Rebuilding after a busy hurricane season

September 26, 2017

This year’s catastrophic impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, has left many communities with the daunting task of having to rebuild.   The Federal government offers help to homeowners directly affected by this season’s hurricanes. Drawing on lessons learned about coastal building damage after past hurricanes, FEMA produced Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction, a 180 page manual including a series of 37 fact sheets to provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction and renovation of coastal residential buildings.

The Guide is a proven success to assist anyone living in an area subject to flood and wind forces; especially along America’s coastal low lands, and vulnerable locales including, Florida, and America’s Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Whether you’re a builder, contractor, realtor, homeowner, business owner, or working in the construction, real estate, or economic development arena, you’ll find this comprehensive manual and fact sheets present incredibly valuable and immediately useful information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to the fury of flood and wind forces found in coastal environments.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Don’t Give Fire a Place to Start

October 7, 2016

An unforgettable fire began in Chicago on October 8, 1871. Legend has it that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lamp which set a barn—and the entire city—ablaze. Tragically, the Great Chicago Fire burned for days, killing scores of people, decimating roughly 3.3 square miles, and leaving more than 100,000 Chicagoans homeless.

1871_great_chicago_fire_destroyed_buildingsThe Great Chicago Fire not only changed public thinking about fire safety, it inspired Fire Prevention Week—an annual commemoration of that devastating inferno. Going back over 90 years, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public safety observance in America. This year it runs from October 9-15.

One theme for Fire Prevention Week has been “Don’t Give Fire a Place to Start.” That’s a message that Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration wants every American, especially children, to take to heart. FEMA’s popular Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide is available through GPO.

Family coloring book. Fire literacy primer. A get-it-together-you-grown-ups safety guide. It’s all those things. FEMA and Sesame Street really deliver. Everybody do the Elmo happy dance!

064-000-00067-5However, this guide is not just about Elmo. A proper shout out goes to Cookie Monster, Grover, and Telly Monster. Together, the furry fire brigade educates with catchphrases like “hot, hot, stay away. hot, hot, not for play” and “get outside and stay outside!” The playbook covers how to avoid hot things that burn, make a home escape map, family practice time, and what to do if the smoke alarm sounds. There are kitchen safety tips for parents and caregivers, too.

Start a healthy discussion around a scary thing like a fire emergency. Demonstrate that preparation and prevention are skills that the entire family can work on together. Cultivate lifelong fire safety habits. As the guide says, “fire safety begins at home.’ Simple steps make a big difference in staying safe from fires.

Sometime after the Great Chicago Fire, it was discovered that a journalist fabricated the O’Leary cow rumor. The real cause of the fire has never been confirmed. But it did start a national conversation on the basic but essential elements of fire safety. As Fire Prevention Week reminds us, prevention is a big part. Fires are mostly preventable. It’s on everyone to take charge.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Prepare for the Start of Hurricane Season

June 1, 2016

stormBatten down the hatches! There’s a storm a brewin’ off the port bow. Don’t worry, despite the sailor-y weather warnings, there’s no looming squall to be alarmed about (at least as I write this blog). But there’s plenty to be prepared for as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the June 1-November 30 season “will most likely be near-normal…[with a] 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms [with] winds of 39 mph or higher.”

Prepare for hurricane season, and other types of severe weather, with two FEMA publications that provide actionable information about home building tornado- and hurricane-prone areas.

Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction

This FEMA-produced series of 37 fact sheets presents technical guidance and recommendations for construction in disaster-prone coastal environments. To help you weatherproof your habitat from top to bottom, foundation to roof, this resource details construction need-to-knows. Divided into 10 different categories, the fact sheets represent various coastal building components and requirements that are distinct from those for inland.

064-000-00055-1Yes, the coast is pretty. It’s also a high-load, extreme-conditions environment. If living in a coastal home requires more upkeep, then building a coastal home certainly requires special consideration. Know thy flood zones! And follow the real estate credo of “location, location, location.” Homes in coastal areas must be situated, designed, and constructed to withstand the forces of coastal erosion, wind corrosion, and flooding from the ocean. To that end, “a building can be considered a success only if it is capable of resisting damage from coastal hazards and coastal processes over a period of decades.’

Exceeding minimum requirements of coastal building could mean a reduction in storm damage, building maintenance, and insurance premiums. Shoring up a coastal building against shore effects is an economic no-brainer.

Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business; Includes Construction Plans (CD)

064-000-00069-1When extreme winds from hurricanes and tornados threaten person and property, safe rooms can save lives. Building a safe room in your home and small business doesn’t require an advanced design degree or a bottomless bank account. With some sound information and planning, homeowners can work with a builder/contractor to stand up a safe room. As more and more people chose to live in the possible path of storms, a structure that provides “near-absolute protection, or a high probability of being protected from injury or death” is patently worth it.

tornadoThis digital collection constitutes an update to FEMA’s original and impressively helpful guidance. Since the first edition was issued in 1998, “more than 1 million copies of the publication have been distributed, and nearly 25,000 residential safe rooms have been constructed with FEMA funding assistance.” The revised CD contains PDFs of illustrated floor plans, risk assessment criteria, and even a few examples of how safe rooms have saved lives.

Almost every state in the Union “has been affected by extreme windstorms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implores all citizens to “prepare, plan, and stay informed.” For more hurricane- and tornado-specific guidance, including how to make an emergency plan and supply kit, visit DHS’ https://www.ready.gov/.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Elmo’s Fire-Safe World

February 2, 2016
Image source: http://www.sesameworkshop.org/

Happy Birthday, Elmo! Image source: www.sesameworkshop.org/

E-L-M-O! Any toddler goes bananas for that fuzzy mass who refers to himself only in third-person. Whenever my two-year-old niece sees a TV screen, she demands that Elmo appear like he’s some kind of omnipresent wizard. The falsetto-voiced Sesame Street pundit celebrates his birthday on February 3rd (he always turns 3 ½ that day). Insert high-decibel squeal of pre-K apostles who endorse the fire-engine red Muppet as their life coach. Fortunately for you, that’s a sound that cannot be conveyed in writing. So, instead, I will use this time to talk about Elmo and friend’s empowering fire safety message.

The message takes the form of the “Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide” from Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration. Family coloring book. Fire literacy primer. A get-it-together-you-grown-ups safety guide. It’s all those things. FEMA and Sesame Street really deliver. Everybody do the Elmo happy dance! Yes, all of you. Hordes of zealous preschoolers are watching.

064-000-00067-5This guide is not just about Elmo. A proper shout out goes to Cookie Monster, Grover, and Telly Monster. Together, the fire brigade educates with catchphrases like “hot, hot, stay away. hot, hot, not for play” and “get outside and stay outside!” The playbook covers how to avoid hot things that burn, make a home escape map, family practice time, and simple steps to follow if the smoke alarm sounds. For parents and caregivers, there are kitchen safety tips for you, too.

Start a healthy discussion around a scary thing like a fire emergency. Demonstrate that preparation and prevention are skills that the entire family can work on together. Cultivate lifelong fire safety habits. Make it a fun process. As the guide says, “fire safety begins at home. The simple steps you take can make a big difference in staying safe from fires.”

So, grab a copy of “Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide” for your family. Think of it as a conversation starter to reduce the risk of a fire-starter. And remember, it’s Elmo’s fire-safe world. We just live in it.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Winter Weather Awareness and Preparedness

January 21, 2016

Freshly fallen snow glistening like icicles on tree limbs is a beautiful side effect of winter. Despite the beauty winter can bring, the season can also bring dangerous weather such as blizzards and ice storms. It is important to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when traveling. You never know when you may run into car troubles and in times of extreme cold, a travel preparedness kit can be a lifesaver. It is also important to make sure to have these preparedness kits in your house as well, due to the danger that a winter storm could knock out power, leaving many homes without heat.

It is important to do research and be prepared for inclement weather before winter starts.

Ready.gov, the Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Preparedness Website gives great tips on how to prepare for winter weather, what to do during a storm, and what to do after a storm is over.

The National Weather Service’s winter weather hub includes resources and information about forecasts, winter storms, hazards, weather predictions and much more. They also offer Simple Steps to Stay Safe and winter weather advisories searchable by zip code.

The CDC offers more tips for preparation and actions taken during and after storms. The CDC also provides information about health problems that can arise due to winter hazards.

The Red Cross provides information about common winter weather terms that are often misunderstood and more information about preparedness.

GPO’s US Government Bookstore offers publications for sale about winter weather preparedness.

GPO’s Federal Digital System offers Winter Storms, a Hearing before the Subcommittee on Disaster Prevention and Prediction.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the Author: Teresa Mock is an intern with GPO’s Library Services and Content Management division.


September is National Preparedness Month

September 3, 2015

As the year goes by, the temperature gets colder and the nights grow longer, so remember to stay safe and prepare for the unexpected. September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and we are here to provide some helpful publications you can use to get ready. NPM was established in 2004 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was created in response to the 9/11 attacks and is meant to reach out to citizens and help them plan for any disaster, man-made or natural, that could strike.

003-017-00569-1GPO has a handful of different guides from our U.S. Government Bookstore, and each covers steps to help prepare for a wide variety of different situations. The publication Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning, Nature’s Most Violent Storms: A Preparedness Guide, Including Tornado Safety Information for Schools focuses on the many different weather-related disasters that can occur, the damage and destruction each could cause, and the best plans for preparing before such a catastrophe happens.

Another notable guide is Are You Ready?: An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness; it offers tips on anything from terrorist disasters to flash floods. Focusing on the before, during, and after, this manual is a great asset in creating some comprehensive safety techniques for yourself and family in the months to come.064-000-00058-6

For those looking for a piece oriented more towards the best options to take in the case of a tornado or hurricane, GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications has an extremely in-depth guide online for free! Safe rooms for tornadoes and hurricanes: guidance for community and residential safe rooms provides excellent background on the science of high-speed wind disasters and offers up some great advice to those living with the threat of such an event occurring. From the structural engineering of homes and buildings to the design of state-of-the-art safe rooms, this guide, developed by FEMA, outlines the best direction for creating a safe room for your home or community.

If you are more interested in hearing about the history and Federal side of National Preparedness Month, GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) has stored all of the proclamations made by the President to make this month official, as well as any Congressional Hearings or other related documents. For complete, free access, and to take your search further, click here.

If you just want more info on the entire month of September, and any events related to National Preparedness Month, we have a website for you to visit and browse, click here for access! You can also head over to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration websites, which have steps and services to keep you updated on the weather around you. For those with disabilities who want to become better prepared, there is a website designed with helpful tips and steps for you in case of almost any emergency. Click here to get started. Feel free to go through all the links above and discover the best ways to prepare yourselves and your families for any situation. Stay safe!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can obtain the resources mentioned in this blog by clicking on the links above or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Giovanni Salvatori is a Summer Intern in GPO’s  Library Services & Content Management office.


Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years Later

August 26, 2015

Image compliments of noaa.gov click to enlarge.

August 29th will mark the tenth (10th) anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the deadliest and the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

As you may recall, this hurricane touched down in Mobile, Alabama, and significantly damaged and left people stranded in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi during President George W. Bush administration’s second term as President of the United States of America.

A few key primary source references based on Hurricane Katrina that should be included in your historical U.S. Government publications, or weather-resources library include the following:

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George W. Bush, 2005, Bk. 2, July-December by National Archives and Records Administration

This primary source reference work chronicles George W. Bush’s second term presidency from July through December 2005. This volume includes the President’s remarks on Hurricane Katrina on Sunday, August 28, 2005, plus additional remarks on September 1, 2, 5-8,12, and an Address to the Nation on Hurricane Katrina Recovery from New Orleans, LA on September 15, 2005, a Memorandum on the National Flood Insurance Program on October 12, and more.

040-000-00775-0Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, February 2006 by the President of the United States and the Assistant to the President for the Department of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Hurricane Katrina’s historic 115-130mph winds coupled with a powerful storm surge that created a 27 foot long stretch of the Northern Gulf Coast that impacted nearly 93,000 square miles that was not isolated to one state or city. The book is a Lessons Learned view of what can be implemented to prevent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina from happening in the future. The report’s focus is centered on disaster preparedness and emergency management responses. It contains an analytical, narrative chronology that provides a detailed account of Hurricane Katrina from the point of the storm’s development in the days “Pre-Landfall,” and the next chronicles both the “Week of Crisis” from August 29 through September 5, and concludes with the transition from response to recovery. This volume concludes with the most important chapter: “Transforming National Preparedness.”

052-071-01438-1A Failure of Initiative: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee To Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, February 15, 2006 by the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina

This report is a summary of the Committee’s work to investigate the preparation for leading up to the Hurricane Katrina storm and the two weeks following the storm. It does not cover the extensive rebuilding of the impacted areas after the storm made its landfall to the cities and states that were in its’ path.

Call Sign Dust Off: A History of U.S. Army Aeromedical Evacuation From Conception to Hurricane Katrina by the Department of the Army, Office of the Surgeon General, Borden Institute008-000-01040-4

This book, published in year 2011, covers the conceptualization of the initial attempts to use aircraft for evacuation, reviews its development and maturity through those conflicts, and focuses on the history of MEDEVAC post–Vietnam to the transformation of the MEDEVAC units from medical to aviation command in 2003 and the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Much has been written about U.S. Army aeromedical evacuation—or MEDEVAC—and most works have focused on the war in Korea or Vietnam. This book focuses on the unique use of helicopters to accomplish this mission. Part I looks at the heritage of MEDEVAC from its beginnings in World War II through the bitter battles in Korea, the interwar years, and the long struggle in Vietnam. Part II covers the 1980s, a time of domestic duties and contingency operations. Part III reviews the turbulent 1990s with the end of the cold war, a hot war in the Persian Gulf, dramatic military force reductions, and a call to duty in the Balkans. Part IV stretches into the millennium, covering the events of 9/11, further conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq—the Aviation Transformation Initiative that moved MEDEVAC from medical to aviation control—and the national response to Hurricane Katrina. In general, after Part I, a thematic approach is used, and the chapters are organized with interweaving sections covering doctrine (service and joint), organization, and operations.

008-070-00804-1Operation Dragon Comeback: Air Education and Training Command’s Response to Hurricane Katrina by the U.S. Air Force, Air Training and Education Office of History and Research

This volume is the Air Education and Training Command’s (AETC) response to Hurricane Katrina as a pivotal event in the organization’s history. It showcases the men and women that rushed to the aid of their wingmen at the Kesslar Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi, and provided support for humanitarian efforts to the communities and the country in time of need. In addition to the coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s approach and landfall, this resource also attempts to cover the few months of recovery efforts that took place at Kesslar Air Force base during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Air National Guard at 60: A History (eBook) by Air National Guard999-000-44446-1

Within this commemorative 60 year anniversary of the National Guard, you will also find many accounts of the emergency response relief efforts during the historic Hurricane Katrina to include saving people stranded by the flood waters, supplying medicine food and clean water staples and more.

064-000-00058-6Are You Ready?: An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Guide for citizens on how to protect themselves and their families against all types of natural and man-made disasters and hazards from tornadoes to terrorism, floods to fires, extreme cold to extreme heat. The “Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness” from FEMA can be used as a reference source or as a step-by-step manual. The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency plans that reflect what must be done before, during, and after a disaster to protect people and their property.

How do I obtain these resources?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.

 


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