Monday, May 2, 2011

Alabama tornadoes receive same disaster ranking as Katrina, 9/11

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Sunday that the federal government has classified the state’s recent tornadoes as a category one natural disaster, which was the same ranking given to the results of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.

On its Web site, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lists 10 primary factors in determining the severity, magnitude and impact of a disaster event, including the amount and type of damage, the impact on the infrastructure of affected areas or critical facilities, imminent threats to public health and safety and dispersion or concentration of the damage.

“NOAA was in town yesterday measuring and taking measurements on the disaster to put into whatever category it should go into,” said FEMA spokesperson Tim Tyson.

Tyson said that FEMA follows the Stafford Act, which tells FEMA exactly how to respond to a disaster. He said the magnitude of the disaster only dictates the size of the response, not how it is coordinated.

“We would have responded the in the same nature if this was an F-1 tornado,” he said. “It’s going to be the same response, but [the category] determines the scope of the response.”

Bentley said the fatality count for Alabama is up to 250, while another 1,700 are injured. In Tuscaloosa alone, as of Sunday evening, 39 were confirmed dead, 1,000 were injured and 455 were missing.

My name is Rhonda Brantley and my husband, Billy Ray Brantley suffers from Early Onset Alzheimer's Dementia. This is the best shot we have at documenting daily living.

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