FY 2014-2018 FEMA Strategic Plan Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is FEMA’s Strategic Plan?

FEMA is currently of developing its 2014-2018 Strategic Plan to serve as a roadmap for the Agency and a useful tool to address long-term challenges. It aims to:

  • Identify linkages and construct the middle ground between broad, long-term inspirational ideas, and practical/tactical everyday execution.
  • Foster individual ownership, as well as collaboration and cross-pollination.
  • Discuss major, crosscutting issues throughout the Agency and the whole community – and to engage the entire agency in addressing these issues

The new FEMA Strategic Plan will acknowledge and institutionalize changes already underway across the Agency while setting Agency-wide direction and challenging itself to achieve.

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Do you anticipate a significant shift in the themes in the new 2014-2018 FEMA Strategic Plan versus the previous FY 2011-2014 Plan?

The FY 2011-2014 Strategic Plan charted a new course for the Agency. It advanced a whole community approach to the practice of emergency management, acknowledging the important role of all partners within communities, including the government. It also advocated the active integration of new partners and new approaches to build the Nation’s capacity to manage catastrophic disasters, to develop a common understanding of the risks we face, to create a more flexible and agile FEMA, and to build an environment for learning and innovation. In the past four years, we made significant progress in advancing those initiatives and improving the way FEMA functions. The 2014-2018 FEMA Strategic Plan will be a primary vehicle for building on and institutionalizing these changes, while also establishing the marks on the wall that will propel us forward to address the broad-scale issues and long-term challenges facing the Agency and the emergency community across the Nation.

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What doctrine drives the Agency’s strategic planning? 

FEMA is developing the Strategic Plan based on guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11 and lessons learned from other agencies. The principles of this planning effort are to institutionalize the changes FEMA has already effected and challenge the agency to realize solutions to long-term challenges. The Agency’s strategic planning is based on national level strategic documents including the President’s National Security Strategy and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.

The Plan is built around five strategic priorities and two strategic imperatives outlined in the Administrator’s Intent, which provide the lens to focus FEMA’s efforts and guide the allocation of resources throughout the planning period.

  • FEMA’s Five Strategic Priorities:
  1. Be Survivor Centric in Mission and Program Delivery    
  2. Become an Expeditionary Organization                         
  3. Posture and Build Capacity for Catastrophic Disasters   
  4. Enable Disaster Risk Reduction Nationally                       
  5. Achieve Business and Management Excellence           
  • FEMA’s Two Strategic Imperatives:
  1. A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management
  2. Foster Innovation and Learning

The two strategic imperatives are meant to frame Agency thinking, guide decisions, and shape approaches to mission and program execution. The strategic priorities articulate areas of strategic focus for the 2014-2018 period. Key strategic content in development under each strategic priority includes multiple strategic objectives with supporting strategies, outcomes, and performance indicators, as well as a brief description of the potential programming, budget, policy, and legal implications involved in executing the Plan.

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What offices are involved in creating the Plan? How can I contribute?

On behalf of the Administrator, FEMA’s Office of Policy and Program Analysis (OPPA) is working with senior leaders and staff across the Agency to develop the 2014-2018 FEMA Strategic Plan. To facilitate the development and implementation of the Plan, the following FEMA senior leaders have been named “Priority Champions” for each of the Administrator’s Strategic Priorities:

  • P1: Be survivor centric in mission and program delivery: Deb Ingram (Recovery)
  • P2: Become an expeditionary organization: Mary Ann Tierney (Region 3) and Jeff Dorko (Office of Federal Disaster Coordination)
  • P3: Posture and build capacity for catastrophic disasters: Corey Gruber (National Preparedness) and Bob Fenton (Response)
  • P4: Enable disaster risk reduction nationally: Roy Wright  (Mitigation)
  • P5: Achieve business and management excellence: Sandy Geiselman (Mission Support) and Tom Lowry (OCFO)

The Priority Champions are supported by team members nominated from offices across the Agency, along with liaisons from OPPA, the Office of External Affairs, the Office of Chief Counsel, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

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How can I contribute to the planning effort?

We invite interested partners and community members to review draft material on the FEMA IdeaScale Page.

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What is the general timeline of the plan’s development and implementation?

December - February: Priority Champions seek input and draft material for all five strategic priorities
April (late): Release of the 2014 – 2018 FEMA Strategic Plan
May 2014 and Beyond: Implementation of the Plan through 2018

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Will this strategic plan drive performance management activities across FEMA? How will FEMA monitor and document progress against these priorities?

The FEMA Strategic Plan will advance the Administrator’s strategic priorities and imperatives by guiding the alignment of activities and resources within FEMA’s Directorates, Offices and Regions to a common strategic vision. Strategic planning enables FEMA components to link their actions more closely to the Agency’s overall direction, better employ resources to maximize impact, and communicate to stakeholders their near- and long-term goals. 

In developing Plan material, Priority Champions and their teams are defining how to reach this strategic vision, with outcomes, strategic objectives, and strategies that will eventually link planning at all levels of the organization. Development of the FEMA Strategic Plan is a key step in further integrating planning, budgeting, performance, and evaluation to ensure progress is made in achieving the Agency’s strategic vision. To support such linkages and help justify FEMA funding to all stakeholders, including taxpayers, Plan development includes a special focus on identifying outcomes and performance indicators, which help FEMA analyze, evaluate, and communicate the results of its plans, programs, and organizational initiatives. These performance feedback mechanisms will form the basis of a mature performance management approach that will help the Agency better execute its mission and maintain flexibility when changes occur in the broader strategic environment.

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How will FEMA incorporate data and analytics into the FEMA Strategic Plan?

One of FEMA’s aims is to expand the Agency’s capacity to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into wise decision-making. Data and analysis are a primary component of the Strategic Plan, serving as an enabler for all of the strategic objectives and supporting strategies that teams are developing. Data and analysis will be crucial to accomplishing and demonstrating progress in implementing the objectives and strategies across all five priorities.   

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Last Updated: 
04/09/2014 - 11:05