At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Severe weather safety from all angles
Our blog and social media sites have been brimming with severe weather safety tips, stories, and reminders this week as part of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Guest bloggers took over our blog all week long, offering their perspectives on how people can be a force of nature in their community and share severe weather safety. Here’s a look back at their posts:
- Weather – a key ingredient to a never-ending “fire season”; from Justin Dombrowski, Director of Response, FEMA Region 9, and John MacLean, author and FEMA reservist
- Preparedness Matters: Preparing our Stores and Clubs for Severe Weather; from Mark Cooper, Senior Director, Walmart Global Emergency Management
- Preparing Communities for Severe Weather; from Rachel Little, member of FEMA’s Youth Council
- April 2011 – The Hardest in My Career; from Jim Stefkovich, meteorologist from the National Weather Service, Birmingham, Ala.
- Linkin Park Has an Emergency Plan Before Severe Weather Stirkes; from Jim Digby, Director of Touring/Production Manager, Linkin Park Production
- Tailoring the Message to a Nonprofit’s Audience; from Neil McDevitt, Executive Director, Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre
- Responding to severe weather while developing tomorrow’s leaders; from Scott Hart, Community Emergency Response Team, Rowlett, Texas
Looking for your feedback on our collaboration community
Our collaboration community had a few new topics posted earlier today, so take a look and share your thoughts & ideas on:
- Creating Model Emergency Management Plans – We’re asking for your input on what should be included in model emergency management plans for schools, institutions of higher education, and houses of worship, and how students and staff can best be trained to follow them. The President directed the Department of Homeland Security, Education, and Health and Human Services to create model emergency plans for these groups as part of his plan to reduce gun violence.
- Seeking input from Indian tribal governments - The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, signed by the President Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, included an important amendment to the Stafford Act. Federally recognized Indian tribal governments now have the option to make a request directly to the President for a Federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a State. We’re asking Indian tribal governments for their thoughts and comments on how these requirements and factors may or may not be appropriate as applied to requests from Indian tribal governments during the pilot program. The input provided will inform the development of the pilot program to process declaration requests from Indian tribal governments.
In the spotlight: FEMA app and the role of social media
I also wanted to highlight two stories from this week that referenced FEMA’s smartphone app and social media use:
- Information Week recently published a story listing out some of the smartphone apps available through federal agencies, and we’re proud the FEMA app is on the list! Check out the quick write up, along with some of the other cool apps from other federal agencies like NASA, the U.S. State Department, the White House, and more.
- The importance of social media in disaster response has rapidly grown over the past few years. In a story posted earlier today, Emergency Management Magazine looks back at Hurricane Sandy and how social media played a part in reaching those impacted by the storm. The article mentions the emphasis FEMA puts on providing timely, relevant information on its website and social media channels before, during, and after emergencies – one example mentioned is the Rumor Control initiative done through fema.gov, m.fema.gov (our mobile site), and our Facebook & Twitter accounts.
In Case You Missed It: Podcasts in iTunes
For those iTunes users out there, you can now download several of our regular updates. FEMA Law Talk features FEMA’s Chief Counsel, covering legal topics related to emergency management, FEMA programs, and how legal issues impact disaster response and recovery. And the FEMA Think Tank has also made a replay of their calls available on iTunes as well. The FEMA Think Tank facilitates conversations about ideas, suggestions, and best practices to improving emergency management. These calls bring together leaders across all levels of government, businesses, non-profit and volunteer-led organizations, and members of local communities to discuss, so they’re always a great thing to listen in on, even if you download the replay of the call.
Photo & Video of the week
Coming to America…Jeremiah Ologhobo Joins FEMA
Jeremiah Ologhobo, a Nigerian by birth, traveled to America, and after waiting five years, he became a U.S. citizen on January 9, 2013. Jeremiah then joined FEMA on January 15 to work in Community Relations in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Jeremiah is currently working as a Neighborhood Taskforce Initiate crewmember. This is his story.
CAPTION: Oak Grove, Miss., March 2, 2013 -- Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse drag debris curb-side in the hard-hit Summertrace neighborhood. Volunteers are making a major difference by bringing debris to where the County can gather and remove it.
Have a safe weekend!