Main Content

Launching the FEMA Think Tank -- a Forum to Facilitate Discussion in the Field of Emergency Management

Posted by: Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator

In the two years that I have been with FEMA, I have had the opportunity to speak with many survivors and emergency managers from all over the country. During these conversations, I often heard innovative ideas about how to address some of the challenges we face in emergency management.

Craig and I realize that you are on the front lines, you know the problems, and, more importantly, you know the solutions to these problems. I know that many of you have creative ideas how we can improve the way we do business. We want to continue to hear your thoughts and suggestions and encourage more discussions.

Earlier this morning, I spoke at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Annual Conference in Las Vegas where I announced the creation of the FEMA Think Tank -- a new forum where you will be encouraged to provide your input on a variety of emergency management issues, such as how as we prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate against all types of disasters.

The FEMA Think Tank will have two components:

  • The first will be an online forum where anyone who wants to discuss a variety of emergency management issues can. Simply submit your own ideas, comment on others, or participate in conversations meant to generate creative solutions.
  • The second will be monthly conference calls. Each month, we will discuss three to four ideas generated from the online forum that address improving emergency management at the federal level.

The individuals that submitted these ideas will personally brief me during the call. The call will then be opened for questions and further discussion.

And as this is a new initiative, please help us spread the word. And if you're on Twitter, follow @fema and join the conversation by using the hashtag #femathinktank.

We look forward to a productive conversation that will generate innovative solutions and move us forward as a team!

Last Updated: 
18/06/2012 - 14:54


I have been screaming for people in the proper pla...

I have been screaming for people in the proper places to hear my idea on the missing link of an early warning severe weather alert system I have. My system WILL wake people from their sleep for a tornado, it will alert people in their yards to run in for shelter, it will alarm people to seek safety while shopping or at work etc. It is the missing link of the severely outdated system in place that has been needing a severe upgrade. Too many lives have been lost since I have been trying to get someone to listen to me. Pat Ramos

I think that any emergency plan made by administra...

I think that any emergency plan made by administrators is invalid on its face, as too many come from entirely outside the field. I suggest that ground-level people, chosen at random from HR files from the appropriate services, be tasked with roughing out a plan and noting local problems.

How to get the left hand to know what the right ha...

How to get the left hand to know what the right hand is doing? On many occasion in dealing with the federal Goverment on emergency management regulatory issues, one agency will have standard that meets their criteria while it violates another. This has been at crucial times during preparedness, response and mitigation.

Mr.Serino is a well known and highly respected ind...

Mr.Serino is a well known and highly respected individual because he created the best EMS service in the country, Boston EMS. Boston EMS is a third city service which along with the Boston Police Dept. and Fire Dept. provide excellent emergency services for the citizens of Boston, Ma. Mr Serino is very qualified. He has been on "the front line." He has been in the trenches. Look up the Boston EMS website and you'll hopefully feel a lot better knowing that FEMA finally acquired an individual of the likes of Mr.Serino.

Emergencies and their management are opposite ends...

Emergencies and their management are opposite ends of the yardstick. The incident is called an “emergency” because the circumstances of the incident are new. If this incident has happened exactly with the same circumstances at some prior time; the actions necessary are exactly know. <br />What we are attempting is putting together a methodology of handling an incident that we have no previous experience. Whether we call it a “planned” or “unplanned” incident; we have specific experience or not. If not then the incident is truly an emergency. How do you manage something that you have no knowledge of the circumstances or their outcome? Attempting to generate a plan to handle the emergency incident has to have so many diverging paths that to be understandable would be close to impossible. So what can be done?<br />Develop a plan that will follow the ICS structures, ignore details of the incident, and prepare people to understand the structures. Follow the structures and allow the incident to evolve, be flexible in responding, and keep reviewing the actions that they are inside the parameters of the ICS.<br />Teach the ICS structure!

Deputy Administrator Serino, You said it best. I...

Deputy Administrator Serino, <br /><br />You said it best. It's not a matter of implementing dozens of resources or throwing blocks of the day into preparedness and preparedness education. It's instilling the culture of preparedness, it's instilling the culture of taking ownership for oneself today and oneself post disaster. That's the way to afford the generation in grade-school the opportunity to survive and recover from a natural OR man made disaster. <br /><br />I'm excited about Maggie's forum emerging as we work with nearly 100 schools nationally and have our own forum in place - however it remains difficult to maintain an open and active group with only 70 - 100 participants on a regular basis. Providing a National Level and universally utilized portal will allow each school to be as prepared as the next. <br /><br />Chris Joffe<br />Joffe Emergency Services

Añadir nuevo comentario