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Author: Tony Russell
Motivating residents of Dallas County, Texas This week I had the opportunity to work with our state, tribal and local partners and reinforce the need for cooperation. I began the week by participating in a joint press conference with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, Dallas County Director of Health and Human Services, Zachary S. Thompson, Texas Department of Emergency Management Director Nim Kidd and other local officials. We reminded residents of Dallas County and the surrounding counties of disaster preparation, creating a plan, having a disaster kit...
Posted On: January 31, 2011
Author: Elizabeth Harman
Phoenix, AZ, January 19, 2011 -- Elizabeth Harman greets members of Phoenix Fire Department recruit class 11-1 during a break from live fire training on January 19, 2011. The class of 28 firefighters is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant. Last week, I visited Phoenix, Arizona to speak at the Labor Management Initiative Conference co-sponsored by the International Association of Fire Fighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. This conference encourages cooperation between labor and management to improve the level of service provided to the...
Posted On: January 27, 2011
Author: Dennis Campeau
As several FEMA bloggers have mentioned before, training is vital to being prepared before a disaster strikes.  For those in the emergency response community (first responders, emergency managers, government officials), training is even more important.At FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), we provide responders with knowledge to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from chemical, biological, explosive, radiological, or other hazardous materials incidents.  I wanted to highlight one such course from last week – the Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass...
Posted On: January 26, 2011
Author: Gracia Szczech
Last May, Tennessee was hit with deadly flooding, affecting thousands of residents across 46 counties.  The entire emergency management team responded, providing assistance to disaster survivors in the affected communities. The recovery efforts have been and continue to be an important part of our work here at FEMA, as we keep working with our partners at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, with local officials, the private sector, faith-based and voluntary groups, and many others to help the impacted communities rebuild.In short, this recovery has continued to be - and shows the...
Posted On: January 24, 2011
Author: Tony Russell
Nearly all of the 92,000 Louisiana families living in travel trailers, mobile homes and park models following hurricanes Katrina and Rita have transitioned into longer term housing. This is a real, tangible sign of progress in the ongoing recovery of Louisiana. However, it is clear that the less than 500 remaining families are in need of additional resources before they can move on.That is why I participated in the Team Approach Conference at the Louisiana Recovery Office (LRO) in New Orleans this week. It was the latest effort, hosted by FEMA in partnership with the State of Louisiana, to...
Posted On: January 24, 2011
Author: Denis Rousselle
Last week, I had the pleasure of celebrating a momentous event - a ribbon cutting for the first completed, FEMA-funded school in Plaquemines Parish, our Learning Center in Port Sulphur, La. Designed as a safe-haven for students with challenges, the Learning Center fulfills an important, state-mandated need for the residents of our Parish. Like much of the Gulf Coast, Plaquemines was hit hard by Katrina, and the hurricane destroyed not one, not two, but five of the schools we have here.  However, with the help of FEMA and the state, I can proudly say that we are building back better...
Posted On: January 19, 2011
Author: Shayne Adamski
In case you missed it, I wanted to share a recent story by the Christian Science Monitor highlighting Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK). A Random Hacks of Kindness is where developers and tech-savvy volunteers come together for a weekend to develop software solutions for challenges facing humanity. Imagine that, hacking for good. As the Christian Science Monitor article notes, last year, Administrator Fugate challenged the group to create a mobile phone application where disaster survivors could tell friends and relatives that they are OK – without overwhelming the cell phone service capacity...
Posted On: January 18, 2011
Author: Lynn Canton
As several blog posts have pointed out, strengthening the emergency management team is vital to how well communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from, disasters.  After two and a half years as the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) Director, I would like to welcome back Mark Walters to our regional office in New York, NY.Mark's career with FEMA can be directly attributed to his personal experience with Hurricane Hugo in 1989.  Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), he was working in St. Thomas when his employer's entire fleet of...
Posted On: January 13, 2011
Author: Elizabeth Zimmerman
Kobe, Japan, January 12, 2011 -- Beth Zimmerman (second from left), Deputy Associate Administrator, Response and Recovery, and counterparts from Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam share information on pre-recovery disaster planning. The International Recovery Platform 2011 Forum hosted 26 countries, 150 participants and 10 international organizations to share best practices and lessons learned on pre- and post- disaster planning. Today representatives from Japan, the Republic of Haiti, the Union of Myanmar, the Philippines and the Asian Development Bank will share their recent...
Posted On: January 12, 2011
Author: Tim Manning
Training is a key component in emergency preparedness, whether it's on a national or individual level.  Today marks an important milestone in preparedness training at FEMA: the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), the agency’s largest training facility, is celebrating its 30th year in operation.  EMI has established a legacy of developing and delivering the necessary all-hazards training that strengthens our nation’s capability to meet emergency management challenges. To get a sense of EMI's scope, consider that over the past 30 years, nearly 15 million independent study...
Posted On: January 12, 2011

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