US Virgin Islands

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FEMA Director Urges Americans to Develop “a true culture of preparedness” But No One Is Listening

Daisy Luther | The Organic Prepper | September 27, 2017

It looks like preppers aren’t that crazy after all. FEMA’s new director, Brock Long, has repeatedly said that Americans do not have a “culture of preparedness,” something that is much-needed with the startling uptick in natural disasters. Long has only been the director of FEMA since June 20 of this year and already has had to deal with a historic number of disasters in this short period of time. It appears that Mr. Long has a mindset of self-reliance based on a couple of recent statements he has made to the media, but the MSM doesn’t seem too interested in his ideas about fostering a culture of preparedness, despite the practicality and essential nature of his suggestions...

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FEMA Was Overwhelmed by Hurricanes and Wildfires in 2017, GAO Says

Erin Ailworth | Wall Street Journal | September 4, 2018

The back-to-back devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, followed by catastrophic wildfires in California, overwhelmed federal disaster responders in 2017, according to a government report released Tuesday. The unprecedented sequence of storms and fires forced Federal Emergency Management Agency staff to jump from one disaster to another and in some cases use uncertified workers to fill key roles. “They were 30% understaffed when Harvey hit,” said Chris Currie, director of emergency management issues at the Government Accountability Office, which wrote Tuesday’s report. “By the time Maria hit Puerto Rico, they were down to the bottom of the barrel.”

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GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health releases report on deaths due to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and outlines steps to protect the most vulnerable communities from disasters

Press Release | GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health | August 28, 2018

In an independent report published today, researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) estimated there were 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. The researchers also identified gaps in the death certification and public communication processes and went on to make recommendations that will help prepare Puerto Rico for future hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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How Open Government Is Helping With Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, two more "unprecedented" hurricanes made their way to the southeastern United States. Although changes in Hurricane Irma's path spared Florida from the bulk of the damage, both Irma and Maria directly hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hurricane Maria was particularly devastating for the more than 3.5 million American citizens living in these U.S. Caribbean territories. The CEO of Puerto Rico's sole electric company indicated that the grid had been "basically destroyed." Without electricity, communications were severely limited. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, embracing open government principles—such as open data, collaboration between citizens and government, and transparency—can save lives.

U.S. Trying to Find More Doctors to Send to Disaster Areas

Melanie Evans | The Wall Street Journal | October 14, 2017

A U.S. government program that sends doctors and nurses to disaster zones says it needs more health-care workers, as relief efforts during this hurricane season are near the end of a second month with no end in sight in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The National Disaster Medical System, which recently wrapped up big deployments to hurricane-ravaged areas in Texas and Florida, says it will start recruiting more medical professionals in the next few weeks...

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What Puerto Rico’s Death Toll from Hurricane Maria Really Tells Us

Nicolette Louissaint | The Hill | September 7, 2018

The recently released report from the Milken Institute is perhaps the strongest rebuke to date on the impact of Hurricane Maria during the 2017 hurricane season. The report notes nearly 3,000 people have died in Puerto Rico because of the storm. These numbers provide a more accurate depiction of the devastation and lives lost in Puerto Rico. While sad and troubling, it is important to call out that these updated numbers do not even account for the death toll in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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