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Author: Brittany Trotter
What do you envision when you think about emergency management? Some images that probably come to mind are natural disasters, families losing their homes, and first responders like police officers and firefighters. Now think about the people who work in emergency management. Do the people you envision look like the communities they serve and include people from diverse backgrounds? How many women do you see?As a woman, I’ve often thought about emergency management as a field traditionally dominated by men. Today, that is still the case, but while we still have a long way to go, we...
Posted On: March 18, 2016
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
Conventional lines of communication can be impacted after a disaster. This we know. Phone lines can go down, cell service can be overrun with calls, texts, and emails and it can be difficult for survivors as well as first responders to get in touch. This isn’t a far-fetched scenario or intellectual exercise. It’s a reality we’ve seen happen over and over during disasters small and large. Enter Amateur Radio—or what those involved in the hobby refer to as "ham radio."Amateur radio enthusiasts—or “hams” as they’re often called...
Posted On: March 7, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Editor’s Note: Spoiler Alert! This post mentions plot points of some of the most popular movies this awards season. Our lawyers would prefer we didn’t name the films because of a little thing called copyright law, but it won’t take long to figure them out. “Lights, Camera, Action:” Famous words in showbiz. They’ll be saying them right before they begin broadcasting a super prestigious awards show that’s coming up.It’s peak awards season and this is the award everyone talks about—before movies come out, when they come out, after they...
Posted On: February 26, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
When disasters impact communities across the country, the people affected by them can lose anything and often lose everything. It's a trying time for many of them; who may not even have a home to go back to or a place to call their own.There can be multiple solutions to this problem. Some survivors can go stay with friends or family members. Some survivors are eligible to receive rental assistance. Some survivors are placed into manufactured housing units—when there’s no other place for them to go.I can hear the questions now."But, wait. Aren't you talking about those...
Posted On: February 16, 2016
Author: Geralyn M. Ryan
Saturday, September 12, 2015, started out as a normal day for Jose Simon III, Chairman of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California Tribal Council, and then it got a little interesting for Jose: I had a General Council meeting in the afternoon and was thinking about going to a football game later on. My plans changed after the council meeting, when I walked outside and saw a wildfire burning in the distance. I spent the next few hours helping tribal members, checking on friends in the community and talking with officials from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the...
Posted On: February 2, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Picture this—a scene that could happen anywhere in the United States…The rain was coming down in sheets for what felt like the umpteenth straight day. People lost track of how long ago it started--it felt like it would never end.  The storm clouds that shrouded the town in a blanket of steely gray sadness looked like they hadn’t moved an inch.It rained. And rained. And rained some more.Tin roofs and windowpanes echoed with the sound of the raindrops. Flooded streets closed--and the landscape was dotted with fluorescent orange detour signs. The water had nowhere to go...
Posted On: January 28, 2016
Author: Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D, RN
Editor's Note: Cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog.Flint, Michigan is in the midst of a serious public health crisis, with high levels of lead in its water supply. President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Saturday, ordering federal assistance to support state and local response efforts.With the emergency declaration in place, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now been designated the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating federal government response and recovery efforts.This means that HHS will, in...
Posted On: January 19, 2016
Author: Alessandro Amaglio
Sometimes, when we think about historic preservation, we think of places like New Orleans with its grand houses and graceful gardens, or maybe we picture the rolling hills of Gettysburg. But, long before Europeans arrived in Louisiana or the decisive battle of the Civil War, the Lake Miwok Indians were raising their families, practicing their religion and burying their dead in villages throughout Northern California.In September 2015, as a pair of explosive wildfires raged across Calaveras and Lake counties, Suntayea Steinruck was organizing the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer /State...
Posted On: January 19, 2016
Author: Yvette Blackman
Folks along Peeples Street in northern Richland County, South Carolina are accustomed to relentless rain. Crane Creek overflows its banks at times, spilling into low-lying rural areas and causing flooding that creeps up to windowsills. Yards fill with a soupy mess of mud and muck. But the people who live on this street on the edge of the Denny Terrace neighborhood are a hardy lot. Chores move indoors until the rains stop. Folks clean up. Life goes on. When it began raining in early fall, Denny Terrace residents weren’t alarmed. But South Carolina was pounded by weeks of punishing rain...
Posted On: January 11, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
We published 62 posts on our blog this year. We wrote about all sorts of topics ranging from partnerships with other organizations, stories from our field offices, the phenomenon known as El Niño, and several others. Through the magic of analytics, we found our ten most-read articles from 2015.1. The “Big One” in the Pacific Northwest: Taking conversation to actionKen Murphy, FEMA’s Region 10 Administrator, took some time to sit down and pen an article in response to The New Yorker’s most popular article of the year. There’s been a lot of concern and attention...
Posted On: January 7, 2016