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Author: Melis Mull, James Demby
May 31 is National Dam Safety Awareness Day, an event that commemorates the tragic failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889. The dam failure resulted in the loss of more than 2,200 lives and remains the worst dam failure in United States history.Dams are a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure and all Americans enjoy the benefits they provide, including flood protection, water supply, power, recreation and economic opportunities. Unfortunately, as our infrastructure ages, so does the quality and stability of our Nation’s dams. The construction of...
Posted On: May 6, 2015
Author: Amy Goyer
Daddy and I were walking across the living room one night recently when the house suddenly went dark. The power was out, but fortunately, I was prepared. Plugged into the outlet in front of us was a power-failure light that comes on automatically. It also serves as an automatic nightlight and a portable flashlight. I have the lights strategically plugged in throughout the house, and they lit our way to safety.I also realized that no electricity meant no air-conditioning, which quickly can become unbearable in Phoenix. Once I got Dad settled, I made plans to move him to an air-conditioned...
Posted On: May 5, 2015
Author: Amy Pope, Christy Goldfuss, John Holdren
When a disaster hits, Americans often have to act fast to keep their families safe and protect their homes and businesses from harm. But responding to an emergency takes more than fast action. To ensure an effective response, Americans must prepare in advance to identify the risks they face, know which steps to take to prepare, and understand their community’s plan.That’s the idea behind America’s PrepareAthon! National Day of Action. As a nation, we’ve made great progress building and sustaining national preparedness, but we still face diverse threats that challenge...
Posted On: April 30, 2015
Author: Marcie Roth
Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Ticket to Work blog, hosted by the Social Security Administration.The importance of preparing ourselves for disasters is universal. Emergencies can happen anywhere - at home or at work - and everyone must take action to prepare for emergencies in case something unexpected happens.However, the truth is there's no one-size-fits-all solution to being prepared. In fact, as Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), I'm often asked to talk about preparedness...
Posted On: April 29, 2015
Author: Rafael Lemaitre
America is in the midst of an unprecedented increase in energy production. Today, the United States is producing more oil, gas, and renewable energy, and becoming more energy efficient overall. These trends are increasing our energy security, cutting our carbon pollution, and enhancing our economic growth. One area of substantial energy growth is crude oil, and with this increase in production comes the need to safely transport this oil across the nation. While rail incidents have declined by 47 percent over the past decade and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous...
Posted On: April 17, 2015
Author: Gwen Camp
Doing your taxes takes time, can seem tedious, and ALWAYS involves paperwork.  Did you know the fruits of completing all those tax forms can serve a dual purpose? Tax Day is the perfect time to update your emergency kit with critical documents and information that will help you recover faster should disaster strike.  One of the best tools to help reuse those tax documents is the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope and FEMA’s Citizen Corps. It has checklists and space to identify important documents, medical records and contracts...
Posted On: April 14, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Raging floodwaters, swirling winds, and startling earthquakes are just some of the hazards that communities across America face. It’s impossible to plan for every possible disaster or emergency - but it is possible for community leaders to implement a scalable, adaptable organizational system or “structure” so affected communities can bounce back as quickly as possible – no matter the event.We are excited about a new resource designed to help any community build their own approach to disaster recovery: the Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal...
Posted On: April 9, 2015
Author: Shayne Adamski
The digital age has made information more available and more accessible than ever before. That’s a good thing. Information drives innovation, a more engaged citizenry, and helps those of us working for you in government do a better job providing information you need to be safe and secure. But often, a consequence of living in a digital age is too much information all at once. For example, many websites have become crowded with distractions getting in the way of the content users are trying to find.There are too many navigation links. There are too many banner ads. Sometimes, you’...
Posted On: April 7, 2015
Author: Erin Ward
One year after the devastating SR530 slide struck the community of Oso, Washington, the loss and devastation to the communities throughout the Stillaguamish Valley still cannot be understated. On Sunday March 22, 2015 families, communities, volunteers and responders came together for the one year remembrance of the SR530 landslide to honor and remember the 43 lives lost that day.Around 10:15 a.m. from both west and east sides of the closed highway, volunteers, first responders, community members, honor guard, color guard and public officials walked to the SR530 slide impact area to join the...
Posted On: March 24, 2015
Author: Alexandra Woodruff
Do you remember the best meeting you’ve ever been to?  Maybe there was a memorable speaker.  Maybe you learned things that made an impact on your career.  Or maybe it was a field trip.I’d like to share the story about a recent meeting that’s near the top of my list—the March meeting of FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC).  I’m going to talk about the three things that made this meeting special: the setting, the stories, and the vision.For those that don’t know, the NAC brings together a diverse group of experts from many...
Posted On: March 23, 2015

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