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Author: David Kaufman
It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week, so as we get prepared for the present, the emergency management community is also planning for the future and looking at nine different factors (or what we call drivers) that will affect the future of emergency management.The Strategic Foresight Initiative was launched so the emergency management community can seek to understand how the world is changing, and how those changes may affect the future of emergency management. Over 550 members of the emergency management community, including Federal, state, local, and tribal first responders and...
Posted On: May 27, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Editor’s Note: This was originally posted on the White House Blog on May 4, 2011, by Divya Kumaraiah, Policy Assistant to the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Over the past few weeks, a series of devastating tornadoes swept across the country. From Mississippi to Virginia, communities are suffering great losses. The Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Disaster Services Unit rapidly mobilized thousands of volunteers to assist local recovery efforts.Working closely with the State Service Commissions and FEMA, CNCS has built partnerships across...
Posted On: May 25, 2011
Author: David Myers
Tuscaloosa, AL, May 6, 2011 -- FEMA Deputy Richard Serino and a Salvation Army Officer discuss ways to help survivors in the Tuscaloosa area from the April 27th tornado.Since a series of deadly tornadoes and storms struck much of the southeast last month, thousands from around the country have pitched in to help disaster survivors – by donating money, sending clothes or offering prayers.  A recent story in the New York Times highlighted the ongoing efforts of faith-based groups in the recovery, as they work with the emergency management team to meet the basic needs of disaster...
Posted On: May 20, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Editor's Note: We wanted to share a blog post from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control.  Preparing for a zombie attack, or other fictional disasters, can provide useful tips to get prepared for a real disaster.  The following is an excerpt of the original blog post on the CDC Public Health Matters Blog May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey,...
Posted On: May 19, 2011
Author: Josie Harper
As a partner with FEMA on emergency preparedness efforts, Amtrak works hard year around to keep passengers safe and secure, and has been active in events like past National Preparedness Month outreach.This week, Amtrak is one of hundreds of companies participating in the National Level Exercise 2011, to test how the entire team would respond in the first 72 hours after a catastrophic earthquake hitting many states along the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  As we have seen in recent months, this scenario is based on very real threats.Amtrak is participating as a member of the National Business...
Posted On: May 18, 2011
Author: Gwen Camp
Since deadly tornadoes struck Alabama and much of the southeast last month, emergency management teams from every level of government have been working tirelessly to aid survivors and the impacted communities. Administrator Fugate always says that FEMA is one part of the team, and our state, local, tribal, private sector, voluntary and faith-based partners have been demonstrating the importance of working together as part of that team every day since the storms.With that in mind, I wanted to highlight a story from the New York Times last week about the leadership and foresight of Mayor Walter...
Posted On: May 17, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Today, FEMA, along with other federal, state, local, private sector and other partners will kick off a week-long functional exercise, the capstone event of National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11), a White House-directed, Congressionally mandated cycle of planning and preparedness events.The NLE 11 functional exercise, which will simulate a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, is scheduled to take place at venues in the national capital region and throughout the central U.S. These exercise activities are being carefully balanced with the current flooding and tornado-...
Posted On: May 16, 2011
Author: David Kaufman
Back in March, I blogged about two documents that will shape FEMA’s future - our strategic plan and "Publication 1".  There is no doubt that as the world continues to change, these changes will have profound effects on the emergency management profession.In addition to the two guiding documents I shared in my previous blog post, we’re also helping the emergency management profession better plan for the future through our Strategic Foresight Initiative.  The initiative is an effort from a cross-section of the emergency community to consider questions like these: How should the...
Posted On: May 13, 2011
Author: Diane Zinna
It might sound counterintuitive - if people’s cell phones are out, what are the chances they will be able to register themselves on a website? That’s what makes the American Red Cross’s approach to family reunification so special. Our dedicated volunteers are present on the ground after a disaster strikes to provide supported registration on the Safe and Well Website (www.redcross.org/safeandwell). They help people register on the site and capture registrations any way they can.During the Alabama disaster response, registrations have been collected mostly via paper forms for back-data entry,...
Posted On: May 13, 2011
Author: Damon Penn
Tuesday’s joint launch of PLAN (Personal Localized Alert Network) with the FCC and the New York City Mayor’s Office marks another major milestone in the deployment of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert Warning System.  PLAN is the more user friendly public naming for the CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert System).  The launch in New York City is just that, a launch of the capability, not a pilot.  The system is another tool that allows emergency managers at all levels to communicate alerts and warnings to the public.With the cooperation of the cellular industry, PLAN will enable...
Posted On: May 13, 2011