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Author: Scott Hart
Early last April, North Texas was hit by severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. One line of storm cells with tornadoes caused severe damage across at least four counties. In Lancaster, in southern Dallas County, more than 300 homes were damaged by the tornadoes.  Local resources were quickly overwhelmed. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from the North Central Texas Region responded to the call for additional help.Rowlett sent a team that consisted of both CERT volunteers and youth members of Rowlett Explorer Post One (Post One includes members of a youth program chartered through...
Posted On: March 8, 2013
Author: Mark Cooper
When it comes to severe weather, you never know when a thunderstorm may spawn into a deadly, destructive tornado. Considering Walmart serves more than 140 million customers in more than 4,000 U.S. locations on a weekly basis, it’s safe to say we’ve seen our fair share of bad weather.Because of our size and scale, we cover a lot of territory and ride out a lot of storms with our fellow Americans. When there’s a weather warning, there’s usually a Walmart or Sam’s Club not too far in the distance. That’s why it’s extremely critical for us to ensure our stores and club associates know what to do...
Posted On: March 5, 2013
Author: Rich Serino
At FEMA and across the federal government, we recognize that in order to successfully support disaster survivors and meet the needs of the community, the whole community must work together as a team. A month ago, I wrote about some of the successes of bringing together government and non-government partners to solve challenges we faced in responding to Hurricane Sandy.  Recognizing our community partners is critical to the efforts to rebuild and recover. The White House is hosting a Champions of Change event to recognize individuals and organizations that provided truly remarkable and...
Posted On: February 25, 2013
Author: Craig Fugate
On January 29, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. In addition to providing assistance to individuals, families, and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the act also included a very important amendment that impacts tribal governments.Here are the basics: the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act provides a legislative change to amend the Stafford Act (which is an act that outlines how the federal government provides assistance to communities impacted by disasters).  This amendment will provide federally recognized tribal governments the option to choose...
Posted On: January 31, 2013
Author: John McGowan
As you might guess, it takes a high level of coordination and skill to pull off an event where hundreds of thousands of people converge on a small area to watch many of the nation’s political leaders.  Yesterday during President Obama’s public Inauguration ceremony, I jotted down some thoughts about FEMA’s role supporting our emergency management partners:The President’s Inauguration is on the televisions at the front and along the sides of the room as 25 government employees watch attentively and monitor the situation. We’re here in the FEMA Region III Regional Response Coordination...
Posted On: January 22, 2013
Author: Rich Serino
When people think of innovation, they usually think that it is something for the tech or design world—they don’t associate it with government or bureaucracy.  But, FEMA sees the role of innovation differently.  We recognize the value of innovation—that through innovation we can develop new and creative solutions—and deliver these solutions to those that need them the most- survivors.    We have been working on a number of fronts to incorporate innovation into our program and process.  And during our ongoing response and recovery efforts in Hurricane Sandy, we...
Posted On: January 15, 2013
Author: Michael Byrne
Brian Robbins grandfather, Harry, started making paper bags with a folding machine in his garage in 1935. As a child, Robbins’ father would ride his bicycle to hand out flyers to promote business. In 1940, Harry had the good fortune to meet a wooden pail maker – someone who made wooden shipping crates – who introduced him to corrugated boxes.Many years later, the family operation went on to become Cornell Paper & Box Company, a $14 million-a-year business located on Brooklyn’s historic waterfront in Red Hook. Even on a cloudy day, one can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance, raising...
Posted On: January 4, 2013
Author: Deanne Criswell
Last August FEMA rolled out a program with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) called FEMA Corps.  It’s made up of young people between the ages of 18-24, many of whom are interested in a career in emergency management. As part of our response to Hurricane Sandy, we deployed members of FEMA Corps to assist with our operation.  In the story below, 22-year-old Elizabeth McSherry shares her experience working in New York.New York, N.Y., Dec. 1, 2012 -- Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne, right, talks to FEMA Corps members aboard the Training Ship Empire...
Posted On: December 21, 2012
Author: Craig Fugate
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the partnership of everyone who makes up the emergency management team – individuals and communities, organizations and companies, and all levels of government – because no one can do it alone when it comes to planning for a disaster, responding to one, or recovering after one.  This year we have definitely had our work cut out for us – from wildfires, to the derecho, to Hurricane Isaac, and Hurricane Sandy, we’ve tackled each disaster by working together as a team.As a result of Hurricane Sandy, this Thanksgiving may be different for many compared to...
Posted On: November 21, 2012
Author: Rich Serino
Today, our Nation pays tribute to the millions of military veterans who have served the United States as members of our Armed Forces.  We honor the courage, sacrifice, and dedication you exhibited in protecting our country.To veterans here at FEMA, although many of you are no longer wearing a military uniform, you have elected to continue to serve your country by joining the FEMA team – and we thank you for bringing your skills, talents, and experiences to contribute to the success of our mission year round, and especially during our current response to Hurricane Sandy. And as part...
Posted On: November 11, 2012

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