Blog Articles By Category

Main Content

News of the Day: Tim Manning in New Zealand

Yesterday, FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Tim Manning continued to support U.S. officials working in Christchurch, New Zealand, to help Americans in need of assistance and the ongoing response and recovery efforts. Tim spoke to news outlets about what his experience was like during the earthquake, what the conditions are like on the ground, and how the local community has come together to help each other.

As Tim points out, in the midst of the heartbreaking losses the people of New Zealand have suffered, the sight of neighbors helping neighbors and residents risking their lives to help others gives us hope. The thoughts and prayers of Tim and all of us at FEMA continue to be with the people of Christchurch, New Zealand and all of those affected by this tragic earthquake.

To listen to Tim discuss the ongoing recovery efforts on the ground:

News of the Day: Citizen and EMT's honored for saving a life

An alert citizen, combined with a well-trained team of first responders, can save a life.  Just ask Col. Lawrence Barrett Holmes, the Defense Coordinating officer at FEMA's regional office in Atlanta. 

Col. Holmes was dining at a restaurant while on assignment in Kentucky when he suffered a stroke. His waitress, Sandy Beanblossom, noticed a change in behavior and alertly called 9-1-1.  Because of her quick action and the work of the emergency medical technicians who quickly arrived on the scene, Colonel Holmes’ effects from the stroke have been minimal (read the full article from the Louisville Courier-Journal).

On Friday, February 23, the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and Bullitt County Judge-Executive Melanie Robert honored Sandy and three members of the EMT team for their quick, decisive and ultimately life-saving actions.

Like Sandy, you can make a difference in your community, too - whether it's calling 9-1-1 when you notice an emergency, making sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm are working, or helping your employer prepare for an emergency.  We encourage you to look into the training opportunities offered in your community, like CPR, first-aid, or an emergency preparedness course.  And if you're interested in helping your community better prepare for disasters, then contact your local Community Emergency Response Team for specialized training opportunities.

News of the Day: Update on Tim Manning in New Zealand

As Administrator Fugate pointed out yesterday, FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Tim Manning was in Christchurch, New Zealand when the earthquake struck two days ago. 

Specifically, Deputy Administrator Manning was about to board a plane when the earthquake struck.  Check out Ed O’Keefe’s story from the Washington Post to see Tim's answers to some pointed questions, including:

  • What did you do right after the quake?
  • What’s the first thing a person should do immediately after an earthquake?
  • What should people do to prevent potential quake damage to their home or office?
  • How much longer will you be there?

News of the Day: Private Sector Execs Working at FEMA


As Administrator Fugate often says, "FEMA is not the team, we're part of the team". We've been working to put that philosophy into practice, engaging all members of the emergency management team - state, local and tribal governments, volunteer and faith-based groups, the public, and the private sector.

A recent story from the Washington Post highlights one area of outreach we've had with the private sector: bringing in executives to work at FEMA, building collaboration points between the federal government and businesses. Here's a quote from the story that captures the initiative in a nutshell:

"Under the program, a key initiative of FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, corporate executives in industries ranging from retail to energy spend three months at the agency's response coordination center and serve as a liaison to the business world, particularly during a disaster. The executives also get a seat at the table for key meetings to provide a private-sector perspective.

"'You can't be successful if you only look at what government can do,' said Fugate, calling such an approach "myopic." 'This is kind of like everybody figuring out what you're really good at.'"

Read the full story on the Washington Post website, and give us your thoughts on ways we can continue to engage the private sector to support our citizens and first responders as we prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

- Dan

How Might You Use Social Media In An Emergency?

Social media is a hot topic in emergency management these days. Using social media can provide response agencies a way to disseminate vital information directly to the public, and it can also serve as a way for survivors to communicate with family/friends after a disaster.

So how might you use social media during an emergency? Check out this graphic from and let us know.

Other links

- Read the full story on

News of the Day: Sharing Fire Safety Tips

Yesterday, we were excited to kick off our public awareness campaign on fire safety tips for families and kids, and we’re happy that word is already getting out about both the campaign and some of the ways parents are educating their children about the risk of home fires. As Glenn Gaines, Acting Administrator of U.S. Fire Administration, mentioned yesterday, we’re working with a host of partners to raise awareness of how families can keep their homes and loved ones safe from home fires.

This story from WCTV (Tallahassee, FL) highlights some of the steps Tallahassee residents are taking to make their homes and families better prepared.

As part of our campaign, we’re encouraging parents, educators, and kids to take steps to reduce the impact of a potential home fire by: 

  • Talking about their family’s fire escape plan
  • Knowing the basics of safe cooking
  • Teaching their children what to do if they smell smoke
  • Installing smoke/carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas
After you’ve read the story, visit our Kids Fire Safety page at, and leave a comment below and share how you and your family are prepared for home fires.
- Rachel

News of the Day: Girl Scouts Preparedness Patch

Teaching America's youth the value of preparing before an emergency is a priority at FEMA.  A recent story in Emergency Management Magazine highlighted an exciting partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (FEMA is a component agency of DHS) and the Girl Scouts of the USA

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital worked with FEMA's Citizen Corps program to develop the Emergency Preparedness Patch Program, enabling Girl Scouts to earn the patch as they learn the value of emergency preparedness in their local community.  And since the program can be customized to discuss your local community’s potential hazards, it is our hope that the patch program will be adopted across the more than 100 Girl Scout Councils across the country.

I encourage you check out the story and leave a comment on the blog, sharing your thoughts on how partnerships like this can help individuals and communities build resiliency across America.

- Paulette

News of the Day: Volunteers Continue to Help Nashville Recover and Rebuild

Last May, Tennessee was hit with deadly flooding, affecting thousands of residents across 46 counties.  The entire emergency management team responded, providing assistance to disaster survivors in the affected communities. The recovery efforts have been and continue to be an important part of our work here at FEMA, as we keep working with our partners at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, with local officials, the private sector, faith-based and voluntary groups, and many others to help the impacted communities rebuild.

In short, this recovery has continued to be - and shows the value of - a team effort.

After a disaster happens, it takes many organizations and agencies working together to help individuals and the community get back on their feet quickly.  A critical member of the emergency management team is the volunteer community.  Through the generous giving of their time and energy, volunteer agencies provide many valuable services to disaster survivors.

In that light, we wanted to share this Columbus Dispatch story, highlighting how volunteer agencies are continuing to make an enormous difference in Tennessee’s recovery efforts.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities related to disaster response, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active During Disasters website.

- Gracia

Other links
Videos of the Tennessee flood response and recovery
Other volunteer opportunities at


Back to Top