Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exercise: Upcoming Event. PG County MD. USPS

Prince George's County/USPS Full Scale Exercise
Time1:00 AM - 1:00 AM EST
LocationUS Postal Service Southern Distribution Center
CityCapitol Heights
SponsorsPrince George's County Office of Homeland Security
ContactsTyrone Wells

FYI. Maryland Disaster Assistance Centers

Open Disaster Assistance Centers: St. Mary’s and Calvert County

by mema_admin August 31, 2011
St. Mary’s County has opened a Disaster Assistance Center. It will be opened from 8-5 Thursday and Friday. The location is 23115 Leonard Hall Drive, Room , 4, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Calvert County will open a Disaster Assistance Center at Courthouse Square Building located at 205 Main Street Prince Frederick, MD.  The time of operations will be Noon to 7pm Thursday, 9am to 7pm Friday and 9am to 7pm on Saturday. 
The State will provide support with the following agencies:
·                     Maryland Insurance Administration
·                     Department of Human Resource
·                     Maryland Department of Aging
·                     Department of Labor License and Regulation
·                     Department of Housing and Community Development

MEMA News Portal

MEMA News Portal

FYI: Congressional Wrangling FEMA Funding

Washington (CNN) -- As rescuers raced Tuesday to free people trapped by floodwaters caused by Hurricane Irene, Washington politicians bickered over how to pay for it.

The same budget arguments that nearly brought the first government default in history earlier this month now raise questions about whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have enough money to deal with Irene's aftermath.

FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund has less than $800 million remaining, and given the pace of operations in the wake of Irene, could run out before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.

With conservative House Republicans calling for spending cuts to offset any increase in emergency funds -- a condition opposed by many Democrats -- the ability of Congress to act quickly on the issue remains uncertain.

"The notion that we would hold this up until Republicans can prompt another budget fight and figure out what they want to cut, what they want to offset in the budget, and to pit one section of the country against the other and to delay this and create this uncertainty, it's just the latest chapter and I think one of the most unsavory ones of our budget wars," said Rep. David Price, D-North Carolina.

Irene first made landfall on the U.S. mainland in North Carolina, devastating some coastal areas. Price said GOP efforts led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of neighboring Virginia to offset additional emergency funds amount to "an untenable position and one that simply is unresponsive and insensitive to the kind of situation we face."

Cantor's spokesman, however, noted that an appropriations bill already passed by the House and awaiting action in the Democratic-controlled Senate includes additional money to replenish the FEMA disaster fund.

"That funding was offset," said the spokesman, Brad Dayspring. "The Senate has thus far failed to act on that legislation."

While the appropriations bill is for fiscal year 2012, which begins October 1, the money could be used for disasters that occurred in fiscal 2011.

"People and families affected by these disasters will certainly get what they need from their federal government," Dayspring said. "The goal should be to find ways to pay for what is needed whenever possible. That is the responsible thing to do. "

States can request FEMA Disaster Relief Fund assistance once the president declares a federal disaster within their borders. Most of the Eastern and Northeast states hit by Irene already have that designation.

Federal officials say they don't yet know how much money will be needed for all the emergency operations associated with Irene. After a series of destructive tornadoes earlier this year, including one that leveled a large swath of Joplin, Missouri, FEMA announced Monday that it was not approving new long-term reconstruction projects in order to ensure it has enough money for immediate emergency funding needs.

"Historically, when the balance in our Disaster Relief Fund has been under the range of $1 billion, we have employed this strategy," a FEMA statement said.

Rachel Racusen, a FEMA spokesperson, said in a statement that the revised funding strategy "prioritizes the immediate, urgent needs of survivors and states when preparing for or responding to a disaster."

"This strategy will not affect the availability of aid that any disaster survivors are receiving for recent disasters, such as tornadoes or flooding, or our response operations for Hurricane Irene or any event in the coming weeks or months," Racusen said.

Missouri legislators worried that FEMA was shifting priority from Joplin's recovery to focus on Irene because of the funding crunch.

"Recovery from hurricane damage on the East Coast must not come at the expense of Missouri's rebuilding efforts," Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said in a statement Monday. "If FEMA can't fulfill its promise to our state because we have other disasters, that's unacceptable, and we need to take a serious look at how our disaster response policies are funded and implemented."

To Price, the problem is the Republican demand for spending offsets, which he said ended up pitting regions against each other for needed emergency funding.

"I'm just very impatient and I think the American people are going to be impatient with any attempt to hold these funds hostage to political objectives," he said.

A Democratic Senate appropriations aide told CNN on condition of not being identified that the FEMA disaster fund was at $772 million on Tuesday morning, and that it would be about a week before the agency can estimate the costs associated with Hurricane Irene.

The House appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes FEMA, will come up in the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 6, according to the Senate aide.

It doubled the original $1.8 billion requested by President Barack Obama for fiscal 2012, adding $850 million for emergency funding that was offset by cuts in other DHS programs including the Coast Guard, first responders and FEMA, the aide said.

In addition, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, added another $1 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund that was offset by cutting funds for a fuel-efficient vehicles program, according to the aide.

Democrats take issue with cuts to Homeland Security funding to offset additional emergency funding, the aide noted. In July, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, who chairs the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, criticized the House appropriations bill as "short-sighted."

Even the White House got involved in the fracas, with Press Secretary Jay Carney telling reporters Tuesday that he wished Cantor and other conservative Republicans had the same commitment to spending offsets "when they ran up unprecedented bills and never paid for them" during the administration of President George W. Bush.

That prompted a quick response from Cantor's office, which said: "The goal should be to find ways to pay for what is needed when possible. In the face of a $14 trillion national debt, that is the responsible thing to do."

FEMA funding faces now familiar congressional wrangling

By Xuan Thai and Tom Cohen, CNN
August 31, 2011 9:35 a.m. EDT

FYI. LLIS.Gov Newsletter;jsessionid=596DAA4A03994504C73A2722E84A5B61 Logo

Contents image

National Preparedness Month
Ten Years Later Member Survey
National Lessons Learned Conference
NIST Documentary Standards Exclusive Content
Emergency Operations Center Management: Clarifying Staff Deployment Procedures and Protective Action Messages
Emergency Operations Center Management: Developing a Protocol for Sharing Information with Executive Offices
Exercise Planning and Program Management: The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System - Illinois's Deployment and Validation Full-Scale Exercise
Long-Term Care Facility Preparedness: Providing Credentials to Essential Personnel
School Emergency Management Planning: Employing Multiple Systems to Deliver Protective Action Messages
Special Needs Registries: Information Collection, Confidentiality, and Maintenance
Special Needs Registries: Registration Processes Outreach

Monday, August 29, 2011

Non-Profit Provides Job Security for Disabled Amid Financial Crisis

    For 10 years, Andre' Coates (pictured) and Kimblyn Snyder, founders of Maryland Community Connection (MCC), have continued to provide employment in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. for those with disabilities. (AFRO Photo/Erica Butler)

When Maryland Community Connection (MCC) began, the non-profit was just an “informal group run”—as they called it—that gave children and adults with development disabilities free tickets to basketball and
baseball games. Now, 10 years later, as politicians scramble to resolve America’s financial crisis and unemployment rate, MCC has managed to find jobs for those who have disabilities in D.C. and Maryland.

Founders Andre’ Coates and Kimblyn Snyder launched the organization with their loved ones in mind. As the two dealt with family members who suffered from disabilities, they started the non-profit to help those who faced learning challenges become independent.

“People with disabilities are just like us,” said Coates, the MCC’s executive director. “They can be taxpayers, they can be homeowners—the key point is the level of support.” And the level of support MCC offers ranges from economic assistance to employment training and placement; programs include Family & Individual Support Services (FISS), Supported Employment (SE), Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) and Community Supported Living Arrangements (CSLA).

Coates said their passion grew for the organization within the first five years of its launch. One year later, these two women decided to make MCC their full-time job.

“I’ve never seen as much passion,” said Angela Graham, who was hired as MCC’s first employee and now serves as the director of consumer services. “[Coates] called me and I said, ‘when do you want me to start’—and that was five years ago."

“It’s been great. It truly is the leadership.”

As the organization continued to expand and gain more clients, the number of individuals MCC serves has significantly grown. In 2008, the group provided services to 64 people with developmental disabilities. Just one year later, that number more than doubled, reaching 134 people. Now, as the non-profit expanded and serves Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Montgomery and Calvert Counties, more than 600 people have been using MCC’s services.

Coates said requests for services have skyrocketed, which she said could be linked to the unstable economy.

“We’re getting requests from families that never had to ask for public assistance before,” she said. “It’s communities we never had to worry about that have reached out.”

Although the non-profit received more money this year—raking in $2,100,000 in grants, $439, 740 more than FY 2009-2010—some programs, such as MCC’s Arts Program, are not covered by the state. As MCC serves more clients each year, the money has continued to be stretched thin.

“It has been a challenge,” Coates said. “People that used to give cannot give.” The Arts program, which is subsidized through donations, allows participants to go on field trips, such as the Kennedy Center.

“With the level of support we provide, it does cost,” Coates said. “We are not a charity where we can do it for free.”

*As the metropolitan area’s unemployment rate steadily climbs—D.C. at a 10.4 percent in June—a jump from 9.8 in May—and Maryland’s June rate at a 7.0 percent—a .2 percent increase from May—MCC has continued to provide jobs and entrepreneurship skills to participants in their employment program. MCC’s clients have worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in D.C., Goodwill, animal shelters and other locations. In some cases, the organization may help a program participant, such as Donald Gallimore, 25, who has a developmental disability, develop their own business.

Gallimore, who has been in the organization for four years, started his own motivational speaker business, “Inspiring Others.”

“They helped me a lot to start my own business and I speak to people with disabilities,” Gallimore said. Recently, the 25-year-old spoke at Buck Lodge Middle School for career day and gave three different speeches.

He admitted the start was a little rough, but through support from his MCC supervisor, Shawnice Williams, the manager of consumer services, Gallimore was contracted for more speaking engagements. “It got better with time,” he said.

What keeps this organization going 10 years later? Patience and passion, Coates said.

“One of the worst [pieces of] news a parent can hear from the doctor is that their child may not grow up like other children,” she said. “The major lesson I have learned in raising twins, one with and one without a disability, is to stop focusing on their limitations [and] recognize all the wonderful abilities and greatness both children have to offer.

“I have personally learned patience, strength, resourcefulness, and tenacity that I thought I did not have when I first hear the news of my child,” Coates said.

For the future of MCC, Coates said she wants to expand the employment program. “We want individuals who have disabilities to choose to work rather than collect public dollars—finding careers vs. jobs,” she said.

In order for MCC to take on a client, the person with disabilities must receive clearance from Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration. Once DDA grants services, the individual can choose their organization to work with.

The organization has received numerous accolades. In March 2010, the organization was named Provider of the Year by Maryland Works and in 2011, MCC was awarded Nonprofit Agency of Public Service Achievement Award from the Maryland chapter of the America Society for Public Administration.

The organization will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Nov. 14 at Martin’s Crosswinds from 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Recovery Phase: Care of Elderly

Disasters Can Severely Impact the Elderly 

Release Date: July 13, 2011
Release Number: 1983-046
» More Information on Mississippi Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Associated Flooding
» More Information on Mississippi Flooding

CLINTON, Miss. -- The losses following Mississippi's April's storms and tornadoes or May's flooding may be magnified for the elderly.
Seniors previously living on their own may find they have to depend on others for food, shelter and the necessities of daily living. Those used to assisted living may face upheaval in their normal routines or a change in their usual caregivers.
Add to that the stress of the disaster itself, and the elderly may be facing very difficult times.
"As we move forward from these devastating disasters, we need to be sensitive to the needs of our seniors," said Danny George, director for the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging & Adult Services.
"The most important thing we can do to help the elderly is to let them know they are not alone and connect them with available services to help through these difficult times," said George.
Symptoms of stress unique to the elderly include:
  • Reliving events in their lives when they were traumatized or suffered severe losses.
  • Fear of losing their independence or lack of self-sufficiency.
  • Worry about limited financial resources and time to rebuild.
  • Fear of being put in an institution.
  • Fear of a decline in health and limitations on mobility and ability to rebuild.
  • Withdrawal and isolation from family and friends.
When working with older adults after a disaster, it is important to:
  • Provide consistent verbal reassurance.
  • Assist them in recovering their physical possessions.
  • Return them to familiar surroundings with friends and acquaintances as soon as possible.
  • Make sure they have needed medical and financial assistance.
  • Help them re-establish social networks.
  • Monitor their nutritional and medication needs.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging & Adult Services, oversees the administration of statewide programs and services on behalf of Mississippi's elders in partnership with Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state. To learn more about local programs and services for seniors, call 1-800-948-3090 or visit the MDHS, DAAS website at:
FEMA will assist anyone with a disability who needs help -- just ask. Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585.
Additional information about current disasters is available at,, and
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.
Last Modified: Thursday, 14-Jul-2011 10:01:24

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disaster Preparation: Waste Disposal

During consideration for supplies (water and food) following a natural or man-made disaster always take into consideration the removal, disposal and\or re-cycling of waste products (urine and fecal waste).

Urban settings require a coordinated effort for implementation will all residents of the community.  Enforcement of individual, and community guidelines must be adhered to to eliminate disease and other harmful effects of contaminated waste.
Technical resources and forum for people bringing safe water, sanitation and hygiene to all.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You set the limit on your imagination and dreams. Dream on.
Taylor De Ley of Yorba Linda, Calif., may be only 17, but as he starts his college education this week he has already focused on a professional pilot career and completed a 10,492-nautical-mile solo flight to the four corners of the nation. That’s more than most kids his age. He now has 340 total fl...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HHS awards $137 million to states to boost prevention and public health

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today awarded up to $137 million, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to states to strengthen the public health infrastructure and provide jobs in core areas of public health. Awarded in nearly every state, the grants enhance state, tribal, local and territorial efforts to provide tobacco cessation services, strengthen public health laboratory and immunization services, prevent healthcare-associated infections, and provide comprehensive substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Everbridge. Message Mapping: How to Communicate During the Six Stages of a Crisis

Do You
Know What You Will Say?
What you will say in the critical first minutes after receiving reports of an active shooter on campus?
How about six hours into the incident?
What will you tell people when your county issues a floodwatch?
Or when the power in your building goes out at 10:00 a.m. on a Monday?

A crisis is like a living organism: it grows, it changes, it evolves over time. Each crisis has a beginning, middle, and end. Just as a crisis isn’t static, what we say, who we tell, and how we reach them varies during every stage of the crisis lifecycle.

High-profile communication blunders have proven beyond question that ineffective communication hampers efforts and often contributes to cascading failures, creating a quagmire. When stress levels are high and time is short, crafting the right message is a Herculean feat.

Foreign Policy Magazine. Food Issue

Welcome to FP's first-ever food issue in which we travel across this hungry planet of ours at a time when skyrocketing prices are dictating politics from the Middle East to Madagascar. The special section, which travels from the yuppies who've appropriated the miracle food of the Incas to a darkened kitchen in Baghdad where women battered by war came together to celebrate life, explores the food wars of the 21st century, debunks the conventional wisdom about hunger and poverty, shows us 10 ways we really are what we eat, and asks leading experts to predict the future of food.

National Journal. Earthquake


As Hurricane Approaches, Quake Raises Emergency Preparedness Questions

Updated: August 24, 2011 | 7:40 p.m.
August 24, 2011 | 1:58 p.m.

NY, PA, NJ, CT Regional Integration Center (RIC). Intern Opportunity

The Regional Integration Center (RIC) is the operational arm of the RCPT, managing and executing the planning goals for the NY/NJ Area. The RIC is located near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and acts as a regional hub for the program. The core staff is composed of planners and project managers from multiple disciplines, with additional support and input coming from key emergency management personnel from around the region.
Essential RIC personnel and support:
  • RCP Team Members — Key Emergency Management figures throughout the region who provide knowledge and support and assist in the promotion of planning efforts
  • Program Managers — Oversee managerial functions of the RIC and coordinate key deliverables
  • Plan Advisors — Use their breadth of experience and planning knowledge to provide content to the planners
  • Plan Leads — Use their knowledge and experience to provide guidance to the planners
  • Plan Managers — Core personnel who aggregate and distill knowledge into cogent planning documents

Red Cross Safe & Well program

Safe and Well

After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.  
Register Yourself as “Safe and Well”
Click on the “List Myself as Safe and Well” button to register yourself on the site.

Search for Loved Ones

Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

9/11 Drill Down for SAFETY Campaign

As part of the 9/11 Drill Down for SAFETY Campaign, Safe America Foundation is focusing on the use of wireless devices as “safety tools”. The campaign is called “Test First, Talk Second”. We all know land lines work exceptionally well; however with most of the population out and about on a daily basis and cell, text and internet are common modes of communicating.

So on the anniversary please join me in a call down drill with your family. Whether a disturbance at school, mall, airport or a weather event, stay connected with FOUR simple letters  ----I    M   O  K    -texting IMOK takes less than 2 seconds,  faster than a call, it is a fraction of the bandwidth so 800 additional people can send out the same message  in comparison to just one phone call.

So please take some time at dinner and discuss with the family, if there was an event and you needed someone to know you are okay –then text –I M O K.

Stay Safe ! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

HBCUs and Homeland Security & Emergency Management curriculums

What are the number of Historically Black Colleges & Universitys (HBCUs) with homeland security & emergency mangement (HS\EM) curriculums?

Based information independent research of information obtained from the White House Initiative on HBCUs, specifically the list of HBCUs within the U.S. and Virgin Islands  from a random selection 20 HBCUs, only 1 (Hampton University) has an emergency management BS program implemented.

Why haven't HBCUs fully taken advantage of the opportunities within the HiEd program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish a program for graduates to return to their communities and assit in HS\EM practices in African-American communities?

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