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Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response News

News stories from the past 60 days.

CMS Strengthens Federal Support to Alaska Residents Affected by Earthquake
Dec 6, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced steps it would take to support the state of Alaska and residents impacted by the recent earthquake in the state, including waivers for Skilled Nursing Facilities, special enrollment opportunities, access to dialysis care, and more.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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New HHS Checklist Helps First Responders Ensure Language Access and Effective Communication During Emergencies
Dec 4, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a plain language checklist to help first responders provide services to individuals with limited English proficiency and individuals with disabilities during emergency response and recovery efforts.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Assistance For Alaska Earthquake Recovery
Dec 4, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced actions it is taking to assist Alaskans affected by the recent earthquake, including temporary easing of regulatory burdens on labor organizations and Disaster Dislocated Worker Grants to help with workforce needs, among other things.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
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HHS Secretary Azar Declares Public Health Emergency in Alaska Due to Earthquake Damage
Dec 3, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared a public health emergency in Alaska due to the recent earthquake. This declaration allows HHS agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) greater flexibility in responding to the needs of the people affected by the disaster.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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USDA Provides Additional Food Disaster Assistance in Three California Counties Hit by Wildfires
Nov 30, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits have been approved for eligible households in wildfire-affected areas in three California counties. Households may be eligible if they have qualifying disaster-related expenses and meet D-SNAP income limits.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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HHS Activates Aid for Uninsured Californians in Need of Medications Lost in Wildfires
Nov 21, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that no-cost replacements of critical medications lost or damaged by wildfires would be available to uninsured residents of the three affected California counties. Also details some of the other waivers and assistance offered by agencies within HHS to address the health needs of people affected by these fires.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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CMS Strengthens Federal Support to California Residents Affected by Wildfires
Nov 14, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced waivers and modifications to certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements in response to the wildfires in California and the resulting declaration of a public health emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These include a blanket Skilled Nursing Facility waiver, a Special Enrollment Period, and dialysis care.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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HHS Secretary Azar Declares Public Health Emergency in California due to Wildfires
Nov 13, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared a public health emergency in response to the wildfires in California. This declarations gives the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) beneficiaries and their healthcare providers and suppliers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs created by the fires.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Minorities Are Most Vulnerable When Wildfires Strike in U.S., Study Finds
Nov 3, 2018 - Details a recent study assessing the risk faced by different groups of people from natural disasters, particularly wildfires. The study found that while wealthy people, for example, were often in risky areas, they had more capacity to recover. While poorer people, Native Americans, and people who don't speak English, among others, were at greater risk because they had less capacity to recover.
Source: The New York Times
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A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster
Oct 28, 2018 - Details the efforts of Washington's Snohomish County to address the opioid epidemic. This rural county is the first in the country to respond to the crisis like a natural disaster, inspired by their experience with responding to the 2014 landslide in Oso, Washington.
Source: NPR
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CMS Acts to Help with Typhoon Yutu Emergency Response
Oct 26, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced support for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the wake of Typhoon Yutu. Actions include temporarily waiving or modifying certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements, creating special enrollment opportunities for individuals to access healthcare immediately, and ensuring access for dialysis patients.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Category 5 Typhoon Yutu Devastates the Northern Marianas in Worst Storm to Hit Any Part of U.S. Since 1935
Oct 25, 2018 - Details the devastation in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands following Super Typhoon Yutu. Yutu is the most powerful tropical cyclone to hit any part of the United States since 1935 and has left the islands without critical infrastructure like electricity and clean water.
Source: The Washington Post
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FEMA Assesses Needs Of Rural Residents In Florida's Panhandle
Oct 17, 2018 - Radio story following a FEMA search and rescue team flying over rural areas of Florida's panhandle in the wake of Hurricane Michael to offer help and assistance. Many people are relying on generators for electricity, although most of the roads have been cleared. In some places, running water and cell service is still out as well.
Source: NPR
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Drone Ambulances to the Rescue
Oct 16, 2018 - Focuses on a Mississippi-based team of doctors working on using drones as aerial ambulances carrying medical kits to allow people on the ground to provide simple medical care until emergency services arrive. The kits will also include an augmented reality interface that will allow doctors to observe the medical emergency remotely and help provide care. Kits have been designed in varying sizes and complexities, with smaller kits for search-and-rescue missions in remote areas and larger kits for natural disasters and other mass-casualty events.
Source: Next Avenue
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Last Updated: 12/7/2018