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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
Author: Erin Ward
One year after the devastating SR530 slide struck the community of Oso, Washington, the loss and devastation to the communities throughout the Stillaguamish Valley still cannot be understated. On Sunday March 22, 2015 families, communities, volunteers and responders came together for the one year remembrance of the SR530 landslide to honor and remember the 43 lives lost that day.Around 10:15 a.m. from both west and east sides of the closed highway, volunteers, first responders, community members, honor guard, color guard and public officials walked to the SR530 slide impact area to join the...
Posted On: March 24, 2015
Author: Wayne P. Sallade
The 13th of this month marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Charley’s unwelcome visit to my community. Yet in many ways, it seems as though it was only yesterday. The Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 150 mph and gusts to 190, carved a destructive path through the heart of Charlotte County, Florida late in that afternoon and set us on a course of recovery that continues to this day.Not long after this $3.2 billion hit to our county, including the loss of 11,000 residential units, we began referring to Charley as, “Urban Renewal by Disaster,” and the changes in both appearance and...
Posted On: August 11, 2014
Author: Mark Landry
On Monday, May 19, I had the great honor and pleasure to be among local, state and federal officials at the opening of the National Mobile Disaster Hospital in Louisville, Miss. It will be used to temporarily replace the Winston Medical Center which was heavily damaged during the April 28 tornado outbreak.This is the first time the National Mobile Disaster Hospital will be used as a fully operational hospital.  Leading up to this milestone, local, state and federal partners have faced extraordinarily complex and challenging issues and through the collaborative teamwork of all...
Posted On: May 23, 2014
Author: Brittany Trotter
We’ve had an active winter and spring as we head into the summer months. We have photographers deployed to several states capturing the impacts of severe weather, along with response and recovery efforts underway for events ranging from the SR 530 mudslide in Washington to severe storms and tornadoes that swept through several states in the South.Since I working closely with our field photographers, I see some incredible images come across my desk. I wanted to share some of these photos that show some of the great work being done on the ground. We remain committed to helping disaster...
Posted On: May 22, 2014
Author: David Myers
History is a great teacher. Associate Pastor Ben Davidson of Bethany Community Church learned a valuable lesson during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that benefitted him and his congregation the morning of Nov. 17, 2013, when a powerful tornado tore through Washington IL. His quick thinking reminds me when disasters occur; having a plan can save lives and help pivot a community toward a strong recovery. I have learned this lesson many times through the faith leaders I’ve engaged as director of the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships.On Sunday morning Pastor...
Posted On: December 17, 2013
Author: Thomas McCool
CAPTION: “Punxsutawney Phil” the groundhog with his official “handlers,” the residents of Punxsutawney who care for him year-round. (Photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Inc.)It’s funny how a groundhog can make people think about being prepared for weather.Here in Pennsylvania, where FEMA continues to partner with our Commonwealth and local partners on Hurricane Sandy recovery, a beloved American tradition will take place this weekend. On February 2, just a few minutes before 7:30 a.m., the world’s most famous groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil,” will make his annual prognosis for...
Posted On: January 31, 2013
Author: Michael Byrne
Brian Robbins grandfather, Harry, started making paper bags with a folding machine in his garage in 1935. As a child, Robbins’ father would ride his bicycle to hand out flyers to promote business. In 1940, Harry had the good fortune to meet a wooden pail maker – someone who made wooden shipping crates – who introduced him to corrugated boxes.Many years later, the family operation went on to become Cornell Paper & Box Company, a $14 million-a-year business located on Brooklyn’s historic waterfront in Red Hook. Even on a cloudy day, one can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance, raising...
Posted On: January 4, 2013
Author: Thomas McCool
A bridge is one of those things that can so easily be taken for granted. Even one that we may rely on to cut our day-to-day work commute in half, or allows us more frequent trips to the grocery store, after a while, can seem like an assumed part of life. But when these critical conduits are lost, as was the case when Hurricane Irene devastated parts of Forkston, a township near the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, the significance of these vital crossings is more fully realized.          Recovery from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is...
Posted On: December 27, 2012
Author: Deanne Criswell
Last August FEMA rolled out a program with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) called FEMA Corps.  It’s made up of young people between the ages of 18-24, many of whom are interested in a career in emergency management. As part of our response to Hurricane Sandy, we deployed members of FEMA Corps to assist with our operation.  In the story below, 22-year-old Elizabeth McSherry shares her experience working in New York.New York, N.Y., Dec. 1, 2012 -- Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne, right, talks to FEMA Corps members aboard the Training Ship Empire...
Posted On: December 21, 2012
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