Freitag, 9. November 2012

Sandy Recovery Efforts Continue as Latest Storm Moves On | The White House


Editor’s note: 

This post was originally published on the Fast Lane, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Despite the arrival of another storm last night, hurricane recovery efforts continue throughout the Northeast.  For DOT, this means working with state and local officials to help commuters get where they need to go and ensure families have access to housing and other resources they need.

For example, our Federal Highway Administration is working with our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) to speed up permitting for carriers moving temporary mobile housing units from Maryland and Alabama to New Jersey.


Transporting temporary housing Transporting temporary housing (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Transportation)

Under normal circumstances, carriers have to work with states to get permits from each state they travel through. In this instance, FHWA is coordinating with AASHTO to cut through some of the red tape and get all necessary permits at the same time. In addition, FHWA is also working with states to allow nighttime moves, which aren’t normally allowed.

This partnership will help people move into badly needed temporary housing even faster.

Working with the Department of Homeland Security, our Maritime Administration has provided FEMA with several nearby ships to provide lodging, food, and power for emergency response teams who have traveled to New York. 

The TS Empire State, a training vessel berthed at SUNY Maritime Academy, is currently supporting FEMA community relations surge personnel. The Ready Reserve Fleet vessel Wright--out of Baltimore--and the TS Kennedy--out of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts--are being used to house and feed FEMA community relations surge personnel and teams from the American Red Cross.  Both vessels are docked at Home Port Pier on Staten Island.

Our Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also helping speed the transport of hazardous materials--including much-needed fuel--to and from hurricane disaster areas with fast tracked emergency special permits.

Several permits have been issued to expedite gasoline and diesel transport into New Jersey and New York. Another permit has been issued that allows a large retail store to move goods quickly from damaged stores to temporary facilities nearby so people still have access to needed goods.

Yet another special hazardous materials permit will speed up clean-up and removal of debris.

And, in news that should bring some relief to travelers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Amtrak plans to reopen by late Friday three tunnels that provide access to and from New York's  Penn Station.

Four of the six tunnels that carry Amtrak trains under the East and Hudson Rivers were left flooded by Sandy. Two of the East River tunnels stayed dry. Amtrak workers pumped one of the two Hudson River tunnels and reopened it on October 31. It has taken another week for Amtrak 
to finish drying out the other three tunnels.

One of those crosses the Hudson River and will allow extra Amtrak service to New Jersey and points south. That tunnel also carries trains for NJ Transit, which means more commuter service can be restored. Like many of you, I watched reports of the most recent nor'easter with alarm. And while there's no doubt that the roads in the Sandy-stricken region are slick, it's also clear that the critical work of recovery continues.

I'm very thankful for the efforts of everyone who has worked tirelessly to help this region resume normal activity, even in the face of this latest storm. Keep up the terrific work!
Related Topics: 

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Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers > Missions > Emergency Operations > Hurricane Season


 

2012 Hurricane Season

Hurricane IreneHurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30, with the peak threat period from mid-August through October. An 85% chance of a near- or above-normal season hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. The forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of 12-17 named storms (with top winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to eight will strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher) and of those two to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5). As with every hurricane season, it is important to have a hurricane preparedness plan in place.
USACE Role in Hurricane Response
Every year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies, sends hundreds of people to respond to disasters around the world.

  • USACE has more than 40 specially trained response teams ready to perform a wide range of public works and engineering-related support missions.
  • USACE uses pre-awarded contracts that can be quickly activated for missions such as debris removal, temporary roofing, water and commodities distribution, and generator installation.
  • When disasters occur, USACE teams and other resources are mobilized from across the country to assist our local districts and offices to deliver our response missions.

Preparedness Tips

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan.
  • Listen to your all-weather radio or TV for information. 

  • During the hurricane, take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • Follow the local officials’ evacuation order! If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • After the hurricane has passed, drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

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Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Defense.gov DOD Gets Energy Department Fuel to Aid Superstorm Relief




DOD Gets Energy Department Fuel to Aid Superstorm Relief

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2012 – As part of the governmentwide response and recovery effort for Hurricane Sandy, President Barack Obama declared that the superstorm has created a severe energy supply interruption and directed the U.S. Department of Energy to loan the Department of Defense ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, according to a presidential memorandum and a DOE news release issued today.

“Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast on October 29, causing severe damage to the petroleum refining and distribution sector -- including pipelines, refineries, bulk terminals, and ports. Product deliveries already lost, as well as demand increases as retail systems are restored, require that replacement volumes be made available immediately,” Obama stated in a presidential memorandum issued today.

“The transfer of ULSD to the Department of Defense and the use and distribution of that fuel has the potential to provide immediate relief to the affected region,” Obama continued. “Based on the advice of the Secretary of Energy and on other information on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on supply and distribution channels, I find that a severe energy supply interruption exists and direct the Secretary of Energy to transfer ULSD from the Reserve to the Department of Defense for use in emergency operations and support to the region affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

Obama added: “If the Secretary of Energy determines the circumstances leading to this memorandum no longer support continuation of the transfer, he is authorized to cancel that action in whole or in part.”

The Defense Logistics Agency will begin drawing down stocks from the heating oil reserve terminal in Groton, Conn., as early as tomorrow. The fuel will be distributed to state, local and federal responders in the New York/New Jersey area, the release said, and will be used to provide additional supplies to ensure continued response and recovery efforts. This includes fuel for emergency equipment and buildings, including electrical generators, water pumps, General Services Administration buildings, trucks and other vehicles.

“Today’s announcement is part of the broader federal effort to respond to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” Energy Department Secretary Dr. Steven Chu stated in today’s DOE news release.

“This loan from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve will help ensure state, local and federal responders in the impacted area have access to the diesel fuel they need to continue response and recovery efforts,” Chu added.

DLA estimates that it will initially draw down two million gallons of fuel from the reserve, but the Energy Department stands ready to make available additional fuel as needed, according to the DOE release. The Defense Department expects to replenish the fuel to the reserve within 30 days.

The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve was created in July 2000 as a component of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to respond to emergencies and supply disruptions in the home heating oil market, the DOE news release said. The reserve holds 42 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel, located at terminals in Groton, and Revere, Mass.

This is the first time fuel has been released from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, according to the DOE release.
 
Biographies:

Dr. Steven Chu

Related Sites:
 

Special Report: Hurricane Sandy
 

U.S. Department of Energy
 

DOE News Release
 

Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve
 

Defense Logistics Agency


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President Obama: I Bet on the American Worker and it Paid Off

Freitag, 2. November 2012

How Insurers Can Foil the Next Hurricane Sandy | Wired Business | Wired.com

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Employment Situation Summary in USA

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed                       USDL-12-2164
until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, November 2, 2012

Technical information: 
 
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps 
 
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- OCTOBER 2012


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment
rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care,
and retail trade.

   _______________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                               |
  |                                Hurricane Sandy                                |
  |                                                                               |
  |Hurricane Sandy had no discernable effect on the employment and unemployment   |
  |data for October. Household survey data collection was completed before the    |
  |storm, and establishment survey data collection rates were within normal ranges|
  |nationally and for the affected areas. For information on how unusually severe |
  |weather can affect the employment and hours estimates, see the Frequently Asked|
  |Questions section of this release.                                             |
  |                                                                               |
  |_______________________________________________________________________________|
  

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3
million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September.
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks increased to 14.3
percent in October, while the rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.2
percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (7.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent)
showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.9 percent in October
(not seasonally adjusted), down from 7.3 percent a year earlier. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.6 percent of
the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and the labor
force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent. Total employment rose by 410,000
over the month. The employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.8
percent, following an increase of 0.4 percentage point in September. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 269,000 to 8.3 million in October, partially
offsetting an increase of 582,000 in September. These individuals were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In October, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
different from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had
looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed 
because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See
table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 813,000 discouraged workers in October, a
decline of 154,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe
no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached
to the labor force in October had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See
table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October. Employment growth
has averaged 157,000 per month thus far in 2012, about the same as the average monthly
gain of 153,000 in 2011. In October, employment rose in professional and business
services, health care, and retail trade. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, with gains in 
services to buildings and dwellings (+13,000) and in computer systems design (+7,000).
Temporary help employment changed little in October and has shown little net change 
over the past 3 months. Employment in professional and business services has grown by
1.6 million since its most recent low point in September 2009.

Health care added 31,000 jobs in October. Job gains continued in ambulatory health
care services (+25,000) and hospitals (+6,000). Over the past year, employment in
health care has risen by 296,000.

Retail trade added 36,000 jobs in October, with gains in motor vehicles and parts dealers 
(+7,000), and in furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000). Retail trade has added
82,000 jobs over the past 3 months, with most of the gain occurring in motor vehicles
and parts dealers, clothing and accessories stores, and miscellaneous store retailers.

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up (+28,000) over the month.
This industry has added 811,000 jobs since a recent low point in January 2010, with
most of the gain occurring in food services.

Employment in construction edged up in October. The gain was concentrated in specialty
trade contractors (+17,000).

Manufacturing employment changed little in October. On net, manufacturing employment
has shown little change since April.

Mining lost 9,000 jobs in October, with most of the decline occurring in support
activities for mining. Since May of this year, employment in mining has decreased
by 17,000.

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and 
warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change
over the month.

In October, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was
34.4 hours for the fourth consecutive month. The manufacturing workweek edged down by
0.1 hour to 40.5 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged
down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged
down by 1 cent to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen
by 1.6 percent. In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees edged down by 1 cent to $19.79. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +142,000 to
+192,000, and the change for September was revised from +114,000 to +148,000.

_____________
The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on Friday,
December 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: November 02, 2012

USA; DisasterAssistance.gov - Forms and Materials

USA: DisasterAssistance.gov - Forms and Materials

Donnerstag, 1. November 2012

Aon Situation Room to hurricane Sandy in USA


Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy

Hurricane Sandy, which became a post-tropical cyclone just before it made landfall on the U.S. East Coast on October 29, caused significant flooding in New York and New Jersey, cut off power to an estimated 7.4 million homes and businesses, and resulted in in damage and fatalities across several states.

Aon is committed to helping organizations respond quickly and appropriately to rapidly changing situations that may impact their business. Aon's Rapid Response team is ready to support clients in preparing for hurricanes, mitigating hurricane losses and quantifying and presenting property and business interruption claims.

If you have questions concerning your policy or claims process, please contact your account executive for immediate guidance.

In the video below, James Tortorella of Aon Global Risk Consulting outlines key steps to help businesses recover from Sandy:

For timely updates on hurricane tracking, watches/warning and reports, please access the Cat Alerts, prepared by meteorologists from Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting unit.






Please check back periodically for Impact Forecasting updates.

Register to receive Aon Benfield's Catastrophe Alerts in your inbox. Subscribe to Cat Alerts by sending an email to impact.forecasting@aonbenfield.com and visit the Impact Forecasting site for reports and thought leadership.

If you are an Aon Rapid Response client, activate your service 24/7/365 via Aon Risk Solutions' Crisis Operations Center by calling +1.855.218.8167 (U.S.), +1.312.470.3055 (international) or by sending an email to rapidresponse@aon.com.

Visit Aon Risk Solutions' Be Prepared resource site to better prepare your operations in the event of a natural disaster, whether you need a Hurricane Preparedness Checklist or a Claims Preparedness Manual.
Stay on top of Hurricane Sandy's path and expected impact via the



Aon Risk Solutions' Al Tobin shares his views in this Business Insurance webinar.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to cause major disruptions to the global supply chain. Similar to the affect of the Japanese earthquake, possible reputational risks to organizations may occur.  


Disclaimer
 
"Information on this site and the information on linked sites are provided solely for clients' information and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aon Corporation and/or its affiliated and subsidiary companies ("Aon"). Aon does not take responsibility for the accuracy of information on linked websites or from media sources cited herein."

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Größte Gefahr für Terroranschläge liegt in Nordrhein-Westfalen (BILD) | Pressemitteilung Aon Holding Deutschland GmbH

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The National Guard - Hurricane Season 2012 operations

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Executive Order from US-President Obama : Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council | The White House





The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order -- Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council


EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
ESTABLISHING THE WHITE HOUSE
HOMELAND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
 
 
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government's use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
 
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government's ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another's expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
 
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe "we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing." This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
 
Sec. 2. White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee.
 
(a) White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships -- between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement -- to address homeland security challenges. The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Chair), or a designee from the National Security Staff.
 
(b) Council Membership.
 
(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
 
(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.
 
(c) Steering Committee. There is also established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Chair of the Council, to provide guidance to the Council and perform other functions as set forth in this order. The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative's designee, from the following agencies:
 
(i) Department of State;
 
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
 
(iii) Department of Defense;
 
(iv) Department of Justice;
 
(v) Department of the Interior;
 
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
 
(vii) Department of Commerce;
 
(viii) Department of Labor;
 
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
 
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
 
(xi) Department of Transportation;
 
(xii) Department of Energy;
 
(xiii) Department of Education;
 
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
 
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
 
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
 
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
 
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
 
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
 
(d) Administration. The Chair or a designee shall convene meetings of the Council and Steering Committee, determine their agendas, and coordinate their work. The Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees, as appropriate.
 
Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee:
 
(i) advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council's efforts;
 
(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;
 
(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships;
 
(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities;
 
(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; and
 
(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.
 
(b) The Steering Committee shall:
 
(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget;
 
(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order;
 
(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; and
 
(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.
 
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies participating in the Steering Committee shall assist and provide information to the Council, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to implement this order. Each agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Council.
 
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
 
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;
 
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
 
(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
 
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
 
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
 
BARACK OBAMA
 
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 26, 2012.