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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
Author: Dan Stoneking
As Administrator Fugate often says, "FEMA is not the team, we're part of the team". We've been working to put that philosophy into practice, engaging all members of the emergency management team - state, local and tribal governments, volunteer and faith-based groups, the public, and the private sector.A recent story from the Washington Post highlights one area of outreach we've had with the private sector: bringing in executives to work at FEMA, building collaboration points between the federal government and businesses. Here's a quote from the story that captures the initiative in a nutshell...
Posted On: February 18, 2011
Author: Rachel Jacky
This blog often highlights the “emergency management team”, the collective group of first responders, local/state/federal government agencies, volunteer and faith-based groups, and citizens that play a role in making the nation more resilient to the impacts of emergencies. I wanted to call attention to a group of particularly committed citizens on this team, members of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).Local CERT programs are a great resource for community members to get trained in basic disaster response skills and preparedness. They play vital role in preparing communities before a...
Posted On: February 15, 2011
Author: Paulette Aniskoff
Teaching America's youth the value of preparing before an emergency is a priority at FEMA.  A recent story in Emergency Management Magazine highlighted an exciting partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (FEMA is a component agency of DHS) and the Girl Scouts of the USA. The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital worked with FEMA's Citizen Corps program to develop the Emergency Preparedness Patch Program, enabling Girl Scouts to earn the patch as they learn the value of emergency preparedness in their local community.  And since the program can be customized...
Posted On: February 9, 2011
Author: Andrew Velasquez III
Chicago, IL, January 25, 2011 -- Assistant Administrator William Carwile (left), Region IX Administrator, Nancy Ward (center), Region V Administrator, Andrew Velasquez III (back), FEMA Deputy Administrator, Richard Serino, and FEMA Director of Regional Operations, Patty Kalla (right), tour Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Last week, before the snow started to fall, I had the opportunity to tour Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) with FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, Assistant Administrator William Carwile, FEMA Region IV...
Posted On: February 3, 2011
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


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