Archive for June, 2010

June 30, 2010

No.: HQ-10-129

FEMA News Desk: 202-646-3272

 
 

News Release

 
 

FEMA PREPARES FOR LANDFALL OF HURRICANE ALEX

WASHINGTON – With Hurricane Alex expected to make landfall early Thursday morning, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuing to coordinate the federal response and support of the state of Texas in preparing for the storm. Alex is the first hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama issued an emergency disaster declaration for Texas that enables FEMA to identify, mobilize and provide equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  FEMA continues to closely monitor Hurricane Alex and remains in close contact with state and local officials in Texas, as well as all hurricane-prone states to ensure they have the resources they need should a storm strike. 

“As Hurricane Alex moves closer to south Texas, every resident living in the area should be taking the steps they need to prepare,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “It’s critical that people remember to listen to their local and state officials.  FEMA’s first priority, as we continue to line up resources on the ground, is to support our state and local partners in their efforts to keep families and communities safe.”

In anticipation of a possible landfall in Mexico that will impact counties in south Texas, in the desire to work proactively and aggressively to prepare for the storm, FEMA has coordinated the following:

  • Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris has been designated to coordinate the federal response in the region.  He, along with members of one of FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT), along with additional FEMA personnel, are on the ground working with state officials as they prepare for the impact of the hurricane.  FEMA has also assigned a liaison officer for the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
  • FEMA has staged commodities at a facility outside San Antonio in readiness to provide support for the response.  This includes more than 1.1 million meals, more than 400,000 liters of water, more than 41,000 tarps and more than 100 generators, as well as other commodities such as cots, blankets and personal kits. 
  • U.S. Northern Command has activated a U.S. Army North Defense Coordinating Office (DCO) and Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) in support of operations, to provide assessment and coordination as required. DCOs and DCEs work very closely with federal, state, tribal and local officials to determine what unique Department of Defense capabilities can assist in mitigating the effects of a natural disaster.
  • The American Red Cross has deployed 17 Emergency Response Vehicles (feeding trucks) to south Texas, and has also sent additional volunteers to the area, along with 2000 cots, blankets and hygiene kits to support sheltering efforts in the area.  The Red Cross is prepared to support 20 post landfall shelters in South Texas and kitchen equipment is also being brought into the area. 

FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.  For more information on FEMA’s activities, visit www.FEMA.gov.

FEMA is not the whole team – FEMA is part of the emergency management team.  That team includes federal partners, state, tribal and local officials, the private sector, non-profits and faith-based groups, and most importantly – the general public.

Individual and community preparedness is the responsibility of everyone.  Individuals, families and businesses should prepare emergency supply kits and develop family emergency plans.  Our team can only be as prepared as the public, which is why it is important that people living in hurricane-prone areas take steps to prepare and protect their family.  Emergency preparedness information for individuals and businesses is available online at www.Ready.gov.

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/femainfocus, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government Web sites, companies or applications.

Press release from FEMA re: Tropical Storm Alex;

June 29, 2010

No.: HQ-10-127

FEMA News Desk: 202-646-3272

News Release

ALEX MARKS THE FIRST NAMED STORM OF 2010 SEASON – FEMA URGES CITIZENS TO BE PREPARED

WASHINGTON – As Tropical Storm Alex intensifies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today urged citizens to closely monitor the storm and to take steps to be as prepared as possible, in advance of severe weather. Alex has become the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

“FEMA continues to monitor Tropical Storm Alex, and personnel are on the ground working closely with state and local as they prepare for landfall,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “The most important thing for people living in the area to do right now is to ensure their family is prepared and to follow the instructions of state and local officials.  For more information and helpful tips, anyone can visit www.Ready.gov.”

In anticipation of possible landfall in south Texas later this week, FEMA has pre-identified a Federal Coordinating Officer that would coordinate a federal response in the region if necessary, and he, along with members of one of FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are on the ground working with the state.  FEMA has also assigned a liaison officer for the Texas Department of Emergency Management, should they be requested.

In addition, FEMA has begun to transport commodities for staging.  This includes more than 1.1 million meals, more than 405,000 liters of water, more than 41,000 tarps and more than 100 generators, as well as other commodities such as cots, blankets and personal kits.

FEMA remains in close contact with state and local officials in Texas and all hurricane prone states to ensure they have the resources they need should a storm strike.  Alex should serve as another reminder that if you live in a coastal state, now is the time to be prepared, including determining if you live in an evacuation zone.  As always, residents should listen to the instructions of state and local officials should a storm strike, and evacuate if told to do so.  Visit www.Ready.gov for more information on how you can get your family ready for a hurricane or other emergency.

As hurricane season gets underway, FEMA continues to support the coordinated federal response to the BP oil spill.  All of the planning for the 2010 hurricane season has involved consideration of the BP oil spill and its potential effects on all hurricane response and recovery scenarios. The existence of the spill does not change FEMA’s initial priority during a response, which is to support the states and do everything possible to protect lives and property. 

Here are some things everyone can do to prepare for the 2010 hurricane season:

*Develop Family Disaster Plans and Keep a Disaster Supply Kit.  Just as every community should have a disaster plan, every family should have an emergency supply kit and plan what to do in case of a storm.  Pay particular attention to relatives with special needs, small children and pets.  Have a family communications plan.

*Make Your Home Disaster Resistant. You can reduce the damage caused by hurricanes by installing hurricane shutters on windows, putting straps and reinforced bracing on roofs, reinforcing garage doors, raising electrical appliances and outlets, installing sewage backflow valves and trimming back dead or weak tree branches from around a home.

*If the storm comes, you can be ready. When a storm is approaching, a battery-operated radio or television is one of the most important tools you can have during any weather emergency. A weather radio that broadcasts National Weather Service warnings and watches 24 hours a day can be particularly useful.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides the weather radio network as a public service.  Keep extra batteries handy for radios and flashlights.

For more information on hurricanes, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit www.Ready.gov and www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane.

Information can also be found on your smartphone at m.fema.gov.

Some time ago I suggested several scenarios, based strictly upon my own observations and knowledge. Many of these predictions are now coming to fruition, much to my regret. But some things must happen for the will of God to come to fulfillment. Lately there seems to be a much more intense drive to pass certain kinds of legislation through our nation’s capitol, such as last year’s TARP program and the infamous Health Care reform Act. I didn’t agree with either of them and said that in fact they would cost far more than cash to the people of this nation. And I believe it’s safe to say that the American taxpayers are beginning to begin to see the glimmer of our future, and what will be the coming times.

Surviving the times, perilous times, lean times. Surviving the times to come. (Insert depressive sigh here please)

There are a growing number of pundits and analysts, with more than a few fruitcakes, or nut jobs, whichever you wish to call them that are more than happy to predict the future, and what tomorrow has in store for us. Most of these people are wrong, some will be incredibly wrong. But there will be a few that will manage to at least hit the nail with the hammer, if not directly on the head. Some have even claimed to know the date, which according to the Mayan Long Count calendar will be on December 21st of 2012. I kind of doubt that that particular day will be the end of the world, but one never knows.

But of what can we be certain in these coming times? We already see a changing of the fiscal or monetary ways of life. Credit has become a marketable commodity, and not simply a tool to leverage your income and improve your quality of life. The world is fast becoming cashless in its ways. We now face a looming global depression that will in all likelihood dwarf Roosevelt’s Folly of the Thirties. Money will indeed become scarce as inflation turns into hyperinflation. Money will be available by the barrelful, but it will become worthless. That’s one thing we have to look forward to. Already Greece and other European nations have begun to tighten their belts in order to pay off their growing deficits.

So called experts in the field call this “imposing austerity measures.” But look on the bright side, at least the lack of cash to buy food may at least take care of the worlds growing obesity problem. Will this be an immediate state of economy? No, I do not believe so, but I do believe this coming economic collapse is just a few very short years away from now. I’m certain that within five years time we will see a taxpayer revolution that will force the government to make some harsh and dangerous actions to remedy the growing deficits this country is nurturing.

It’s one thing to want to help those who are in need and provide for all of your favorite charity needs, but the country should not be in the business of providing welfare benefits that lead to a stagnation of society. And that’s exactly what our elected representatives are doing in Washington. They’re building up their army of supporting voters by handing out there every wish.

Scripture instructs us to take care of the poor, but we have to remember who the poor really are in today’s world. There are plenty of jobs available in this nation, but unfortunately, most of them pay a salary below what many have been accustomed to receive, or expect to receive. Part of the problem behind that state is the fact that we are constantly harangued into living a constantly increasing quality of life. Imagine people of seventy five years ago wanting to have a 52″ 3D TV hanging on their living room walls with a surround sound system blasting their eardrums. Wouldn’t have been possible back then because people still had a relatively secure hold on what life and living was really all about.

One of the primary considerations you need to have in your planning is an appreciation for the possibilities of doing without much of what we have come to take for granted. By establishing yourself onto a homestead of at least a couple of acres you can begin to be ready for the coming times. Learn to grow your own vegetables. Learn to raise your own chickens for eggs and meat. Learn some of the skills we have forgotten as a whole that were once common knowledge.

Simple tasks like some home repair projects can be accomplished by most people instead of calling in the repairman. Learn to be self sufficient, and learn to make do with less. This past weekend G20 and G8 summit sealed the coffin of our financial future. It will be a bleak future, and the sooner you prepare yourself for it the better off you will be. Austerity measures are coming to the US and you can bet on that.

You know, a gas mask is one thing that most people don’t think about here in the US when it comes to survival kits and emergency preparedness planning. That’s too bad because one day we may find we will need one of those cumbersome, ugly pieces of equipment left over from wars gone by. That’s what many people think of these things, relics from the distant past. However, there are countries in this world where chemical and biological warfare is all too real, and all too close to home. Israel is just one such nation. The Iraqi Kurds are also familiar with the deadly affects of chemical warfare, and Saddam Hussein used this form of terror on them without hesitation. Funny how the left claimed that he never had weapons of mass destruction isn’t it. I doubt that the Kurdish survivors would agree with that assessment.

What is a gas mask, anyway, and why won’t one of those paper masks the government hands out work? Well, to begin with, the two devices serve somewhat different purposes, even though the mechanics of operation appear to be the same, they are not interchangeable for the needs they fulfill, although a gas mask will work far more efficiently than a paper mask in the same situation as you would utilize a paper mask.

Essentially, a paper, or dust mask, shown in the upper left, is simply a particulate filter. It will only filter out solids in excess of the size the mask is rated for. They’re great for when you are in an environment that doesn’t have any life threatening toxins such as a chemical weapon would have. Explosions and fires are good examples. The dust and debris flying through the air can get into your lungs and cause some respiratory harm. Sometimes the dust will create a long term affect situation and give you permanent breathing problems. These masks will help prevent that from happening. One thing you need to remember is that you cannot simply slide one of these masks on and be protected. You have to make sure that it fits tightly against your face, and completely covers your nose.

These masks can be difficult to breathe through as the pores become clogged, but they are inexpensive enough where you should be able to have several on hand to cover low level incidents where the big problem is mostly dust. These masks are also readily available in bulk quantities at many of the larger home building centers. The primary purpose is for dust filtration, but they will also help filter out some germ sized particles such as bacteria and viruses.

But not always. Some of the really cheap ones are cheap for a good reason. They work well when sanding wood or drywall, but that’s all they can be depended upon for.

The next step up is what is often referred to as a respirator mask, illustrated to the right. These cost a little more money, but not enough where it becomes cost prohibitive. These units sometimes have a exhalation valve on them, and usually have much finer pores in the paper. Like the cheaper models they also have elastic straps and a bendable metal strip to make the mask conform to your nostrils.

The advantage these models have over the cheaper is that they have a finer porosity and they can be used in more serious events, such as when a powdered chemical like anthrax has been blown into the atmosphere by some means. One clue to look for is the NIOSH 95 certification, or N95 masks. This designation means that the mask will filter out at least 95% of very small particulate matter. Notice I said 95%? That means there is still a chance of catching a bug even if you do wear one of these masks.

All paper masks, whether just a 99 cent drywall mask or a two dollar N95 mask are to be considered as single use devices. You cannot wash them out, dry them and reuse them. And you can’t use them day after day either. Use it and throw it away for your own safety. When done using these paper masks you should put them in a baggie and toss them into a secured trash container so any germs that may be swarming for action on them cannot make contact with another person.

Making a big leap from these paper models we next look at what some call respirator masks. These usually have a vinyl or silicon body with cloth or paper filters that can be replaced. There’s an illustration to the left here. You can get filters that will cover a much broader range of protection, from drywall dust to non oil particulates, ammonia, organic vapors, acid vapors and more. Do some research on the shopping sights and I believe you will decide these are probably the best way to go when looking at a survival situation when you cannot afford an actual full face gas mask.

These masks are multi use, though the filters are not. You can clean them with an alcohol based cleaner to kill any lingering germs and other stuff and use it again and again. A good choice for a cartridge is a multi-purpose cartridge that will filter for Organic Vapor, Chlorine, Hydrogen Chloride, Sulfur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Chlorine Dioxide, Ammonia, Methylamine and Formaldehyde & solid particulates such as drywall dust and ash. Some of them are even usable with a backpack filtering system, although you’re talking some big bucks when you get into that level of equipment. The type illustrated here is called a half face respirator, and a full face respirator has a shield over the sight portion of the mask. These are far better because of the extra protection they provide in an explosive event such as a high rise fire or explosion where there would be a lot of debris in the air and visibility would be limited by smoke or dust getting in your eyes.

The next step up from the respirators is the full fledged gas mask, of which there are many models on the market. These are the one you see frequently advertised at military surplus dealers. You’ll have to be careful when dealing with these items because many older units may not be safe to use due to degradation, and prior to 1956, filters normally used asbestos as a filtering medium, which resulted in many cases of mesothelioma from that usage. Make sure you are buying a fairly new mask, and never buy old filters. There is a shelf life with many of these filters, depending upon what they were made to filter and will deteriorate to the point that they will become useless in an emergency, possibly resulting in your death.

Top of the line gas masks are generally made to cover as much of your head as possible. Sometimes they are made to be used in conjunction with a full body NBC suit. Frequently you will pay at minimum over a hundred for a good gas mask, and on up to hundreds for the best ones on the market. If you live in an area where there is sure to be some biological or chemical action, then it may be worth the cost, but you will have to analyze your situation and decide for yourself as to what level of protection you want to invest in.

Gas masks will have a larger sized filter and thus will take longer to become clogged and unusable, and quite often you will see them with backpack breather/filter units as well. But then you’re looking at the thousand dollar range in many cases.

So, remember my ADD method of preparedness. Analyze, develop and deploy. It’s up to you to decide how much protection you want to provide for your family, but sometimes costs get in the way. This isn’t one of those products you can take lightly, and get a cheap used unit, expecting it to keep your kid alive. Don’t cut corners when it comes to gas masks and respirators. Get the best you can afford, and get a supply of good quality filters as well.

On my last internet radio show I went over a piece I had written a week or so earlier regarding the BP oil leak resulting from the Deepwater Horizon accident, and made the observation that while the rig explosion was a tragic accident, along with the continuing leakage from the wellhead, but that in my opinion, BP was purposely dragging their feet on stopping the leak. Was I right? Or am I wrong in the matter?

Let’s look at some more of the facts and actions taken by those involved, as well as revisiting my original feelings over the accident.

On April 20th, the rig Deepwater Horizon sustained an explosion and resulting fire cause by a mixture of methane and oil being forced through the main riser to the rig, resulting in 15 injuries and leaving 11 people unaccounted for, and those 11 people were presumed killed in the accident. The rig continued to burn for two days, sinking into the Gulf of Mexico on the 23rd, with the riser still attached to the rig.

On that same day, April 23rd, the Netherlands, and other nations as well, offered the use of their expertise and assistance via skimmer ships, booms and a plan for the building of sand barriers to contain any spilled oil. Just like they started doing a few weeks ago, isn’t it?

However, the Obama administration refused to accept the assistance. While it is true that the Jones act prohibits ships of foreign registry from working within our territorial waters, that act can be waived by the president. When Katrina hit, George Bush, the liberal’s favorite demon du jour had absolutely no problem waiving the act and accepting assistance from other nations. Not so for the Obama administration. Why do you suppose that is?

A couple of things to note here is that this rig and leak are not necessarily unique in the world. There are over two hundred deepwater oil rigs around the world, and there have in fact been blowouts on others, which were successfully contained by swift action when they occurred.

Also, of the 126 crewmen on board the Deepwater Horizon only seven were BP employees. The rig is actually owned by Transocean, which obviously suffered a total loss of the rig, which was under lease to BP until 2013. My understanding is that the actual operations were directed by others than BP itself.

While the coast guard originally stated that they did not believe any oil was leaking, they changed course with that statement on the 24th of April and claimed there were approximately 42,000 gallons per day leaking from the broken riser.

Over the next few days attempts were made to close the valves on the blowout preventer, and controlled burning of the slicks on the surface of the gulf’s waters began. It seems kind of wasteful to simply burn all of that oil, but even more tragic is the fact that all of those pollutants contained in and created by the burn were allowed into the environment unabated.

A week later, BP began to mobilize its response to the spill, and NOAA made the claim that it was 210,000 gallons of oil spilling into the gulf, not 42,000. Underwater video shows that the riser was now leaking in three places.

In the weeks since then there have been many news stories and videos splattered across all reaches of the media world, most of them demonizing BP, its executives, Hussein Obama and others for failing to solve the issue immediately.

And the cries are correct in that an immediate solution should have been the course of action. But there was no immediate solution forthcoming. BP waited until a week after the accident before beginning to deploy its solution. Could they have started earlier? Maybe, maybe not, but the indication should have been made the day after the accident that the situation would be quickly remedied.

So one has to wonder why there was no immediate reaction to the accident beyond the rescue of the 126 crewmen. To take a very broad view of this incident we need to step way back from the incident and put aside the emotional reactions to the catastrophe. When we do that, what do we see through the telescope of the geopolitical and business telescope? And we have to ask a few questions.

Do you remember what happened to the price of oil and gas at the pump when Katrina paid a visit to the Gulf Coast? The reaction was immediate and oil prices, and subsequently gas prices went through the roof, sometimes climbing by a half dollar of more every few days. There was widespread panic because of the disaster. Disasters control the emotions of the public and when any trading is connected to those emotions, such as in the gas and oil futures market, the pricing becomes uncontrollable.

In this instance there was no kneejerk panic causing sharp increases in the price of crude, or its distillates such as gas and heating oil. In fact, the prices have actually leveled off and in some cases declined, up until this week that is. Today I see that the futures are starting to trade higher, with crude expecting to be in the $89.00 range, or higher, by Christmas.

If this was such a catastrophe, where was the panic by the investors?

Our emotional reaction has been directed towards the ecological damage this oil spill has, and will continue to cause to the gulf region. We react to video of distressed and dead birds and fish along the shore. We react to the tar balls washing up on the many pristine tourist beaches. We lament the coming problems caused by the pollution left behind by the oil spill.

And yet there has been no great outcry from the leaders of the environmental community. Why not, if this ecological disaster is as bad as the main stream media wants us to believe it is. Where has The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society been throughout this catastrophe? Why aren’t they plastered all over the headlines protesting BP and the oil industry?

And why hasn’t Obama been eager to waive the Jones act to allow foreign vessels to assist in the damage control of this disaster? Offers were made on the first day, and were rebuffed by both BP and the Obama administration. George Bush had no problem accepting assistance after Katrina struck, so why is this action not allowed in this case?

There are some interesting things that are loosely related to this incident that may well answer some of these questions.

For one, the price of oil has been fairly stable, and low due to the lessened demand of the last artificial pricing cycle of unrealistically high oil prices. The housing bust, the credit bust and now the employment bust are all causing a lower demand for gasoline and other energy products, thus keeping profits in the industry low. BP, of course, has been affected by this trend as have all of the other petroleum industry companies.

But an unexpected, by some, result has been that the demand for green energy and technology has been sharply curtailed and there are many companies facing a possible demise in that sector. BP is but one of many companies that stand to suffer great financial loss if that trend continues. BP has in fact been a leader in both the pushing for implementation of green energy as well as the farcical cap and trade dog and pony show so many want to see instituted.

BP is also heavily involved with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the UN in an advisory capacity, as well as through funding mechanisms. The net abounds with claims and counterclaims of conspiracy and corruption regarding these relationships.

So here we have several parties, all following in the same ideology of the UNs Millennium Goals. They all have the same spirit that drives the creation where everyone in the world is equal to everyone else, all under the leadership of one global governance program.

And the events caused and rolled out by the hesitation we saw in the beginning are coming to fruition.

We have a renewed drive to increase our research and reliance on green energy. We have a renewed drive to implement a global tax and trade program. We have a renewed effort to create new taxes as well as to resurrect old taxation schemes on the petroleum industry.

If the reaction to plug the well had been swift and decisive, would we be looking at these renewed initiatives? I think probably not. I think the leak could have been contained weeks ago, and that production would have been resumed as soon as a new rig could be placed at the scene. But there was a greater goal achieved by waiting.

The UN gets a boost in their drive to enact a global energy tax, and the current administration gets to impose even greater levels of control and taxation over this nation, driving us further into a socialist, communal economy and society, just as the progressives have been dreaming of since the early 1900s.

Every party involved in stretching out this catastrophe is a follower of the new world ideology, and every single party involved in stretching out the conclusion of this catastrophe has something to gain by making it take as long as possible to solve the problem. And in so doing they build what some would call a good structure in favor of their arguments that we should worship Gaia by embracing the dreams of the environmentalists and those who would see the new world order come to complete fulfillment.

I say by allowing this sham to continue we only further the goals of the antichrist, and spur his arrival to the seat of power he has been ordained to fill. But it is in fact too late for quick action and whatever damage this accident will create has already been done.