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Author: Richard Serino
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet the second group of the inaugural class of FEMA Corps during their induction ceremony in Vinton, Iowa.  Soon, this group will join their fellow FEMA Corps inductees in regional offices and joint field offices around the country.  Similar to the induction ceremony in Vicksburg, I couldn’t help but come away from this ceremony energized, knowing this group of young people is sharply focused on making a difference in their world – particularly in the lives of disaster survivors.For those that don’t know, FEMA Corps is a program that...
Posted On: October 4, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
Washington, D.C., Sep. 28, 2012 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and United Negro College Fund Special Programs (UNCFSP) Interim President and CEO, Michael J. Hester, sign memorandums of agreement between UNCFSP and FEMA.As a federal agency, there are lots of policies, procedures, and agreements that dictate how you do business.  The best of these documents are the ones that are flexible, have practical implications regardless of who the leadership is, and inspire action that makes a positive impact.  Last week, FEMA signed a memorandum of agreement with the UNCF Special Programs...
Posted On: October 3, 2012
Author: Flat Stanley and Flat Stella
Did you know every state has its own emergency management office? A lot of big cities do too. We got to check out the Washington, D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (D.C. HSEMA) and we learned a lot about the important work people do at these offices every day.First, HSEMA let us peek into their Emergency Operations Center.   Even though the room was empty, when there’s an emergency, it’s filled with people busy working to make things better.  The room fills with people from lots of different places -- federal agencies like FEMA, businesses like power...
Posted On: October 2, 2012
Author: David Myers
Roland Phillips, a leader of the French and Indian community called Grand Bayou in Plaquemines Parish, LA, had ridden out five hurricanes, including Katrina. So he decided to stay put for Hurricane Isaac, which hit land on Aug. 29, 2012. “I’ll never stay through a storm again,” Phillips told me. “It was the worst I ever experienced. It stayed on top of us for two days and two nights; it just ate us up.”CAPTION: LaPlace, La., Sep. 13, 2012 -- Volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse International Relief install blue tarp to keep rain from a home damaged by Hurricane Isaac.Hurricane Isaac may not have...
Posted On: September 25, 2012
Author: Shannon Arledge
At FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness, there is now a new venue where first responders can receive invaluable, hands-on training: a subway. The subway features four full size cars complete with lighting, smoke, seating, video capability, and even realistic commercial signage that is common in subways.CAPTION: The CDP created a rail system that uses four cars. One car features a tunnel collapse scene, while another is damaged by an improvised explosive device. The subway system requires a response by emergency personnel to triage and extricate survivors, and mitigate the scene from...
Posted On: September 24, 2012
Author: Craig Fugate
Today, we are welcoming nine new members and reappointing one member to the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC). Mandated by Congress in the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, the mission of the NAC is to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.  The NAC is comprised of state, tribal and local governments, private sector, and non-governmental partners who advise and provide me recommendations on a variety of aspects within...
Posted On: September 21, 2012
Author: Craig Fugate
Last month I emphasized my support for amending the Stafford Act to allow federally recognized tribal governments to make a request directly to the President for a federal emergency or major disaster declaration.  Today, the House of Representatives passed the 2012 FEMA Reauthorization Act, including Section 210, which includes such an amendment to the Stafford Act, and affirms the sovereignty of tribal governments.  If Congress passes and the President signs such legislation into law, my office will act promptly in the development of appropriate regulations and policies for...
Posted On: September 19, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
CAPTION: All Hands Volunteers work to repair a roof damaged from Hurricane Isaac. (Photo courtesy of All Hands Volunteers)The national media attention about the Hurricane Isaac recovery has dwindled, yet some of the toughest work remains ahead in the areas impacted by the storm.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve highlighted the work of some of the non-profit and voluntary agencies pitching in to help the affected survivors and communities – organizations you may have heard of, like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the Humane Society. The efforts of volunteer groups, large...
Posted On: September 17, 2012
Author: Rich Serino
Today, we welcomed 231 energetic members into the first ever FEMA Corps class.  The members just finished off their first month of training with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and are one step closer to working in the field on disaster response and recovery.  They will now head to FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness to spend the next two weeks training in their FEMA position-specific roles.  Once they complete both the CNCS and FEMA training, these 231 dedicated FEMA Corps members will be qualified to work in one of a variety of...
Posted On: September 13, 2012
Author: Marcie Roth
Even before Tropical Storm Isaac hit the Gulf coast, FEMA disability integration specialists from across the nation were preparing to travel to the areas that would be hardest hit. There, they would join other FEMA personnel and countless others from voluntary and community organizations, local, state, federal and tribal government, and the private sector who would answer the call to help the survivors of Isaac’s lingering and widespread deluge of rain and wind.Right now, FEMA has seven Disability Integration Advisors serving in Louisiana and Mississippi. Their expertise is guiding the...
Posted On: September 7, 2012

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