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Author: Sandra Knight
A little over a year ago, hundreds of tornadoes touched down in the Southeastern and Midwestern portions of the United States between April 25 and April 28, 2011.  On May 22, only a few weeks later, a powerful 0.75-mile-wide tornado cut a 6-mile path through Joplin, MO.  These tornado events resulted in the tragic loss of life, destruction of thousands of homes and billions of dollars in building and infrastructure damage.  FEMA’s Building Science Branch responded by deploying a Mitigation Assessment Team of specialists to assess building damage across a five-state area...
Posted On: August 1, 2012
Author: Dan Stoneking
On July 23 and 24, U.S. Northern Command hosted the 2012 Building Resilience through Public Private Partnerships Conference.  More than 300 attendees participated in a variety of topics to include defense, international, youth preparedness, faith-based, as well as access and functional needs as they relate to the private sector.  And the audience was as diverse as the content.  Attendees include 156 from the public sector and 145 from the private sector (81 for-profit companies, 48 non-profit and 16 academia).  U.S. Northern Command should be commended for the outstanding...
Posted On: July 30, 2012
Author: Rich Serino
This week, U.S. Northern Command hosted the Building Resilience through Public Private Partnerships Conference.  We held our latest FEMA Think Tank call on the second day of the conference and had a great conversation on how the emergency management community can develop and sustain relationships with the private sector and build these partnerships for the future.  There were about 150 participants in the room and over 220 participants on the phone. Building and Sustaining Public-Private Relationships through Best PracticesKicking off the call, we discussed best practices and...
Posted On: July 27, 2012
Author: Marcie Roth
Today is truly a reason to celebrate because it marks the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Twenty two years ago, we reached a turning point in our nation’s history when the civil rights of millions of Americans with disabilities were recognized and protected by law. Today, more than 56 million Americans benefit from this law.Here at FEMA, we are committed to honoring and upholding the ADA. We are uncompromising in our dedication for the right to equal access before, during and after an emergency. Equal access gives everyone an opportunity to...
Posted On: July 26, 2012
Author: Kathy Fields
As you hear us say frequently, FEMA is just part of the team, a team that encompasses the whole community, including partners, from state, local, and tribal governments to non-governmental organizations, to the private sector and voluntary groups. A key member of that team is the National Advisory Council. The NAC is comprised of members from state, tribal and local governments, private sector, and non-governmental partners who advise and provide recommendations to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on all aspects of emergency management.This month, the NAC held their quarterly meeting and...
Posted On: July 23, 2012
Author: David Myers
Editor's note: This was originally posted June 28, 2012, on the White House blog by David L. Myers, Director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Tornadoes and fires hold more in common than being disasters: they can also make good neighbors.This is uniquely true in Boligee, AL, a small rural town near the Mississippi border, and Hartville, OH, near Akron. It's a great story of faith communities helping each other -- and it has a beautiful twist at the end.The story begins in and around Boligee in 1996, when four African American...
Posted On: July 11, 2012
Author: Dan Stoneking
As many of you may know, almost two years ago FEMA implemented a private sector representative program to support the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC). Through its many rotations, the program has improved the way the agency works with many private sector partners across the field of emergency management. Recently, Walmart served in this unique role and was able to assist the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute and the International Association of Emergency Managers with the development of their Big Business – Small Business Emergency Management...
Posted On: July 10, 2012
Author: Craig Fugate
In my December blog, I expressed the Obama Administration’s 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. Under current law, only States, through the Governor, can make such requests.I’ve re-emphasized my support for amending the law by sending letters to Congressional Committee Chairmen to offer FEMA’s support for S. 2283. A change to the Stafford Act would enhance our ability to respond directly to tribal governments’ declaration requests regardless of...
Posted On: June 12, 2012
Author: Dan Stoneking
On March 30, 2012, I challenged the 800+ private sector members subscribed to my email distribution and 30,000+ more subscribers to FEMA Private Sector Email Updates to develop a Big Business – Small Business Mentorship Program. I spoke about the need to connect the dots, especially in a disaster, and how an existing framework could make the difference for small businesses struggling to survive.It did not take long for me to hear back. I am extremely pleased to recognize that the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute at the University of Louisiana at...
Posted On: June 5, 2012
Author: Walt Ehmer
Editor's Note: The views expressed by Walt Ehmer do not necessarily represent the official views of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA does not endorse any non-government organizations, entities, or services.Preparation is a big part of our job at Waffle House® Restaurants. Since we never close, being prepared for the unexpected is as big a part of our job as is cooking hashbrowns, waffles and eggs. When running a 24/7 restaurant if you don’t plan well, then every day will be an emergency.This culture of planning for...
Posted On: May 30, 2012

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