a need within...

Death Toll at 5, More Remains ID'd in Surfside

Number unaccounted for dropped to 156 Saturday, mayor said

(Newser) - Rescue crews found another body in the rubble of a collapsed 12-story condominium tower near Miami on Saturday, raising the death toll to five as they raced to recover any survivors while fighting back fire and smoke deep inside the concrete and metal remains. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced...

Biden Doubles Budget for Extreme Weather Planning

FEMA funds community preparations before disasters hit

(Newser) - With wildfires, floods and other weather-related disasters steadily worsening, President Biden doubled the budget for communities trying to mitigate the destruction through preparation. The added $500 million will make for a total of $1 billion in a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that distributes money to do things like move...

FEMA Hotline on Funeral Costs Is Swamped on Day One

More than 1 million people called to take advantage of government assistance for COVID-linked deaths

(Newser) - More than 564,000 Americans have died of COVID , and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been trying to help with funeral expenses. On Monday, FEMA opened up a hotline that allowed those who've lost loved ones to the coronavirus to apply for reimbursement of up to $9,000...

FEMA to Reimburse Families for COVID Funeral Expenses

'Our mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters'

(Newser) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering help to the families of the more than 540,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. FEMA says it will reimburse families of those who have died from the virus since Jan. 20, 2020 for funeral expenses of up to $9,000 per...

Biden Deploys FEMA to US-Mexico Border

Move comes amid surge in teen migrants

(Newser) - President Biden has responded to the ballooning number of teen and children migrants crossing into the US from Mexico by deploying FEMA to the border. Per the Washington Post , the agency will be utilized to care for the thousands of unaccompanied minors currently flooding detention centers, DHS said Saturday. The...

FEMA Site Flips After Opening Up Vaccinations

Florida center operates in confusion over the weekend

(Newser) - Business was slow at a vaccination site in Florida on Saturday, so the staff decided to change the rules. Instead of accepting only people who met state criteria, the FEMA-run site would give a shot to anyone 18 and older, as long as they brought a driver’s license or...

FEMA Opens First Mass Vaccination Sites

Sites have opened in LA, Oakland

(Newser) - FEMA opened its first COVID-19 mass vaccination sites Tuesday, setting up in Los Angeles and Oakland as part of an effort by the Biden administration to get shots into arms more quickly. Snowy and icy weather across much of the US, however, forced the cancellation of some vaccination events and...

FEMA Asked DOD for Help on Vaccines. The DOD Delivered

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has OK'd the deployment of 1K troops to vaccination sites

(Newser) - The Pentagon will deploy troops to assist getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said Friday. Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, per the AP . It means about 1,000 active-duty military...

Investigators Search Home Near Nashville

Tissue found at explosion site is human remains, report says

(Newser) - Federal investigators have identified a person of interest in connection with the explosion that rocked downtown Nashville on Christmas Day and were searching a home associated with that person, law enforcement officials said Saturday. Investigators from multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies were at a home Saturday afternoon in...

Trump Secured 45 Ventilators From Russia. All Were Trashed

Meanwhile, Russia collected 200 US ventilators, BuzzFeed reports

(Newser) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency received 45 Russian ventilators on April 1, shortly after President Trump asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. As BuzzFeed reports, "they were part of a lopsided aid deal between the countries that would ultimately see Russia delivering a...

Trump Contradicts CDC, Claims He's Not Contagious

It's been a week since diagnosis was made public; CDC calls for at least 10 days of isolation

(Newser) - President Trump is "cured" of the coronavirus—or so he claims in his first interview since his hospitalization a week ago. "I feel perfect. There's nothing wrong," he told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News in a phone interview on Thursday, per CNBC . "I don't...

Report: FEMA Took Weeks to Get Food, Water to Puerto Rico

Provisions delivered to island included candy and cookies

(Newser) - A US government report published Thursday found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency mismanaged the distribution of goods in Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria, leading to delays in the delivery of food and water. The Office of the Inspector General said that it took more than two months...

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