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2012 Democracy Cup awards announced

January 2, 2013 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Co-sponsored by the East Haddam Civic Association since 2000, the Democracy Cup was created as a way to encourage voter participation in each year’s elections.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today (Jan. 2, 2013) announced the 2012 “Democracy Cup” for the highest voter turnout percentage in the 2012 Presidential election in Connecticut to Bridgewater (94.75 percent) and Middletown (89.86 percent).

Other winners are Granby (86.22 percent) and Stamford (71.6 percent).

Co-sponsored by the East Haddam Civic Association since 2000, the Democracy Cup was created as a way to encourage voter participation in each year’s elections.

Winners are chosen in four categories: “small towns” are those with fewer than 5,000 registered voters; “mid-sized towns” are those with 5,000 to 14,999 voters; “large towns” are those with 15,000 to 49,999 registered voters. Cities with more than 50,000 registered voters are their own category.

Middletown is the winner of the Democracy Cup in the “large town” category. Bridgewater is the winner in the small town category, the second such award for Bridgewater, which also won the Democracy Cup in 2009.

“All Connecticut communities should be proud of their voter participation this year, especially towns like Bridgewater which has consistently shown high voter interest in our elections,” said Scot Mackinnon, co-founder of the Democracy Cup and East Haddam Civic Association member. “What is especially encouraging is seeing a town as large as Middletown record a voter turnout of nearly 90 percent, which is very rare for a community that size. This is really excellent turnout and definitely worth celebrating.”

Each community awarded the Democracy Cup will display a trophy through next year’s November elections.

The trophy presentations for Middletown and Bridgewater took place on Dec. 27. A trophy ceremony was held for Stamford was held Dec. 18, 2012 and a ceremony for Granby was held Dec. 21, 2012.

“We saw a very strong voter turnout of 74 percent of registered voters statewide on Election Day in 2012, despite the difficult challenges presented by damage from Hurricane Sandy,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s Chief Elections Official.

“I congratulate both Bridgewater and Middletown for doing such a wonderful job with 9 out of 10 registered voters participating in the 2012 election – it is some of the highest voter turnout in the nation!” Merrill said.

Posted January 2, 2013

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Secretary of the State announces changes to voter registration in 2013

December 19, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today (Dec. 19) released the official calendars for the May and November 2013 municipal elections in Connecticut.

And one significant change is that eligible voters will be able to register up to and including Election Day starting in November of 2013.

Legislation enacting Election Day Registration was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy this year.

“Next year (2013) will be an historic election year in Connecticut as we implement Election Day Registration for the first time in our state,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s Chief Elections Official.

“I look forward to working with our partners in election administration at the local level to make it possible for those late-deciding voters to register and vote on Election Day,” Merrill said.

Election Day takes place in May in a few Connecticut towns, in November in the majority of the state’s cities and towns.

For those towns that have May elections, the day in 2013 will be Monday May 6.

For the rest, Election Day will be Tuesday Nov. 5.

The May-election towns will hold primaries for municipal office on March 11, 2013 so campaigns will soon be underway.

“Important issues such as town and school budgets will be on the agenda (in 2013), so I urge voters to pay close attention to the issues and the candidates and get involved in the decisions made at the local level that are crucial to our quality of life.” Merrill said.

Voters in the towns of Andover, Bethany, Union and Woodbridge, Boroughs of Bantam (Litchfield), Danielson (Killingly), Fenwick (Old Saybrook), Jewett City (Griswold), Litchfield, Newtown, Stonington, Woodmont (Milford) can view their election calendar (in PDF format) at this link .

Voters from other towns can view their calendar (in PDF format) at this link .

Posted December 19, 2012 based on a press release

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UConn establishes scholarship to honor victims of Newtown shootings

December 17, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

In response to the grief and shock accompanying the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on Dec. 14, the University of Connecticut has created a memorial scholarship fund to honor those who died.

UConn women’s basketball Coach Geno Auriemma and his wife, Kathy, have made an $80,000 lead gift to the fund.

“Over this past difficult weekend, Kathy and I gave much consideration to what we as a family could do that would have some significance for the future,” Auriemma said. “Because UConn is so important to us, we decided to establish a scholarship and encourage other UConn alumni, friends and fans around the world to invest in the future of the Sandy Hook survivors.”

In response to the grief and shock accompanying the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, the University of Connecticut has created a memorial scholarship fund to honor those who died. UConn women’s basketball Coach Geno Auriemma and his wife, Kathy, have made an $80,000 lead gift to the fund.

The Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut will provide financial aid for any students who currently attends the elementary school, as well as siblings of those killed in the assault and dependents of teachers and other adults who also lost their lives, who are accepted to attend UConn in the future.

Donations will be collected through the University of Connecticut Foundation to establish a fund in anticipation of supporting the Sandy Hook Elementary students enrolled in the K-4 grades today who will be of college age beginning in approximately 2021.

For siblings and dependents of those who died, funds will be immediately expendable to provide them with scholarship assistance at UConn as needed.

All of the monies received will be spent solely for the fund’s purpose. If any funds remain once the needs of the groups above have been met, they will be used to benefit any future student from Newtown who attends UConn.

Ways to donate

More information about how to make a donation to the scholarship fund is available online at the http://www.uconn.edu and http://www.foundation.uconn.edu

  • To make a donation by mail, send your check to The UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive-Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269-3206. Please note on your check that the gift is for the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund.
  • Donations also may be made by texting 50555 with uconn newtown. UConn alumni should also add their name and graduation year. For example: uconn newtown John Smith 88. $10.00 donation to support the University of Connecticut Foundation through the mGive Foundation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance.  All purchases must be authorized by the account holder. You must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. For full terms and privacy policy:  s.uconn.edu/txt

Posted December 17, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW  Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Gov. Malloy asks period of grieving for victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School

December 15, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where 20 school children were killed on Dec. 14, 2012. Web site photo

Earlier this evening (Dec. 15), Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked for a period of grieving for the 20 young children and seven adults shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Gov. Malloy acknowledged that people want to know more about the man police believe was the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, and about the events of that morning – many, out of concern for the safety of their own children at their schools – but asked that for a moment, people focus on the shock and grief felt not just in Connecticut, not just across the country, but in homes around the world.

Earlier, a similar plea was made by the spokesman for Connecticut State Police, Lt. J. Paul Vance, who asked that reporters respect the privacy of the families of those who were killed, when a list identifying the victims was released.

Among the adults who were identified was the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung and a substitute teacher, Lauren Rousseau. According to reports posted by NPR, Hochsprung was shot while trying to keep other staff members from entering the hallway when shots were being fired.

Authorities also have disclosed that all of the children who were killed were first graders.

Many of the details of yesterday’s events are still waiting to be clarified, such as whether the alleged shooter’s mother was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

And as of now, the motive behind the shootings is unknown.

In a public address today, Gov. Malloy acknowledged that there’s little anyone can say that can begin to address the shock and deep sadness shared by the state’s residents – many of whom have flocked to vigils in their own communities.

“Though we could all try, when something as senseless as this occurs, there’s precious little anyone can say to the families of the victims that will lessen the horror and sense of loss they feel. We could say we feel their pain, but the truth is we can’t,” Gov. Malloy said tonight.

“When tragedies like this occur, people often look for answers, an explanation of how this could have occurred. But the sad truth is, there are no answers. No good ones, anyway,” he said.

“So what can we do? … As has been happening since yesterday, we can show and share with each other the grief we feel for the children and adults who were killed, and for their families and loved ones. We can speak about what’s really important, and what can wait for another day.

“There will be time soon for a discussion of the public policy issues surrounding yesterday’s events, but what’s important right now is this: love, courage, and compassion.

Love, as it has poured in from around the world.

“Courage, as was demonstrated by the teachers and other adults in the school building, whose actions no doubt saved lives.

“Courage on display, as it always is, by all our first responders.

“Compassion, as shown by people around Connecticut who’ve arrived in Newtown wanting only to help,” Gov. Malloy said.

He added, “In the coming days, we will rely upon that which we have been taught and that which we inherently believe: that there is faith for a reason, and that faith is God’s gift to all of us.

“Those educators, and those innocent little boys and girls were taken from their families far too soon. Let us all hope and pray those children are now in a place where that innocence will forever be protected.

“May God bless you, may God bless those 27 people, may God bless their families and friends, and may the pain their loved ones feel be someday absorbed by the love of mankind.”

Posted December 15, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Mansfield Superintendent reaches out to local parents in response to shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary

December 14, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

At this time (Dec. 14), Connecticut State Police are confirming that as many as 28 people have been shot and killed – including at least 18 children and the shooter – at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

At this time (Dec. 14), Connecticut State Police are confirming that as many as 28 people have been shot and killed – including at least 18 children and the shooter – at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

According to State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, 911 calls alerting police to the incident began coming in at about 9:30 a.m.

Details about the cause of the violence are not clear, and there currently are conflicting reports about the identity of the assassin.

Sandy Hook Elementary School’s web site indicates that there will be a gathering at 7:30 p.m. tonight for the community, at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, CT  and that the church will remain open for 24 hours.

The New York Times is reporting that the suspected shooter’s mother was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, and other reports state the suspect’s father also has been found dead.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office reports that he has met with the families of the victims. He said the children who were killed were between 5 and 10 years old.

Gov. Malloy is also expected to address the public about this tragedy tonight at 6 p.m. at Treadwell Park (Philo Curtis Road) in Newtown, and has asked for flags to be lowered to half mast.

In a statement emailed to Mansfield families at about 4 p.m., Mansfield Schools Superintendent states:

I write to inform you that due to a tragic incident which occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the Mansfield Public Schools, E.O. Smith High School, the Town Manager, Director of Emergency Management, Youth Services Coordinator and Resident State Trooper have met and plan to take the following steps:

A meeting will be held with all staff by the end of the day to address any questions they may have and provide support as necessary.

School psychologists will develop and distribute to teachers, with the assistance of the building principal, an age appropriate opportunity for students at all schools on Monday providing students with an opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have regarding this incident.

I wish to assure you that the district has a current safety plan in place to protect students and staff.  As the facts of this incident become more readily available, Town officials will work with building principals and Central Office staff to review the current safety plans for each school and to modify those plans as appropriate.

Parents are encouraged to address this incident with their child as they deem appropriate and if needed, please feel free to contact your school for support and/or assistance.  An article entitled Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers is available at www.mansfieldct.gov/mboe.

Posted December 14, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW  Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Still recovering after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA releases $455 million

November 11, 2012 Areawide, Business, Local News Comments Off

Rockaway, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2012 – Local crews work to remove sand on streets left by the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA – used with permission.

At the direction of President Barack Obama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to lead the federal government’s effort to provide assistance and support to states affected by Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast on Oct. 29, 2012.

As FEMA and its partners continue an aggressive power restoration effort in New York and New Jersey, the President has approved extension of the 100 percent cost share for emergency work performed by state, tribal and local governments through Nov. 14, 2012.

The 100 percent funding was set originally for 10 days, beginning Oct. 31.

It specifically applies to the costs of restoring power and public transportation, including direct federal assistance for New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in counties designated for FEMA Public Assistance.

Other forms of Category B (emergency work) public assistance remain at a 75 percent cost share.

“More than $455 million has already been approved for individuals to assist with housing and other disaster-related needs,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Impacted residents and business owners in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York should apply for assistance today.”

To apply for this assistance, the first step (for individuals and businesses) is to register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

The toll-free telephone numbers are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.

FEMA is one part of a large team working together to support the states in meeting the housing needs of disaster survivors.

Milford, CT, Nov. 8, 2012 – Homes along the Connecticut coast were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, many beyond repair. FEMA Community Relations teams are in these areas, going door to door answering questions for those who need assistance. Photo by Marilee Caliendo/FEMA – used by permission.

This joint effort includes housing and technical experts from the states, FEMA, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and volunteer agencies.

The affected states are taking the lead to identify their local needs and resources by convening State-led Disaster Housing Task Forces.

Working together, housing priorities are being established and the team is working to ensure they are making the greatest use of existing housing resources (such as apartments and rental units), enlisting voluntary agencies to make minor repairs so survivors can remain in their homes, and investigating other temporary housing options suitable for the area.

As of 3 p.m. today (Nov. 11), more than 369,000 individuals in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have registered for assistance, and more than $455 million has been approved in FEMA housing and other needs assistance.

Currently, a total of 55 Disaster Recovery Centers are open in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut (26 in New York, 22 in New Jersey and 7 in Connecticut) and more will continue to open.

To find a disaster recovery center location online, use the disaster recovery center locator at FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by mobile phone at m.fema.gov. You may also text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).

FEMA has also established a Housing Portal to assist individuals and families, displaced by a disaster. By moving individuals and families into local rental units quickly, it allows them to move forward with their personal recovery with the least amount of disruption. The portal consolidates rental resources identified and provided by federal agencies and is available at www.fema.gov/housingportal.

More than 7,200 FEMA personnel have been deployed to support response operations, including search and rescue, situational awareness, communications and logistical support in states affected by the storm.

Community relations teams are on the ground in the hardest hit areas going door-to-door to inform disaster survivors about available services and resources and to gather situational awareness.

Nov. 8, 2012 – The remains of a home in Union Beach, NJ after Hurricane Sandy swept through the area. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA – used with permission.

More than 2,000 housing inspectors are on the ground, meeting with disaster survivors to identify damages to homes, to further expedite assistance to individuals; and more than 80,000 damage inspections have already been completed in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

To date, the President has declared that major disasters exist in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island and emergency declarations have been made in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

FEMA continues to deliver commodities including food, water, blankets, fuel, generators and others resources to distribution points across the region impacted by Sandy.

 

Other response activities

  • Small Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as of Nov. 10, has issued 248,094 disaster loan applications to residents and businesses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

That includes 196,822 home disaster loan applications, and 51,272 business disaster loan applications.

For more information, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or go to www.sba.gov

The SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations, to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

  • Public Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has more than 1,100 HHS personnel deployed to provide public health and medical assistance to New York and New Jersey.

These personnel include disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs), a group of professional medical personnel organized to provide rapid-response medical care.

To read more about DMAT teams active in the Hurricane Sandy response visit: www.phe.gov/asprblog

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps also continues to support shelter operations.

Nearly 60 officers from three Mental Health Teams have assisted approximately 700 residents and first responders a day, helping address basic mental health issues and facilitate in shelters.

In addition, residents can connect with local crisis counselors through the National Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746).

  • Donations

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special relief intended to support leave-based donation programs to aid survivors who have suffered from the extraordinary destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

Also, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced an expedited review and approval process will be offered for organizations seeking tax-exempt status in order to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The IRS continues to encourage people to use existing organizations currently working on immediate aid efforts.

  • Fuel supply

The Department of Energy (DOE) in response to a request from the State of Connecticut, will loan an additional 4.2 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), to provide emergency loans to fuel distributors in Connecticut to address fuel shortages in the state.

Washington, DC, Oct. 28, 2012 – President Barack Obama at a briefing with federal agency partners on preparations for Hurricane Sandy at FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center. At right is FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. FEMA/Aaron Skolnik – used by permission

This is a continuation of the agreement announced a week ago when President Obama declared that Hurricane Sandy has created a severe energy supply interruption.

The fuel will be provided to distributors in the state and to be repaid directly by the distributors in the next 30 days.

DOE and DLA stand ready to make available additional fuel as needed.

 

  • Department of Defense

Under the Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has nearly 4,000 personnel supporting Hurricane Sandy relief operations in the affected areas.

Air Force teams completed unwatering (removing water) operations at Rockaway Waste Water Treatment facility, and East School in Long Beach, N.Y., and provided teams to support fire departments conducting unwatering operations in Breezy Point, N.Y.

Army divers repaired the pier system at Caven Point, N.J.

Navy dive detachments continue to support the World Trade Center site and Marine pump teams are assisting pumping operations at Breezy Point.

Helicopters from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are transporting and re-locating generators in affected areas to support critical infrastructure.

Navy Seabees and Marine personnel restored the beach at Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook and continue supporting debris clearance operations at locations in Bayonne, N.J. and the Battery, N.Y.

The Defense Logistics Agency continues to supply FEMA with much needed emergency supplies, medical equipment, fuel and now cold and wet weather clothing to help those working toward recovery after Hurricane Sandy.

DLA has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons of fuel to federal government distribution points in the New York/New Jersey region.

DLA has contracts in place to support waste water clean-up, hazardous material removal, and debris removal operations. DLA has also awarded two contracts for 330 roll-off dumpsters and 34 trucks for overland trash hauling; 2.5 million pounds of debris have been removed in the last 48 hours.

  • Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has more than 3,000 employees from the North Atlantic Division – with an additional 960 team members deployed from other USACE divisions across the nation – engaged in supporting the response mission.

Response teams are assisting with debris management, commodities distribution, infrastructure assessment, temporary roofing, critical public facilities, water planning, and temporary housing.

More than 5,600 Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 11 states are conducting food, water, and fuel distribution, communications, security, sheltering, debris removal and transportation missions in support of recovery efforts.

Civil Air Patrol is launching 23 aircraft from states along the Northeast seaboard to photograph hurricane damage in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to conduct low-level missions over waterways that would correspond to varying tidal conditions to pinpoint oil spills and navigation hazards for the U.S. Coast Guard.

These flyovers, involving aircraft from as far away as Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, will also assist federal agencies to assess where to most-effectively deploy debris teams.

The U.S. Fleet Forces (Navy and Marine Corps) are assisting the Army Corps of Engineers in power restoration, cleaning and dewatering efforts in NY and NJ.

  • U.S. Postal Service

The United State Postal Service (USPS) reminds customers who have evacuated or relocated due to hurricane Sandy to submit a change of address, place mail on hold or request that mail be temporarily forwarded to their new location. For the latest service updates regarding hurricane Sandy, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

  • USDA

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has distributed an initial $5.3 million to 11 states affected by Hurricane Sandy. NRCS provides this funding through its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is allowing flexibility to New York City Public School District to serve all meals free through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the month of November.

Nov. 8, 2012 – A Hurricane Sandy survivor at a Disaster Recovery Center waiting to speak with a FEMA Individual Assistance specialist. FEMA is working with many partners including federal, state, local and tribal governments, voluntary, faith-based and community-based organizations, and the private sector to assist residents who suffered losses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Patsy Lynch, used with permission from FEMA News.

FNS has also approved New Jersey’s request to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- formerly Food Stamps) recipients in affected counties to purchase hot foods with SNAP benefits through the end of November.

  • AmeriCorps/Senior Corps

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has 1,008 national service members who have been deployed to seven states.

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are assisting with shelter operations, call centers, debris removal, and mass care.

About 435 members of FEMA Corps, an innovative partnership between FEMA and AmeriCorps, are working directly with disaster survivors in New York and New Jersey.

  • Dept. of the Interior

Under the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), more than 1,200 wildland firefighters from all agencies, including about 260 wildland firefighters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park service are responding with fellow wildland firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and State Forestry Divisions to support FEMA staging areas, assist in emergency operations centers, and provide crews to clear trees for emergency access and power crews.

  • National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) has deployed more than 300 incident management personnel, technical experts and work crews to assist parks and refuges throughout the region in recovery operations.

Working with interagency partners, NPS has also established a debris transfer site at Jacob Riis Park in New York to support local clean-up activities and is providing meals for emergency workers in the vicinity of its logistics base at Fort Wadsworth in the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Posted November 11, 2012 – release edited and photos added by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

FEMA tips as Nor’easter brings high winds, snow to CT

November 7, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Rockaway, NY, Nov. 3, 2012. Local residents affected by Hurricane Sandy get water and MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) from National Guard troops, Army, Air Force and Marines, at a Point of Distribution on Rockaway Point Boulevard. Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

A Nor’easter making its way across the northeast today, including areas still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, is expected to bring strong winds, freezing rain and snow throughout today into Thursday (Nov. 8).

FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency – suggests you keep informed by following FEMA updates on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FEMA and on Twitter @ReadyDotGov and by downloading useful FEMA apps:

Android https://market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android

Apple (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fema/id474807486?ls=1&mt=8

Blackberry (Smart Phone, Tablet) http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/vendor/18869/

Also, given power has not yet been fully restored in some areas, state and local governments are opening warming stations. In Connecticut, you can get more information about these sites at www.ct.gov/sandy

In a press release issued this evening, FEMA also recommends the following:

  • Follow the direction of local officials – if told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Know the forecast for your area – listen to your NOAA weather radio and local news reports, or visit weather.gov for conditions in your area.
  • Check on your neighbor (especially if your neighbor is elderly or homebound or otherwise possibly in need of assistance).
  • Have a communication plan – be sure friends and family know how to contact you. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not get through.

FEMA continues to support recovery operations as a result of Hurricane Sandy as well as preparedness efforts associated with the Nor’easter.

The release states that, “Additional commodities including food, water, blankets and generators are currently being delivered to distribution points across the region impacted by Sandy. FEMA is also pre-positioning even more resources and supplies for its state and local partners to respond, if necessary, to the Nor’easter.”

In the days since Hurricane Sandy, Community Relations Teams have been going door-to-door with information on how to register with FEMA for financial assistance and how to prepare for the upcoming storm.

“More than 277,000 people have applied for financial assistance, and more than $250 million in assistance has been approved,” the FEMA release states.

For more information on how to prepare for future emergencies, visit www.fema.gov or www.ready.gov

Posted November 7, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Impending hurricane prompts call from Red Cross for blood donors

October 26, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Nationwide, an average of 44,000 blood donations are needed under normal conditions each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. This need does not diminish when disaster strikes.

Hurricane Sandy may take aim at the eastern coast of the United States as early as this weekend. As communities brace for the storm’s arrival, the American Red Cross urges people in the possible path of this storm to stay informed and get prepared now.

And one way to help is by donating blood prior to the storm’s arrival.

“This storm could affect the turnout at Red Cross blood drives along the East Coast,” said Donna M. Morrissey, director of communications, American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division.

“We ask anyone who is eligible to donate, especially in regions not affected by the storm, to please schedule a blood donation now. By giving blood now, your donation will help the Red Cross ensure that blood is available for patients who still need blood despite the weather,” Morrissey said.

Nationwide, an average of 44,000 blood donations are needed under normal conditions each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders.

This need does not diminish when disaster strikes.

The Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to where it’s needed most – especially during these critical times.

“It’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives when disasters occur,” said Morrissey. “The time to help is now.”

Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment to donate blood.

The Red Cross is mobilizing disaster workers in the regions that weather experts say will be affected by the storm, and has more than 100 emergency response vehicles on alert.

Supplies are ready to be moved and shelter locations are being identified across multiple states. The Red Cross is working closely with federal, state and local government officials, as well as community partners to coordinate response efforts.

Individuals and families are asked to take personal preparedness steps and download the free Red Cross Hurricane App to get ready for the storm now.

The Hurricane App provides real-time hurricane safety information, such as weather alerts and where Red Cross shelters are located.

The app also features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The app can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for “American Red Cross.”

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org

Posted October 26, 2012

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