EM Update: November 16, 2011

EM Update

Nov. 16, 2011

FEMA approves Individual Assistance for Louisa County after appeal; approves Public Assistance

FEMA has approved federal disaster assistance for individuals, renters and business owners in Louisa County who experienced damage as a result of a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Virginia on Aug. 23 and caused more than 40 aftershocks.  The governor appealed FEMA’s initial decision to deny federal disaster aid to Louisa County.

The declaration is for Louisa County only.  However, if people in other areas have damage, it is important that they report it to their local emergency manager.  A statewide list is available at https://lemd.vdem.virginia.gov/Public/Default.aspx.  Those local emergency managers will be coordinating with VDEM to see if other counties should be added to the declaration.

Since the original request was made Sept. 20, officials have found more extensive damage than what was originally reported in more than 1,400 homes.  Some damage that was first categorized as minor has become worse as a result of more than 40 aftershocks.  The appeal included a letter from Virginia’s entire congressional delegation supporting the request.

Gov. McDonnell requested Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The Individual Assistance program provides disaster housing assistance, low interest loans and grants.  The Hazard Mitigation program provides funds for projects sponsored by state and local governments that help reduce disaster risks by protecting homes and businesses against future damage.

Individuals and families in need of earthquake recovery aid can register immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) Monday –Friday from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.  People also can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  Those with smart phones or other mobile devices also can register at m.fema.gov.

Business owners can apply to FEMA for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Those applying should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, Social Security number, address and phone number), insurance coverage and information to help substantiate losses.

In addition, FEMA approved Public Assistance for Louisa County Nov. 10.  Public Assistance will help with costs to repair county schools, some of which were substantially damaged.  Public Assistance also helps state and local governments recover costs associated with earthquake response, such as damage to critical infrastructure, debris removal and related emergency services. 


SBA loans available for Tropical Storm Lee recovery

FEMA denies Individual Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration has made low-interest disaster loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses for Prince William and Fairfax counties.  Residents in the following adjacent localities also are eligible to apply for these loans: the counties of Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun and Stafford and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. 

The SBA can provide real property loans of up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or restore their primary home to its pre-disaster condition.  The agency also can authorize personal property loans to provide homeowners or renters with up to $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture and automobiles lost in the disaster. In addition, businesses suffering damage could receive loans of up to $2 million to help repair or replace damaged property and for loss of business.

On Nov. 7, FEMA denied Virginia’s request for Individual Assistance, which would have made funding available in the form of low-interest loans and grants, unemployment assistance, disaster housing assistance and crisis counseling. 


North Anna Power Station restarts

The two units at the North Anna Power Station are being brought back on line this week after automatically shutting down when the Mineral earthquake hit on Aug. 23.  the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave its approved for a restart last week after Dominion Virginia Power invested more than 100,000 hours supporting inspections, testing and analyses to ensure a safe restart.  The technical process of restarting the units is the same used to bring them back up when they are down for routine maintenance.

Inspections and tests found that the power station sustained no significant damage from the earthquake, and multiple layers of safety design provided more than enough strength for the station to withstand the earthquake and safely shut down.

Today, the power station is conducting a routine test of the 68 sirens located within a 10-mile radius of the plant.  A steady three-minute tone will be sounded by 68 sirens in Caroline, Hanover, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties.  This test is one of the four regularly scheduled tests that happen yearly on the third Wednesday of February, May, August and November.


One Virginian's earthquake mitigation efforts make FEMA's Best Practices Portfolio

FEMA’s Best Practices Portfolio is featuring a story about the successful mitigation of earthquake damage in one Louisa County resident’s home. Steve Smith’s home is near the epicenter of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Louisa County Aug. 23, yet it escaped most of the damage his neighbors experienced.

Smith used construction techniques and materials that were above and beyond code requirements and normal construction techniques for this area. He also will use a new technique to retrofit the damage that did occur. Read the full story at http://www.fema.gov/mitigationbp/brief.do?mitssId=8830


Severe Repetitive Loss grants awarded

FEMA has awarded grant funds to support the Severe Repetitive Loss Grant Program in the Commonwealth.  An SRL property is a residential property that is covered under an NFIP flood insurance policy and:

·         Has at least four NFIP claim payments (including building and contents) over $5,000 each, and the cumulative amount of such claims payments exceeds $20,000;

OR

·         At least two separate claims payments (building payments only) have been made, with the cumulative amount of the building portion of the claims exceeding the market value of the building.

For both conditions above, at least two of the referenced claims must have occurred within any 10-year period, and must be greater than 10 days apart.  To maintain eligibility for SRL funds, NFIP insurance coverage on structures to be mitigated must be maintained throughout implementation of the mitigation activity.

As of Oct. 13, there are 172 SRL properties in the Commonwealth.  Sub-applicants for the SRL grant program are eligible or a 90 percent federal/10 percent non-federal cost share due to the State Hazard Mitigation Plan having a repetitive loss strategy.  In addition, the sub-applicant has the potential to use Increased Cost of Compliance funds, which can contribute up to $30,000 and can count towards the non-federal share.

The following projects have been awarded through the FY09 Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant cycle:

Sub-grantee: City of Virginia Beach
Project Description:  Elevation of 9 Residential Structures
Total Project Cost: $1,721,265
Federal Share: $1,549,138

Sub-grantee:  Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission (On behalf of the Town of Chincoteague)
Project Description: Mitigation Reconstruction of 1 Residential Structure
Total Project Costs - $110,450
Federal Share - $99,405

Sub-grantee:  Northern Neck Planning District Commission (On behalf of Northumberland County)
Project Description:  Mitigation Reconstruction of 1 Residential Structure
Total Project Costs: $216,771
Federal Share: $150,000

Sub-grantee:  Mathews County
Project Description: Elevation of 1 Residential Property
Total Project Costs:  $207,942
Federal share: $187,148


Training…

FEMA webinar: social media

The next webinar in a series of monthly webinars will address social media trends and best practices during all phases of emergency management.  The webinar also provides a tutorial on how to access and work within social media applications.   

Details: Dec. 7, 1 - 2 p.m. at https://fema.connectsolutions.com/r63643088/  No registration required.  Conference Bridge: 1-800-320-4330 and Pin #: 885312.  Closed Captioning information: http://fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=1840682&CustomerID=321

Other webinars in the series are announced on the EMI website at   http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/webinars/

VDEM Training Calendar

Due to budgetary constraints, VDEM must cancel a class if a minimum of 15 students have not enrolled two weeks before the class begins. Sign up early.

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Learning Management System Knowledge Center provides information and enrollment for each class. Students who do not already have an account through any state agency Learning Management System domain must register for a VDEM LMS account (a one-time process) in order to enroll. Students who have an account through any state agency should log in at that agency’s LMS address and enroll in the desired course(s). Help videos for registration and enrollment processes are provided on the VDEM LMS login page at https://covkc.virginia.gov/vdem/external/. Assistance is available from VDEM’s LMS Help Desk at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov or (804) 897-9995.

The table below lists VDEM courses for the next quarter:

COURSE NAME

DATES

LOCATION

ENROLLMENT DEADLINE

    

WEB100: WebEOC for Localities

Nov. 30

Via Webinar

Nov. 16

G-969: Communications Unit Leader Course

Dec. 5-8

Fairfax

Nov. 21

G-291: Joint Information System/Center Planning for the PIO

Dec. 14

Richmond

Dec. 1

G-969: Communications Unit Leader Course

Jan. 17-20

Norfolk

Jan. 3

L-146: HSEEP Training Course

Jan. 23-25

Fairfax

Jan. 9

G-386: Mass Fatalities

Jan. 23-24

Fairfax

Jan. 9

G-290: Basic Public Information Officer*

Jan. 24-25

Fairfax

Jan. 10

VEOC-301: VEOC Request Management Drill

Jan. 25

Richmond - (Localities participate remotely)

Jan. 11

G-191: ICS/EOC Interface

Jan. 25

Fairfax

Jan. 11

G-291: Joint Information System/Center Planning

Jan. 26

Fairfax

Jan. 12

G-270.4: Recovery From Disaster: the Local Government Role

Jan. 26-27

Fairfax

Jan. 12

V-450: ICS Train the Trainer

Jan. 26-27

Fairfax

Jan. 12

G-111: Disaster Damage Assessment

Jan. 28

Virginia Beach

Jan. 14

G-288: Volunteer and Donations Management

Feb. 6-7

Salem

Jan. 23

G-111: Disaster Damage Assessment

Feb. 8

Salem

Jan. 25

CERT-201: CERT Train the Trainer

Feb. 9-10

Salem

Jan. 26

G-197: EM Planning For Special Needs Populations

Feb. 6-8

Salem

Jan. 23

V-450: ICS Train the Trainer

Feb. 9-10

Salem

Jan. 26

 *Students will be required to complete G-289 Public Information Officer Awareness Training, available online at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is29.asp.  G-289 remains a prerequisite for G-290.


 

Subscribe to EM Update

View EM Update Archives

EM Update is the best way to communicate best practices and to get a heads up on issues that might affect you. Articles include case studies, cost/resource-saving local programs, examples of partnerships and regional cooperation and recognition of emergency managers who receive awards and honors in the field.

Please don't hesitate to contact the editor whenever you have a project that might benefit localities or want to highlight an important issue concerning Virginia's emergency response community. Contact Jolie Shank at (804) 897-6510 or by e-mail at pio@vdem.virginia.gov.

 

Produced by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, Virginia 23236