purpose of this plan is to provide detailed information on the
implementation of the Vector Control Strategic Plan, previously approved
by FEMA and the State of Louisiana for disaster FEMA 1380 DR-LA.
to the heavy rainfall and flooding from Tropical Storm Allison, most of
Louisiana had been suffering from prolonged lack of rainfall –
essentially putting the state in a drought condition. One “benefit”
of suck a condition is that the use level of mosquito activity was
significantly reduced. Not all species of mosquitoes endemic to the area
hatch at the same time, and the hatching of the initial group was
delayed by the dry weather.
the rains and flooding from Tropical Storm Allison swept the area, it
activated the hatching season for the mosquitoes; however, the hatching
activity was not limited to those initially seen, but also the species
that usually hatched at during early June. The result was that the level
of mosquitoes in some areas increased significantly above that normally
observed for this time of year.
in the recovery process, representatives of the State of Louisiana
expressed concern about the potential impact to health and safety from
almost certain increase in the mosquito populations. Of particular
concern at that time was the species of mosquitoes that carry
encephalitis (both the St. Louis and Eastern Equine varieties).
June 14, a conference was held at the offices of the Louisiana Office of
Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LHLS
& EP). Attendees included representatives of
FEMA, the US Center for Disease Control,
LHLS & EP, and various other State
agencies with an interest in, or concern about, this issue. In addition,
there was a telephone hook-up with a mosquito specialist, Chet Moore,
from the CDC office in Ft. Collins, CO. Mr. Moore has extensive
experience with disaster related mosquito problems in Louisiana, having
spent several weeks in the State after Hurricane Andrew. Subsequently,
there was a meeting with representatives from the Governor’s office.
a result of that conference, it was apparent that, initially, the
problem would be related to a probable increase in “nuisance”
mosquitoes. FEMA and the State agreed that the initial efforts should be
to provide a press advisory informing the general public of the problem,
and actions the public could take to reduce the impact. FEMA and the
State also prepared a Vector Control Strategic Plan which included
development of a public education program for vector control, an
examination of vector control data for the State, and increasing
the same time frame, close coordination was being maintained with the
Disaster Field Office (DFO) in Houston, Texas to ensure information
related to mosquito-related problems and possible solutions was being
shared. In a relatively short time, the “nuisance” mosquito
populations in Houston had increased to the level that there was concern
about the health of infants, young people and the elderly. Additionally,
recovery efforts were being hampered.
were several discussions between Public Assistance staff in the Baton
Rouge DFO and the Houston DFO, as well as with FEMA Headquarters
regarding this issue. Location specific criteria were developed that
would trigger FEMA approval for spraying, and on June 19, FEMA approved
spraying for two counties in Texas.
for control of “nuisance” mosquitoes is normally not approved by
FEMA; however, in specific situations, approval has been granted in the
past. During the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in Louisiana, FEMA
approved funding for such spraying in specific areas identified by the
CDC as locations where the populations were so high that there was a
risk to health. Funding also was provided to applicants in the State of
North Carolina during Hurricane Fran. In October 1999, a memorandum from
James Walke of FEMA Headquarters granted approval to spray for nuisance
mosquitoes in North Carolina after Hurricane Floyd. The approval was
based on the fact that the reported “level of mosquitoes was more
serious than just being a nuisance and threat to public health was
LOUISIANA VECTOR CONTROL
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (VCIP)
VCIP was developed as a means to (1) clearly identify that a health and
safety issue existed based on specific criteria developed in
consultation with specialists from the CDC, (2) to clearly establish a
cut-off date for such funding based on information from CDC, and (3)
establish a process for requesting reimbursement of eligible costs.
Approval of FEMA funding for spraying of “nuisance” mosquitoes is
not automatic, and approval will be on a parish basis. Each parish that
requests funding must submit documentation that shows a significant
increase in mosquito landing rates above that normally recorded at this
time of year – or any other verifiable field evidence that biting
mosquito populations are significantly above background levels. The
information should show the method of measuring the increase. It is
recommended that the submittal also show how this increase is negatively
impacting citizens and emergency responders.
The CDC recommends that funding to assist in spraying be eligible until
Tuesday, July 16, 2001. This time is based on the life cycle of mosquito
populations resulting from Tropical Storm Allison. It should be noted
that high levels of mosquitoes may be present after that time, but those
mosquitoes would not be the result of the disaster.
The approved time period is based on spraying for adult mosquitoes. CDC
notes that although spraying for mosquito larvae is extremely effective,
it does not address the issue interference of the biting mosquitoes
resulting from the storm.
usual Public Assistance program requirements for reimbursement will
apply. FEMA will not provide funding for spraying activities conducted
prior to approval. FEMA and the State have committed that actions on
requests for funding will be made promptly. Reimbursement will be made
for eligible costs over and above normal mosquito abatement costs, and
will be based on actual expenditures, and any parish that has a mosquito
abatement program should provide information on normal spraying costs.
If spraying is done by contract, a copy of the contract showing costs
will be the basis for determining reimbursable amounts.
to be Sprayed:
Requests for spraying will be addressed on a parish-by-parish basis.
The pesticides used in spraying must be acceptable to both US and State
regulatory agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency
and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Use of non-approved pesticides
will result in a determination of ineligibility or the spraying
activities, and may lead to legal action.
and the State have tried to make the request procedure as easy as
Each parish requesting funding from FEMA should develop
information showing the normal base level mosquito population (usual
measurement is landing rate/minute), the present level of population
(using the same procedure), information on impacts of the increased
populations, and costs for normal spraying (if applicable).
This information should be submitted to LOEP for review, and to
LHLS & EP will forward the request to FEMA with a recommendation.
If approved, FEMA will prepare a Project Worksheet to reimburse
the requesting parish for eligible work. FEMA makes the final
determination on eligibility, but may request technical assistance from
CDC. Funding will be provided on a 75% Federal – 25% non-Federal
Normal documentation requirements will apply.