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Author: Jessica Stapf
Scores of inspiring stories emerge after traumatic events like disasters. The stories that include dogs capture my attention and pull on my heartstrings the most. Stories like finding signs of life in debris left behind by tornadoes or earthquakes or the incredible amount of teamwork and shared passion that exists between teams of dogs and handlers. That’s why over the next week we’re looking forward to sharing how FEMA canine search and rescue teams receive their certification.My hope is you’ll learn what makes these inspiring teams possible. I visited a search and rescue...
Posted On: June 8, 2015
Author: Roy Wright
Each year at this time, millions of Americans celebrate the return of spring by reinvesting in the places and spaces where they work and live. Whether it's adding a new roof, a new room, or a new coat of paint, we get to work on projects big and small that help make our homes and businesses safer environments to make a life and living.For the fifth consecutive year, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to highlight the essential role that safe building codese and standards play in decreasing the damaging effects of disasters and breaking the cycle of human...
Posted On: May 20, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
While Guam is 17 hours ahead of our regional office in Oakland, and 14 hours ahead of FEMA HQ in Washington, DC, we’re working together to prepare federal support that may be needed for Typhoon Dolphin in the Pacific.  As of May 14, 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, forecasts are calling for winds around 100 mph, storm surge along coastal areas, and lots of rain for Guam and the surrounding islands.Here’s a quick snapshot of what FEMA and some of our federal partners are doing to get ready:FEMA is coordinating closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track...
Posted On: May 14, 2015
Author: Melis Mull, James Demby
May 31 is National Dam Safety Awareness Day, an event that commemorates the tragic failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889. The dam failure resulted in the loss of more than 2,200 lives and remains the worst dam failure in United States history.Dams are a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure and all Americans enjoy the benefits they provide, including flood protection, water supply, power, recreation and economic opportunities. Unfortunately, as our infrastructure ages, so does the quality and stability of our Nation’s dams. The construction of...
Posted On: May 6, 2015
Author: Amy Goyer
Daddy and I were walking across the living room one night recently when the house suddenly went dark. The power was out, but fortunately, I was prepared. Plugged into the outlet in front of us was a power-failure light that comes on automatically. It also serves as an automatic nightlight and a portable flashlight. I have the lights strategically plugged in throughout the house, and they lit our way to safety.I also realized that no electricity meant no air-conditioning, which quickly can become unbearable in Phoenix. Once I got Dad settled, I made plans to move him to an air-conditioned...
Posted On: May 5, 2015
Author: Amy Pope, Christy Goldfuss, John Holdren
When a disaster hits, Americans often have to act fast to keep their families safe and protect their homes and businesses from harm. But responding to an emergency takes more than fast action. To ensure an effective response, Americans must prepare in advance to identify the risks they face, know which steps to take to prepare, and understand their community’s plan.That’s the idea behind America’s PrepareAthon! National Day of Action. As a nation, we’ve made great progress building and sustaining national preparedness, but we still face diverse threats that challenge...
Posted On: April 30, 2015
Author: Marcie Roth
Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Ticket to Work blog, hosted by the Social Security Administration.The importance of preparing ourselves for disasters is universal. Emergencies can happen anywhere - at home or at work - and everyone must take action to prepare for emergencies in case something unexpected happens.However, the truth is there's no one-size-fits-all solution to being prepared. In fact, as Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), I'm often asked to talk about preparedness...
Posted On: April 29, 2015
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
America is in the midst of an unprecedented increase in energy production. Today, the United States is producing more oil, gas, and renewable energy, and becoming more energy efficient overall. These trends are increasing our energy security, cutting our carbon pollution, and enhancing our economic growth. One area of substantial energy growth is crude oil, and with this increase in production comes the need to safely transport this oil across the nation. While rail incidents have declined by 47 percent over the past decade and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous...
Posted On: April 17, 2015
Author: Gwen Camp
Doing your taxes takes time, can seem tedious, and ALWAYS involves paperwork.  Did you know the fruits of completing all those tax forms can serve a dual purpose? Tax Day is the perfect time to update your emergency kit with critical documents and information that will help you recover faster should disaster strike.  One of the best tools to help reuse those tax documents is the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope and FEMA’s Citizen Corps. It has checklists and space to identify important documents, medical records and contracts...
Posted On: April 14, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Raging floodwaters, swirling winds, and startling earthquakes are just some of the hazards that communities across America face. It’s impossible to plan for every possible disaster or emergency - but it is possible for community leaders to implement a scalable, adaptable organizational system or “structure” so affected communities can bounce back as quickly as possible – no matter the event.We are excited about a new resource designed to help any community build their own approach to disaster recovery: the Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal...
Posted On: April 9, 2015
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