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Author: Yajaira Reyes
My name is Yajaira Reyes, I am 24 years old and am part of FEMA Corps. I am now concluding the final round of my FEMA Corps journey and am beginning to reflect at how much this program has done for me. I started this program as someone a little unsure of what the future would look like and lacking confidence in my skills and abilities and am graduating the program completely different. This program has allowed me to work and learn alongside successful professionals and leaders at FEMA while gaining skills that will help me in my future career and life. I have had experiences this year that I...
Posted On: December 11, 2014
Author: Jason Lindesmith
Is diversity important in emergency management? How do you break into emergency management?  What advice do you have for women looking to move up in emergency management? I sat down with Elizabeth A. Zimmerman, one of FEMA’s most accomplished leaders and head of the Office of Response and Recovery, to talk about her recent induction to the International Network of Women in Emergency Management Hall of Fame and to get her perspective on those big questions.Here’s what she had to say:Question: What role does diversity play in emergency management? Can having a diverse workforce...
Posted On: November 21, 2014
Author: Jessica Stapf
This week, our friends over at the Department of Energy released their newest venture: the Lantern Live app. Available for Android devices, Lantern Live gives people the ability to report the status and location of nearby fuel stations (alternative and conventional), check their area for power outages and easily access safety tips.According to the Department of Energy, “future releases of Lantern Live will likely include the ability to crowdsource information on the status of gas stations via standardized hashtags for social media.” Future releases of the app will also be built on...
Posted On: November 19, 2014
Author: Jason Lindesmith
In the emergency management world, accurate, timely information is vital.  Having that information results in better prepared communities and survivors who can recover more quickly when disaster strikes.  That’s why FEMA’s Tribal Affairs team created a new, quickly accessible information resource to provide tribal emergency managers with important information about FEMA’s disaster assistance programs: a pocket guide for FEMA and Tribal Nations. Embracing and considering the unique needs of all stakeholders is one of FEMA’s top priorities.  This...
Posted On: November 6, 2014
Author: Dawn Hart
The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively to individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) is critical to the work we do at FEMA. In every disaster, FEMA staff work tirelessly to ensure that we reach out to all disaster survivors, regardless of their language proficiency.FEMA has further demonstrated its commitment to assist LEP communities by developing a Draft Language Access Plan that outlines how to provide meaningful access to all FEMA programs and activities that impact people with limited English proficiency (LEP). This plan adheres to Executive Order 13166, Improving...
Posted On: October 20, 2014
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

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