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Author: Brittany Trotter
Over the last several years, Administrator Fugate has made embracing and considering the unique needs of all stakeholders one of FEMA’s top priorities.  This approach has improved the way we engage with our partners across the emergency management team and how we’re working to ensure that as a nation we’re becoming better prepared. Tribes are vital members of this team.  They have unique needs to consider when developing and implementing policies that affect their communities.Last week, I had the privilege of speaking with Chris Howell, Executive Director for the Kansas Office of...
Posted On: September 10, 2014
Author: Craig Fugate
Editor's note: This was originally posted on the Corporation for National & Community Service blog on August 5, 2014.Emergency management requires flexibility. You plan for the worst, but also have to make sure your team is ready to tackle unforeseen challenges and unique situations. This is what makes AmeriCorps such an asset to our nation. There’s inherent flexibility in the AmeriCorps program to do community service programs above and beyond what government can do. I have seen this play out again and again in communities across the country.While I was Director of the Florida Division...
Posted On: August 5, 2014
Author: Veronica Hinke, Patricia Hayden
The Sounds of Recovery: We’re ListeningWe’re listening, and all around, we hear the sounds of recovery. Like the sounds of silence, the sounds of recovery can be as profound as the devastation surrounding it. We’re listening, and by the sounds we are hearing, we see hope – all around.  Here are three signs of some of the recovery work happening in Washington:The SR 530 Slide song created by local residents served as one source of healing for all survivors.Out of the devastation, they created music. One of the many inspiring examples of people turning from loss toward recovery is on...
Posted On: June 6, 2014
Author: Jason Lindesmith
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few “hackathons” and “data jams”, both inside and outside of the government space.  These events often have a simple premise: bring together tech experts from different disciplines and organizations so they can create cool, useful solutions or products.  The challenge at these gatherings isn’t coming up with great ideas – the tough task is transforming big ideas into tangible to-do lists and, ultimately, a useful product. The approach to FEMA’s first-ever Data Town Hall was refreshing because our OpenFEMA team harked just as much about...
Posted On: April 11, 2014
Author: Ken Murphy
Portland Oregon is one of the coolest prepared cities in the Pacific Northwest. They continue to find fun and innovative approaches to make themselves and their community a safer place to live. A bicycle friendly city, they are the creators of the Disaster Relief Trials, which is an event designed for cyclists of all levels, where through a series of challenges the participants showcase how bikes can be used to respond to a major disaster (such as an earthquake) to transport food, water and supplies to support their communities.  This event is a homegrown, community driven practice...
Posted On: February 28, 2014
Author: Lauren Kielsmeier
When Florida State University (FSU) and Auburn University (AU) met on January 6th for the BCS National Championship Game, it wasn’t just the football teams that went to battle.  For several weeks, the emergency management offices at both universities had been engaged in a fierce competition on another field – social media.Created in the competitive spirit of the BCS Championship Game, the BCS Social Media in Emergency Management (#SMEM) Challenge between FSU and AU was launched on December 16, 2013.  The competition was designed to engage students, faculty and staff, as well as...
Posted On: January 13, 2014
Author: Robert Samaan
On October 21, I had the pleasure of speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Kentucky Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center (CEOC).  The new CEOC, built with the help of a $10 million grant from FEMA’s Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, is a symbol of the great emergency management partnership we have with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.At FEMA, we support our partners in disasters and during their preparedness effort on the days between. Grants to states, counties and first responders strengthen communities and prepare them for the challenges of a disaster. This...
Posted On: November 25, 2013
Author: Eilis Maynard
Wondering how colleges and universities tackle emergency preparedness? It’s a job for the experts, many of whom joined with FEMA last week to discuss the topic.  But it wasn't an in-person meeting - we used Twitter to host a virtual "panel" of universities while taking questions from others.Emergency management professionals from Boston College, DePaul University in Chicago, Florida State University, and Virginia Tech took to Twitter for an hour on September 18 to answer questions about their preparedness methods and the unique threats their schools face.The most exciting portions of the...
Posted On: September 23, 2013
Author: Ashley Wargo, Dave Bujak
Tweeting, tagging, poking, and pinning.  This may sound like a foreign language to some, but to the FSU Alert team at Florida State University, this is everyday language.  The presence, purpose, and promise of social media can no longer be ignored, and our team has been working hard to combine the worlds of social media and emergency preparedness to help keep our campus community updated and informed.For the tenth annual National Preparedness Month this September, Florida State University has created FSU Emergency Preparedness Week (#FSUPrep) during the week of Sept. 9 to highlight...
Posted On: September 9, 2013
Author: Todd Park, Rich Serino
Editor's Note: This was originally posted on the White House blog, September 3, 2013. Todd Park is Assistant to the President and US Chief Technology Officer. Rich Serino is the Deputy Administrator of FEMA. Last week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly challenged a group of over 80 top innovators from around the country to come up with ways to improve disaster response and recovery efforts.  This diverse group of stakeholders, consisting of representatives from Zappos, Airbnb, Marriott International...
Posted On: September 6, 2013

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