For the eighteenth time in our nation's history, Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the government officially shutdown. Despite the shutdown, fire suppression efforts and flooding relief will continue.
Currently in Colorado, after historic flooding, many are still without homes and multiple roadways and bridges remain unnavigable. In California, the Rim Fire is still ablaze.
However, even though efforts will precede for now, further recovery and cleanup efforts could be halted dependent upon how long the shutdown persists.
This shutdown stems from a failure to compromise between the Republican dominated House of Representatives and the Democratic controlled Senate. The two could not agree on a bill to fund the federal government and as a result has closed its doors.
The original disagreement stemmed from the Affordable Care Act, more commonly know as Obamacare. The House passed a bill to delay the bill by one year and the Senate then rejected it. More voting took place over the weekend but an agreement was not made.
Beginning the morning of October 1, 2013, federal agencies were divided along with their employees into essential and non-essential categories.
Those deemed essential are agencies that are imminent to "protecting life and property," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Activities that will not be suspended as a result are fire suppression efforts, emergency and natural disaster response, those protecting federal lands, buildings, waterways, etc., contracts supporting cyber security and infrastructure operations, emergency and defense preparedness to name a few.
These agencies include but are not limited to: most law enforcement, veteran hospitals, active duty military, the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), air traffic control, emergency medical care and emergency and disaster assistance.
As a result, fire containment efforts in California Rim Fire and disaster relief from the Colorado floods will continue despite the shutdown but will operate with limited funding.
While some or most of these agencies and employees will continue reporting for duty, others will be furloughed or forced on temporary unpaid leave.
Among those shutdown, includes portions or all of the Center for Disease Control, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce.
During the shutdown, citizens are advised to redirect their attention to USA.gov for necessary updates. Read below for a list of weather-related agencies that have been influenced by the shutdown.
As only services deemed critical in order to provide information to protect lives and properties, NOAA services have been immediately suspended until further notice.
Services halted include most research activities, assistance for grant funding recipients, non-mission essential contracts and the other various services the agency provides to other federal agencies.
However, while NOAA is no longer in operation, associated agency, the National Weather Service, or NWS will remain open. The NWS will provide information considered critical by the government including weather watches, warnings, advisories, alerts and weather safety.
Due to the lapse in federal funds, the agency reported that "portions of the website will not be maintained until appropriations are enacted."
This account will only provide disaster-related updates during the federal government shutdown. More: http://t.co/jwfgucXTth— FEMA (@fema) October 1, 2013