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FEMA Think Tank for March 2012 Focuses on Disability Topics

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Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime and can impact anyone, so Wireless Emergency Communications project at Georgia Institute of Technology, to discuss the next Think Tank topic. Serino reminded participants that “FEMA needs to use the best technology available to communicate with disaster survivors and those with disabilities and access and functional needs.”

He also noted that the Emergency Alert System test held in November of 2011 revealed several areas of improvement necessary for modernizing our national alerting systems, including problems with speed of the content and message accessibility. As FEMA develops the next-generation system, lessons from the test will be applied to ensure a more accessible experience for everyone.

In her remarks, Dr. Mitchell noted that the explosion of devices and software platforms in the market gives wireless manufacturers and developers “a perfect opportunity for [them] to involve end users in creating new devices that will have accessible features at the front end.”

Dr. Mitchell also noted with the explosion of social media, 65% of all Americans and 63% of those with disabilities use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, emergency managers have begun looking at those systems for enhancing the delivery of emergency alerts.

As I mentioned during the conversation, when people have access to emergency alerts, they can actively participate in preparedness efforts. This, in turn, optimizes emergency response resources for individuals who truly need assistance.

During the event, folks on Twitter joined the conversation with over 100 tweets using the hashtag #FEMAThinkTank:

  • Everyone should have access to emergency alerts – @mkelly007
  • Incorporating social media into emergency communications systems – @CACPGT

Serino closed the session by saying, “Community is a crucial part of all preparedness plans. It requires effort from the whole community to get through a disaster.”

He also encouraged people to continue participating in the Think Tank, sharing and discussing the ideas posted. A full transcript of the event will be posted at www.fema.gov/thinktank shortly.

Doing Business with FEMA

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Small and minority business owners recently gathered in Dallas, Texas, to learn how to do business with FEMA and other federal and state agencies, in essence, becoming contractors. The dozens of business owners received critical information from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. General Services Administration and the Texas State Procurement Division.

As part of an effort to diversify the agency’s contractors, FEMA is actively seeking ways to strengthen partnerships with the private sector, and wants you to be a part of the process. You can access information online on how to become a federal contractor. The website provides a link to the Central Contractor Registration site, which collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions.

Additionally, the FEMA website contains information that will assist in identifying possible contracting opportunities with FEMA. Here you will be able to access the Federal Business Opportunities website, the governments' single point of entry where vendors and government buyers are invited to post, search, monitor, and retrieve opportunities solicited by the Federal contracting community.

In addition, FEMA seeks small businesses through the GSA Federal Supply Schedule program, which allows agencies to buy commonly used supplies and services. If you have not already done so, I encourage registering with the CCR, FBO and GSA.

I also encourage you visit the Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation website for information on Federal agencies that may have procured the same or similar services, as well as contracts awarded during disasters.

We at FEMA Region 6 and across the agency are committed to making sure local businesses and everyone in the private sector are part of the preparedness, response and recovery fabric of their communities; because, historically, you are traditionally the catalysts for an efficient and effective recovery in a community following a disaster.

March Think Tank: Atlanta, Ga.

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As we start to get ready for this month’s conference call in Atlanta, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to thank everyone for your participation in the FEMA Think Tank. All of the ideas that you are sharing online and during the calls has been an example of creativity and collaboration at its best. Please keep the ideas coming!

I look forward to hosting these calls at different locations around the country so I can meet with those of you who are serving on the front lines of emergency management. Talking with practitioners, teachers, leaders in the access and functional needs community , non-profit and community organizers, business owners and entrepreneurs, tribal government officials, and others – all of which are the epitome of whole community – gives me, and everyone, a better understanding of the reality “on the ground.”

This month’s Think Tank discussion will be around strategies and approaches for incorporating and integrating access and functional needs issues and concerns into emergency management planning. Our philosophy at FEMA is that we shouldn’t be creating annexes for any stakeholder group. Instead, we should be planning with all stakeholders from the beginning. As Administrator Fugate has repeatedly said, we shouldn’t plan for easy – and I couldn’t agree more. That is why I’m excited about continuing this conversation, which will take place from Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday, March 22 at 3:00 p.m. and on Twitter #femathinktank.

I also want to extend an invitation for people to participate in person. That’s right, we have three additional seats available for those who are interested. In order to be considered, all you have to do is email us at fema-new-media [at] dhs [dot] gov (with March Think Tank in the subject line) by Tuesday, March 20 at noon EDT and we’ll randomly pick three people.

And just a quick word from our legal team: FEMA will not pay for any costs or expenses related to attendance at this event, including travel to or from the event, and any member of the public can participate.

There’s still time before the call to submit any ideas you may have or comment on existing ideas regarding access and functional needs issues in emergency management. Just click the link, visit our online collaboration tool, and share your thoughts under the “Think Tank” topic. It’s that easy.

I hope you can join the conversation over the phone and online. Here are the call-in details:

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT

Call-In Number: 800-593-0692

Pass Code: Think Tank March

Captioning for the event

Twitter: #femathinktank

After you add this information to your calendar, please share this information with your friends and colleagues.

Thanks.

Announcing the Creation of FEMA Corps


Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, discusses the new partnership between AmeriCorps' Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. The new partnership is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.

Along with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), we announced the creation of FEMA Corps, which sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers.  FEMA Corps leverages a newly-created unit of 1,600 service corps members from AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps who are solely devoted to FEMA disaster response and recovery.

The full-time residential service program is for individuals ages 18-24, and members will serve a one-year term including a minimum of 1,700 hours, providing support working directly with disaster survivors. The first members will begin serving in this August and the program will reach its full capacity within 18 months.

The program will enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service, and expand education and economic opportunity for young people.

At today’s event, Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, remarked:

...[FEMA Corps], helps communities recover, it trains young people, helps them pay for college, and it doesn't cost taxpayers an additional dime. Whether you're a young person looking for work, a member of the community that's been hit by a flood or a tornado or just a citizen who wants your tax dollars to be spent as wisely as possible, this is a program you can be proud of. This is really government at its best.

And it's part of the president's larger vision for an America built to last. Today, so many of our young people have shown that they're willing to do their part to work hard, act responsibly and contribute to their communities. But in tough economic times, it's up to all of us to make sure that their hard work and responsibility still pays off.

We have to preserve what President Obama has called the basic promise of America, that no matter who you are, where you come from, you can make it if you try, if you fulfill your responsibilities and you make a contribution.

During the event, Secretary Napolitano described the program:

First and most important, it will help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters by supporting disaster recovery centers, assisting in logistics, community relations and outreach, and performing other critical functions.

We know from experience that quick deployment of trained personnel is critical during a crisis. The FEMA Corps will provide a pool of trained personnel, and it will also pay long-term dividends by adding depth to our reserves -- individuals trained in every aspect of disaster response who augment our full-time FEMA staff.

Second, the Corps will help us make the best use of taxpayer funds as we bring in FEMA Corps members at a significantly lower cost.

Third, FEMA Corps will provide participants with critical job skills and training. Emergency management is a growing field, much larger than FEMA alone. The recent high school and college graduates entering this program will emerge with the training and the on-the-ground experience that provides a clear pathway into this critical profession.

And finally, this Corps -- it encourages and supports the ethic of public service tapping the energy and dedication to helping their communities that we see among so many young adults today. Many here today, myself included, know that a career in public service presents opportunities and rewards far beyond paychecks.

The new initiative will promote an ethos of national service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services. Once trained by FEMA and CNCS, members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors, to supporting disaster recovering centers, and sharing valuable disaster information with the public.

Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, spoke about this new chapter in national service:

By opening up new pathways in emergency management, this partnership will give thousands of young people the opportunity to serve their country and gain the skills and training they need to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.  This is a historic new chapter in the history of national service that will enhance our nation's disaster capabilities and promote an ethic of national service while achieving significant cost savings for the taxpayer.

Deputy Administrator Serino discussed the importance of FEMA Corps:

People have asked, why is this important? Looking into the eyes of survivors, looking at communities that are devastated, having young people that can step up and help out in the time of a disaster who are trained will make a difference in people's lives. That's why we're doing this.

As we continue to move forward and we look for opportunities to be more efficient, to look for opportunities to get young people involved in government, to get young people involved in service to their country, [we] will make a difference. We've had the opportunity to work with CNCS in AmeriCorps in the past, and this is broadening that -- expanding it, so we have the opportunity to bring this talented, young, will-be-trained workforce to help our staff.

They are augmenting our reservists, augmenting our full-time employees. This will be an opportunity for us to strengthen our nation's disaster response capabilities, create pathways for young people and really help the ethos of national service.

Mayor Walter Maddox, Tuscaloosa, Ala. also attended today’s announcement, and from the perspective a mayor of a town still recovering from a major disaster last year, the mayor expressed his excitement about the new agreement:

This new partnership between FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service will be crucial in supporting cities, counties and states in their time of need.  I commend FEMA and CNCS for understanding that to effectively respond during a crisis, we have to extend beyond political, geographical and even bureaucratic boundaries to ensure all resources are made available to the citizens we serve.

To recap, the purpose of the program is:

  • Strengthening the Nation’s Disaster Response Capacity: The partnership will provide a trained and reliable resource dedicated to support disaster operations, while enhancing the entire emergency management workforce.
  • Creating Pathways to Work for Young People:  By providing training, experience, and educational opportunity, the partnership will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields.
  • Promoting an Ethos of National Service:  The partnership will strengthen our nation’s culture of service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services. 
  • Modernizing Government Operations to Improve Performance:  By working together, CNCS and FEMA will advance the President’s management goals of working across government, managing across sectors, and promoting efficiency.

To learn more about the new program, visit the AmeriCorps website or our FEMA Corps page.

Bringing in Federal Disaster Help: The Disaster Declaration Process

Most of you have been following the tornadoes that struck several southern and mid-western states last week. As you may have read on this blog and in the news, FEMA and its federal partners remain in close contact with emergency officials in impacted states across the country.

We did a post last March on FEMA’s role in responding to spring flooding, which also included an explanation of the disaster declaration process. As state and local emergency officials assess damage in their jurisdictions, we thought it would be helpful to citizens to once again explain how disaster declarations are requested.

As with all disasters, FEMA supports a disaster response team that also includes tribal, territorial, state, and local governments as well as the private sector and voluntary organizations.

When natural disasters like tornadoes occur, local first responders are the ones on the ground who provide the emergency assistance that protects the public’s health and safety, while meeting immediate human needs. These first responders include local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups in each community.

In most cases, first responders, along with state and local emergency management officials, have the resources that are needed to respond and recover from the event.

What if they need federal help?

In cases where a severe weather event overwhelms the resources at the state level and below, a governor may request an emergency declaration or a major disaster declaration. Both declaration types, if signed by the president, would authorize FEMA to provide supplemental federal disaster assistance. However, the event that triggers the disaster declaration, as well as the type and amount of assistance provided may differ.

  • Emergency Declarations: An emergency declaration can be declared for any occasion or instance when the president determines federal assistance is needed. Emergency declarations supplement state and local efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. The total amount of assistance provided for a single emergency may not exceed $5 million. If this amount is exceeded, the president shall report to Congress.
  • The president can declare a major disaster declaration for any natural event, including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought, or, regardless of cause, fire, flood, or explosion, that the president believes has caused damage of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state, territory, tribal, local government, and voluntary agencies to respond. A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.

When does a governor make a request?

Prior to making a request for federal assistance and based on initial information received from local officials, the Governor can request support from the FEMA to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments, or PDAs, for both Individual Assistance (homeowners, renters and businesses) and/or Public Assistance (debris removal, emergency protective measures and infrastructure). This is not a request for a disaster declaration, but one of the initial steps in the declaration process.

Local, state and federal officials make up the joint PDA teams working to identify the extent of disaster damage. The PDA teams look at the losses to households, businesses, public infrastructure and local government services as well as the impact to the community. All of the data collected during the PDAs is provided to the Governor’s office to determine whether the event is beyond the state and local capabilities, then the Governor may submit a formal disaster declaration request to the FEMA regional office.

And what exactly do you mean by “assistance”?

A major disaster declaration request will include a request for assistance under one or two broad categories of assistance, which we refer to as public assistance and individual assistance. Public assistance is financial assistance for repairing public infrastructure, like roads, schools, fire stations, etc.

Individual assistance can be provided to eligible individuals and households who are uninsured, or under-insured, and suffered losses due to disaster damage. It’s important to remember that by law, the amount of individual assistance a person or household can receive is capped, and may not cover losses to the extent that an insurance policy would. This assistance is also intended to support only necessary and serious needs that resulted from the disaster.

FEMA is also able to provide assistance by serving as a coordinator for the federal agencies that can help support response and recovery efforts. For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses its engineering and contracting capabilities to support FEMA and other federal, state and local government agencies in a wide variety of missions during natural and man-made disasters. Learn more here.

But isn’t this all complicated?

This is the formal process, but in reality, every day, through our 10 regional offices we work hand in hand with our state counterparts to plan for whatever the next emergency may be.

A Discussion with the Private Sector about National Preparedness

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Engaging the private sector – including businesses, community and faith-based organizations, schools and individuals – in national, regional and local emergency preparedness, response and recovery is among FEMA’s highest priorities.

Administrator Fugate recognizes – and actively promotes – the private sector, “from Fortune 500 companies to your local grocery store,” as an essential partner, a member of the “whole community” team that will help build the nation’s capacity to respond to and recover from a catastrophic event.

As was proven in numerous disaster operations in 2011 – including Spring tornadoes and floods in the Southeast and Midwest and Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene along the East Coast – growing and leveraging strong working relationships between emergency managers and the private sector helps us better serve survivors, rebuild our communities and boost local economies.

Along with our partners, we want to know what businesses and nonprofit groups think about the role the private sector plays in national preparedness. We are particularly interested in obtaining feedback for the “National Frameworks,” which will clearly define key preparedness roles and responsibilities for all whole community partners and are part of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8): National Preparedness.

To this end, we are hosting webinars during the month of March for people to provide their thoughts on the private sector and nonprofit roles and responsibilities identified in the working draft Frameworks. We’re interested in validating content, identifying gaps and discussing new ideas, and Framework authors will be on hand during the events to provide background information and answer questions. All feedback will be considered when revising and finalizing the working draft Frameworks.

The dates and topics of the webinars are:

  • March 7, 2012 - 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. EST - Webinar 1: Prevention
  • March 12, 2012 - 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT - Webinar 2: Mitigation
  • March 14, 2012 - 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. EDT - Webinar 3: Protection
  • March 21, 2012 - 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. EDT - Webinar 4: Response

Other ways the public can contribute to FEMA’s Whole Community efforts include submitting suggestions and ideas on our online collaboration site and participating in National Disaster Recovery Framework Stakeholder Events.

Individuals, communities and businesses are the most critical response and recovery assets present during the initial hours and days following an event, and it is imperative that they are involved in our disaster planning efforts.

Help strengthen the resilience and security of our country and RSVP for the webinars now.

FEMA Salutes the American Red Cross

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Today President Obama declared March 2012 American Red Cross month. Here at FEMA, we join the White House in saluting the organization on their many contributions to emergency response. We are grateful for their constant partnership and take a moment to reflect the broad scope of their work with disaster survivors across the country.  Just as they are responding to the severe weather in the Midwest today, this past year alone, the American Red Cross aided survivors and communities in response to storms, flooding, fires and tornadoes in 46 states and territories. In one stretch, the Red Cross had at least one shelter open for 195 consecutive days, so our team has had many opportunities to work alongside their dedicated staff and volunteers as they provided comfort and shelter to those in need.

The American Red Cross is not just a great partner during the response to disasters – it is the largest supplier of blood and blood products nationally, helps service members stay connected to their families, invests in humanitarian programs and helps neighbors help each other in all varieties of emergencies.  We value the tremendous work the American Red Cross brings to the table each day as they touch millions of lives, and we are proud to work with them as they continue their compassionate mission.

And here is the full text of the Presidential Proclamation:



AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH, 2012
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

After more than 130 years of providing humanitarian relief at home and abroad, the American Red Cross remains a reflection of the compassion and generosity central to our national identity. At moments of profound need, the actions of men and women across our country reflect our noblest ideals of service -- from search-and-rescue teams that brave disaster zones to ordinary citizens who deliver not only lifesaving care and supplies, but also hope for a brighter tomorrow. During American Red Cross Month, we pay tribute to all those whose dedication to relieving human suffering illuminates even our darkest hours.

A visionary humanitarian and unyielding advocate for those in need, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881 after many years of tending to soldiers and families injured in war's wake. In the generations that followed, the American Red Cross served as a force for peace and recovery during times of crisis. Presidents of the United States have called upon the American Red Cross time and again, beginning when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Red Cross Week during the First World War, and continuing into the 21st century.

Today, emergency response organizations like the American Red Cross continue to play a vital role in responding to disasters that cast countless lives and communities into harm's way. When devastating storms struck cities spanning the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard this past year, the American Red Cross and other relief organizations were instrumental partners in preparedness, response, and recovery. And when a devastating earthquake shook Japan's Pacific coast, they answered by extending support to the people of Japan and standing with them as they rebuild.

We are reminded in times like these that the strength of our humanitarian response and the measure of our resilience are drawn not only from the committed action of relief organizations, but also from individuals who step forward, volunteer, or give what they can to help their neighbors in need. With generous spirits and can-do attitudes, Americans from every corner of our country have come together again and again to show the true character of our Nation. As we celebrate American Red Cross Month, let us resolve to preserve and renew that humanitarian impulse to save, to serve, and to build, and carry it forward in the year to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as American Red Cross Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and by supporting the work of service and relief organizations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

Planning for “What If”

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It seems like there are plenty of disasters to test our capability as a nation and as individual communities, so why would we spend time thinking up – and planning for – a disaster even bigger than what we’ve seen in our lifetime, in the U.S.?

In 2011, we had a pretty impressive lineup of catastrophic tornadoes and flooding here in the U.S. Elsewhere in the world, there were more floods, as well as the 3-part crisis of Japan’s earthquake/tsunami/nuclear tragedy. Nobody ever thinks anything on that scale would happen, but it does. Less than a hundred years ago, the U.S. suffered upward of 650,000 deaths as the pandemic influenza of 1918 swept the globe, ultimately claiming an estimated 50 million lives around the world.

Although the majority of us will never live through an experience like that, and we hope never again to see something like that at home, we have an obligation as a nation to continue to push ourselves to prepare for what we call the “Maximum of Maximums.” Moreover, we as a nation must come together as a Whole Community to plan, prepare for, and if necessary, respond to a catastrophic event.

In keeping with this theme, FEMA has launched the fourth topic for public discussion on its online collaboration site – The Whole Community: Planning for the Unthinkable. With this new topic, we invite the private sector, non-profits, voluntary organizations and the general public to brainstorm truly innovative ways to fill critical gaps in the first 72 hours of response, like search and rescue or operational communications or medical response.

Will something like this ever happen? Hopefully not. But by planning for the worst, we will be in better shape than ever to respond to the “likely.” I hope you will join us in a productive dialogue, and help spread the word.

“Every Employee is an Emergency Manager” and FEMA’s Workforce Transformation

Last Thursday, February 1, Deputy Administrator Rich Serino announced the Employee Workforce Transformation -- a new disaster workforce-centric program aimed at ensuring we at FEMA, are the most prepared, well trained, informed, and engaged emergency management team possible.

Under the theme, every employee is an emergency manager, the re-organization aims to harness the dedication and expertise of every employee. Throughout 2012, FEMA will be placing significant emphasis on developing and implementing a number of key initiatives to improve and enhance the work experience of the total disaster workforce.

In his memo to staff, Deputy Administrator Serino noted:

FEMA’s fundamental goal, and the inspiration and motivation for many FEMA employees, is to serve the Nation by helping its people and first responders, especially when they are most in need. Employees from all parts of the agency have expressed a desire to provide support to our response and recovery activities during disasters.

Whether you are a part-time, full-time, permanent or temporary employee, this Disaster Workforce Transformation will benefit the agency in many significant ways to include: 
  • Focusing on training and certifying the entire workforce for incident management and incident support positions in the field—to ensure we are all prepared to conduct and support FEMA’s emergency management missions;
  • Preparing and planning for expected disaster work so that employees will be aware of their role and contribution when activated to assist field operations, headquarters or regional command centers;
  • Ensuring that there is ongoing, two-way communication with all employees, including the reserve workforce, even when not deployed. This includes weekly email communication on agency activities and a dedicated employee focused web-site that is accessible to everyone; and
  • Providing defined career paths within FEMA and fostering a talented, trained pool of emergency management professionals to meet our Nation’s needs for the future.

Starting today and continuing over the next several weeks, town hall meetings will be held at the regional offices, joint field offices and other FEMA facilities for employees to learn more about the initiative and, more importantly, so they can their thoughts and suggestions.

On behalf of FEMA leadership, I want to encourage all FEMA employees to participate, either in person or by conference call in the town hall meetings. Visit the Employee Information & Resource Center for more information about the town hall meetings and the Workforce Transformation initiative, as well as other employee-related updates.

Private Sector Representatives Keep Rolling In!

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I’m really excited about the momentum our program is gaining. Please join me welcoming Joseph Heckman, our new Private Sector Representative who will be helping us coordinate with the private sector during a 90-day stint here in Washington, D.C. Joe is an emergency preparedness and planning manager for Walmart Stores at their headquarters office in Bentonville, Ark. Like Hollis Stambaugh from System Planning Corporation, our current representative, Joe began his career in local government. At Western Illinois University, his alma mater, Joe participated in emergency exercises, and trained over 200 volunteers on campus. Hollis and Joe both “get it.”

While we look forward to Joe coming on board, I want to thank System Planning Corporation for all the great work Hollis has done during her tenure. While she has been with us, she has conducted research on the impact of disasters on small businesses as background for a targeted small business outreach effort. She has jump started development of a website which will be devoted to small businesses and represented their perspective in policy and program matters at FEMA.

So, what’s cool about this particular transition? We have small business. We have big business. And they are working together right now to give us an honest gut-check on how we can serve communities better. With each private sector representative we have gained different perspectives and broad input into our programs and policies. Hollis and Joe are helping us to connect the dots and build bridges between all levels of business in emergency management.

And since we are always looking ahead, we are excited to bring aboard candidates in new areas of interest. While we welcome any and all interested candidates, it would be particularly exciting to have individuals whose backgrounds include finance, cyber security, pharmaceuticals, transportation, or the food and beverage industry. If you or someone you know is interested in being a candidate, learn more about the program (PDF) (Text).

Meanwhile, look for a new small business section on our website soon. There we will be information and tips devoted to small business owners at the local level. Their resilience in times of disaster is critical to a community’s economic and emotional recovery.

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