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Author: Jana Baldwin
The 4th of July in Washington, DC is one of my most epic days of the year -- thousands of tourists and locals flock to the nation’s capital to check out the fireworks on the National Mall.  Who wouldn’t?  They are absolutely beautiful! This year, I will attend the Nationals baseball game (Let’s go Nats!) and then head over to the National Mall to check out the fireworks.I will make sure that I am prepared to enjoy the day.  I have been accused over the years by many friends of being “overly prepared” for a day of fun, until one of my friends needs...
Posted On: July 1, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
We work with groups of all different sizes here at FEMA--organizations that have a handful of employees and those that have teams of thousands. Last week we teamed up with a range of groups to launch Tech Corps: a way to formally link organizations with technology expertise to the disaster response efforts happening at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.Tech Corps can bring tangible benefits to communities and individuals impacted by disasters or emergencies.  It’s designed to leverage technology expertise in organizations so they can offer their existing skills,...
Posted On: June 25, 2015
Author: Eilis Maynard
In case you missed it, NASA heliophysicist Yari Collado-Vega (pictured above) took the keys to our Instagram account this week and she’s posting cool space weather photos all week long!What’s space weather?It’s what happens when the sun’s space environment interacts with Earth’s and creates effects that we can sometimes feel here on Earth.Intrigued?Head on over to our Instagram to get the full lowdown on how space weather works, what it looks like, and how it can affect us here on Earth. Here's what you've missed so far:Tuesday: Space weather...
Posted On: June 24, 2015
Author: Tony Russell
Many people know that FEMA provides training for emergency responders, but I’d like to share a training partner that may surprise you: Major League Baseball.  Emergency preparedness is an effort Major League Baseball takes seriously.  Recently, personnel from the New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Houston Astros baseball organizations participated in the Emergency Management Institute’s Virtual Tabletop Exercise  which focused on an active shooter scenario to help them prepare for the unexpected...
Posted On: June 16, 2015
Author: Claire Thomas
I grew up in Florida. While students in the mid-West learned about green sky warnings and the West learned about earthquake safety, we spent our school days discussing emergency kits and flood zones. As a kid, I remember sheltering in place with board games, flashlights, and emergency radios.I am really grateful for this preparedness education because it helped my family through the terrible 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Because my parents stocked up on bottled water and non-perishable foods in advance, they were able to make it through the extended power outage that followed Hurricane...
Posted On: June 14, 2015
Author: Craig Fugate
FEMA collects data from disasters.  We look at various hazards over time, and a question we get a lot when we’re trying to talk about what can happen is what has happened previously?Providing data in its raw format and also building visualization tools allows people to look at their past history, look at what kind of hazards they are vulnerable to, and look at the frequency of disaster declarations and the impacts. These are useful tools to give people context to what their past looks like when they are planning for future risk.Not everyone is a programmer. Some people can take our...
Posted On: June 12, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Picture it: a warm and sunny Saturday morning in Maryland, about a half-hour outside of Washington, DC. Blaring bagpipes and snare drum rattles provide an interesting soundtrack; it’s evident you’re in a sea of first responders. Dogs from all over the country have travelled with their handlers to the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy to complete the rubble pile portion of the Canine Search Specialist Certification exam.It’s a pressure-packed situation; each team has successfully completed the first four tests to arrive here and they are one set of simulated...
Posted On: June 11, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
What was the toughest job interview you ever had? A grueling Q&A session with a panel of people in intimidating suits? Or maybe it involved a test or a simulation? No matter what your toughest job interview experience, I bet you’ll be impressed by the gauntlet of tests to become a certified FEMA canine search and rescue team.There’s a reason why the dogs and trainers that are part of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces as Canine Search Specialists are so good at what they do. The standards we have for these teams of searchers are incredibly high, considering the...
Posted On: June 9, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Scores of inspiring stories emerge after traumatic events like disasters. The stories that include dogs capture my attention and pull on my heartstrings the most. Stories like finding signs of life in debris left behind by tornadoes or earthquakes or the incredible amount of teamwork and shared passion that exists between teams of dogs and handlers. That’s why over the next week we’re looking forward to sharing how FEMA canine search and rescue teams receive their certification.My hope is you’ll learn what makes these inspiring teams possible. I visited a search and rescue...
Posted On: June 8, 2015
Author: Roy Wright
Each year at this time, millions of Americans celebrate the return of spring by reinvesting in the places and spaces where they work and live. Whether it's adding a new roof, a new room, or a new coat of paint, we get to work on projects big and small that help make our homes and businesses safer environments to make a life and living.For the fifth consecutive year, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to highlight the essential role that safe building codese and standards play in decreasing the damaging effects of disasters and breaking the cycle of human...
Posted On: May 20, 2015

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