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Author: Jessica Stapf
Last week, the Chicago Tribune featured a story about a firefighter from the Galapagos Islands who traveled about 3,000 miles from his home to attend a firefighting training course in Romeoville, IL. Carlos Gonzales, who is a tour guide in his everyday life, saved up the money—nearly $3,000—to attend the course, hosted by the Romeoville Fire Academy.Like many fire departments across the United States, Mr. Gonzales’ hometown fire department relies on volunteers to keep it up and running: "We are all volunteers (firefighters) on the island… We do it without pay because it's our home and we...
Posted On: October 2, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
Flash flooding in El Paso, TX caused a disruption during the early Monday morning commute of many people, including one woman whose truck was swept into a canal by fast-moving flood water. Some quick-thinking teachers that were on their way to training became first responders as they helped the woman escape being trapped between her vehicle and the canal’s wall. Not all first responders are fire fighters, police officers, or paramedics. Often, first responders are fast moving bystanders with a mind to help.The video of the dramatic rescue, filmed by a news reporter turned rescuer is available...
Posted On: September 24, 2014
Author: Richard Serino
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet the second group of the inaugural class of FEMA Corps during their induction ceremony in Vinton, Iowa.  Soon, this group will join their fellow FEMA Corps inductees in regional offices and joint field offices around the country.  Similar to the induction ceremony in Vicksburg, I couldn’t help but come away from this ceremony energized, knowing this group of young people is sharply focused on making a difference in their world – particularly in the lives of disaster survivors.For those that don’t know, FEMA Corps is a program that...
Posted On: October 4, 2012
Author: Public Affairs
It is always gratifying when one of our FEMA team members is recognized by another organization for their outstanding work. So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that Mary Hudak, External Affairs Director for Region IV, received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference on Tuesday, March 27. It is well deserved recognition for her passion to improve crisis communication in emergency management so that survivors of disasters get the information they need. Orlando, Fla., March 27, 2012 -- Mary Hudak, FEMA's Region IV External Affairs Director, is presented...
Posted On: March 28, 2012
Author: Norm Dong
Today, following the release of President Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2013, Secretary Napolitano outlined a balanced approach of reductions and investments for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes FEMA.   FEMA’s budget request amplifies the Secretary’s intent, and lays out our plans to manage existing resources, reduce redundancies, enhance efficiencies, and focus on the programs that help us to fulfill our crucial emergency management mission. We have worked diligently, in recent years, to apply innovative approaches to how we do business, to streamline our processes...
Posted On: February 13, 2012
Author: Shayne Adamski
Just a reminder to everyone that FEMA does not provide emergency alerts (emergency, weather or otherwise) as this is a local responsibility. So we’re asking everyone to beware of phishing emails or websites claiming to provide official FEMA information or FEMA emergency alerts, as these sites are not operated by FEMA and can be harmful to your personal information or computer. If you are wondering how you can receive legitimate weather alerts, check out our blog post for a great list of weather alert sources. Here’s a short blurb to explain phishing, not to be confused with fishing in a...
Posted On: January 30, 2012
Author: Rachel Racusen
Yesterday, Administrator Fugate spoke at the National Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Disaster Management Summit, “Private Sector Resources in the Emergency Management Plan; The Public-Private Partnership Conference” in New Orleans. The Administrator’s remarks focused on the importance of engaging the private sector as part of the emergency management team.As the entire team and the Administrator often say, it takes the whole community to respond to and recover from a disaster - this includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, faith-based and non-...
Posted On: January 18, 2012
Author: Rachel Racusen
Posted by: Rachel Racusen, Director, Public AffairsWith the new year underway, we have been talking a lot recently about how families, businesses, and communities can make a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep: resolving to be ready for disasters in 2012. Earlier this week, we shared some advice on how to get you and your family prepared by staying informed, making a family plan, building an emergency kit, and getting involved.Today, we wanted to show you an article written by The Daily Ardmoreite which highlights how one state is taking this New Year’s resolution idea one step further...
Posted On: January 5, 2012
Author: Public Affairs
We hope everyone had a safe and happy start to 2012. For our first post of this year, we wanted to remind everyone that it’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution to be ready for disasters in 2012. It’s a resolution that is easy to keep and could make a world of difference in the event of a real emergency.With that in mind, we wanted to share an op-ed written by our Regional Administrator in Chicago, Andrew Velazquez, in yesterday’s Beloit Daily News. Andrew offers some great advice on steps families, businesses, and communities in his region can take to get prepared in case disaster...
Posted On: January 3, 2012
Author: John Fernandez
Editor's Note: This was originally posted on the Commerce Blog. Between March and May of 2010, severe storms and floods devastated many parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Nebraska and Rhode Island. While Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is not a first responder to such disasters, the agency quickly got to work assessing the damage and connecting with local leaders regarding their needs as they began to pick up the pieces and rebuild. Recognizing the critical role that EDA can play for these communities, Congress provided $49 million in supplemental funding for EDA to award to...
Posted On: December 22, 2011

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