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Author: Tony Russell
As Administrator Fugate often stresses, the private sector plays a crucial role in the emergency preparedness team. Capitalizing on this philosophy, the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA BEOC) in Baton Rouge, La., links businesses and volunteer organizations with the state's Emergency Operations Center.  The LA BEOC works with businesses to improve their disaster preparedness and help them return to normal operations as quickly as possible following a disaster. As we have seen time and again, helping get businesses back up and running is critical to stabilizing local...
Posted On: April 5, 2011
Author: Paulette Aniskoff
As we’ve highlighted several times on the blog, Citizen Corps Councils and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are a great way to get involved in preparing your community before disasters strike. If you’re involved with a local Citizen Corps Council or CERT Program please be sure to add your information to the Council Registration and CERT Program Registration pages today.Registering will help individuals interested in Citizen Corps and CERT from your area get in touch with you. In addition, being listed in the national registry will allow you to share relevant information with other...
Posted On: March 29, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
As many of you know, last week Tim Manning, our Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, traveled to Hawaii and American Samoa, as part of a previously scheduled trip to meet with our state, territory and local partners and to get an update on how the recovery efforts are going in American Samoa, 18 months after the island was struck by an earthquake and resulting tsunami.Tim covered a lot of ground during his time there and got to meet with many members of the emergency management team, from the governor, to the territory's emergency medical services team, to village...
Posted On: March 25, 2011
Author: Richard Hildreth
Editor’s Note: Mr. Hildreth is the Mayor of Pacific, Wash., a town in Western Washington between Seattle and Tacoma. Mayor Richard Hildreth of Pacific, Wash., prepares for emergency responder training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness. I recently completed the Hazard Assessment and Response Management (HARM) course, at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Alabama, which trains students to conduct a multi-disciplined response to a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or Explosive  incident. As a mayor charged with making key decisions that impact my...
Posted On: March 24, 2011
Author: David Kaufman
Over the past year the agency has undertaken efforts to consider its foundations and to think strategically about the outcomes it will achieve over the next few years. This self-examination has resulted in the creation of two guiding documents: FEMA Publication 1 (Pub 1) and the 2011 – 2014 Strategic Plan.  Pub 1 outlines the agency’s principles and culture while describing its history, mission, purpose, and philosophy. Pub 1 also serves as the operational link to, and provides the context for, the implementation of the new strategic plan for the agency.  The strategic plan will...
Posted On: March 23, 2011
Author: Rachel Jacky
If you are thinking about getting trained in basic disaster response skills and becoming part of your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), or if you are already a CERT member or trainer, I encourage you to check out our updated CERT Basic Training course materials.For those that don’t know, CERTs are a committed group of local volunteers who have received training in emergency response and preparedness who can play a vital role in assisting the community after a disaster. The updated CERT course materials cover topics ranging from first aid to search and rescue. We made some...
Posted On: March 23, 2011
Author: Tim Manning
Tuesday was my first full day here in Pago Pago, American Samoa. I started out the morning meeting with the many members of our emergency management team here on the island, beginning with the chief of the Emergency Medical Services unit. We toured their EMS facility and I was very lucky to have a quick chance to speak to some of their EMS workers. The chief told us how critical volunteers are to their work and that they focus on supporting emergency preparedness efforts in their different villages on the island. What the chief explained – that having a strong grassroots capacity is key for...
Posted On: March 17, 2011
Author: Deborah Ingram
Voluntary agencies are a vital part of a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to and  recovery from disasters.   Before a disaster, voluntary agencies help communities and families get prepared by providing disaster training, raising awareness regarding vital health and safety issues. After a disaster strikes, voluntary and faith-based organizations respond alongside state and local emergency responders, helping to address immediate needs of survivors. At FEMA, we engage the vitally important voluntary agency sector through Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs). ...
Posted On: March 3, 2011
Author: Lynn Canton
This winter has been an especially active one in the Northeast. While I am accustomed to significant snowfalls being from upstate New York, Region II has been busy responding to this year’s major winter storms with our federal, state, and local partners throughout the region. I would like to share one particularly valuable element of FEMA’s support of first responders, the Incident Management Assistance Team, or IMAT.IMATs are made up of dedicated and experienced senior-level emergency management professionals that are able to deploy upon a moment’s notice when requested by the state. IMATs...
Posted On: February 25, 2011
Author: Glenn Gaines
Editor's Note: This post is from the U.S. Fire Administration's “Chief's Corner."In celebration of African American History Month this February, I thought it would be most appropriate to look back and remember African Americans who have lead the way in making American fire service history:  The oldest documents identifying government sanctioned African American firefighters were found in New Orleans, Louisiana. A devastating fire in July 1817 led the governing body to organize its people to avoid another conflagration. All draymen and their equipment as well as individual free men of...
Posted On: February 24, 2011

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