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Author: David Kaufman
Over the past year the agency has undertaken efforts to consider its foundations and to think strategically about the outcomes it will achieve over the next few years. This self-examination has resulted in the creation of two guiding documents: FEMA Publication 1 (Pub 1) and the 2011 – 2014 Strategic Plan.  Pub 1 outlines the agency’s principles and culture while describing its history, mission, purpose, and philosophy. Pub 1 also serves as the operational link to, and provides the context for, the implementation of the new strategic plan for the agency.  The strategic plan will...
Posted On: March 23, 2011
Author: Rachel Jacky
If you are thinking about getting trained in basic disaster response skills and becoming part of your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), or if you are already a CERT member or trainer, I encourage you to check out our updated CERT Basic Training course materials.For those that don’t know, CERTs are a committed group of local volunteers who have received training in emergency response and preparedness who can play a vital role in assisting the community after a disaster. The updated CERT course materials cover topics ranging from first aid to search and rescue. We made some...
Posted On: March 23, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
As rescue and recovery efforts continue in Japan, this tragedy should also serve as an important reminder that disaster can strike anytime and anywhere. This week happens to be National Tsunami Awareness Week, and our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are urging all Americans who live along U.S. coastlines to take the threat of tsunamis seriously.There are a few simple tips to remember:Warning signs of a tsunami A strong earthquake, or one that persists for 20 seconds or longer The ocean withdraws or rises rapidly A loud, roaring sound (like an airplane or a...
Posted On: March 21, 2011
Author: Corey Gruber
The tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan have resulted in extraordinary loss of life, injury, and property damage. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by the disaster. When international disasters occur, they often raise questions about how we would deal with a similar event here at home.Keeping nuclear facilities safe in the U.S. is a coordinated effort among the plant’s operator, federal, state, local and tribal government agencies. Following the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, Congress established emergency planning and preparedness as a condition for...
Posted On: March 21, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Over a week ago, two Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams were deployed to Japan by the U.S. Agency for International Development, at the request of the Japanese government.  The teams were sent to support search and rescue efforts after the tragic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11.Yesterday, Virginia Task Force 1 and Los Angeles Task Force 2 safely arrived home after their nine day mission.  Here are some links to local news coverage about the teams' mission and return home: Virginia Task Force 1 home from Japan (WTTG, Washington DC) Members of LA Search and...
Posted On: March 21, 2011
Author: Eric Smith
As Flood Safety Awareness Week continues, yesterday, the National Weather Service issued forecasts indicating communities in the Dakotas, Minnesota and other states in the Midwest are at a significant risk for major flooding this spring, and Montana, South Dakota, New Jersey and other states are already dealing with significant floods.We have written a lot on this blog about what individuals can do to prepare, and how we are working with the entire team to get the word out, but we wanted to take a second and let you know about one of the steps we are taking here at FEMA to be ready –...
Posted On: March 18, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Editor's Note: On May 16, 2011, we removed an image of the National Weather Service Hazards Assessment map.Japan earthquake and tsunami Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they recover from the tragic earthquake and tsunami that struck last week. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) remains the lead federal agency when it comes to responding to international disasters, so visit USAID.gov for additional information on the Federal response.Check out this blog post to see you how can help those affected by the disasters.Potential severe weatherIn...
Posted On: March 18, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
Although Flood Safety Awareness Week comes to an end today it is just the beginning of a very busy flood season, as announced yesterday by the National Weather Service (NWS) in their annual spring outlook.As flood season continues, you can share flood safety tips directly from FEMA on your website by using our flooding widget.  The widget provides current flood conditions, links to Ready.gov, interactive flood risk resources and other critical flood insurance information to help citizens get prepared for potential flooding.  And as the year goes on, the information and links in the...
Posted On: March 18, 2011
Author: Tim Manning
Tuesday was my first full day here in Pago Pago, American Samoa. I started out the morning meeting with the many members of our emergency management team here on the island, beginning with the chief of the Emergency Medical Services unit. We toured their EMS facility and I was very lucky to have a quick chance to speak to some of their EMS workers. The chief told us how critical volunteers are to their work and that they focus on supporting emergency preparedness efforts in their different villages on the island. What the chief explained – that having a strong grassroots capacity is key for...
Posted On: March 17, 2011
Author: Public Affairs
The National Weather Service (NWS) released their annual spring outlook today to help citizens take the necessary steps to prepare. This year’s outlook predicts spring flooding will worsen beginning as early as this week, affecting almost half the country from the North Central U.S. through the Midwest and the Northeast, causing an above average risk of flooding across portions of the Northeast, including Southern New England and parts of eastern NY State.Some specifics from the Spring Outlook include: For the third consecutive year, forecasters predict major flooding along the Red River...
Posted On: March 17, 2011

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